A ruined and destroyed quarter, that was what greeted those that arrived in the quarter immediately after the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. The State of Israel decides that the site is of great historical importance and since it has never been excavated, any restoration of a building or public space in the Jewish Quarter will be accompanied by an archaeological excavation first. Professor Nahman Avigad received the task. The excavation, which lasted several seasons, revealed sections of a large and massive structure that only after much discussion in the excavation team was it decided to call the finding – The wall of Jerusalem from the First Temple period.
There is no doubt that this is probably one of the most important discoveries uncovered in Jerusalem. In the heart of the Quarter, there is a remnant of an impressive wall in its size and especially in its width. 45 m long, 7 m thick. Why is there such a massive wall in Jerusalem? Who built it? These are just a few of the questions that arise immediately. Almost no one expected to find such a thing here in the Jewish Quarter.
Only after digging the foundations of the massive wall did Professor Nachman Avigad and his aides dare to determine that this was part of a fortification of an Israeli wall.
This discovery ended an ancient argument. What type of settlement was the city of Jerusalem during the First Temple period a rural or urban settlement, a small suburb or a spacious residential area surrounded by a wall? Until then, quite a number of scholars believed that the capital of the kings of Judah until the destruction of the Temple was only south of Temple Mount and slightly further on, in the limited area of the City of David, and that the great Kingdom of Judea existed many years after the days of David and Solomon.
In 701 there is a very large campaign of the Assyrian army to our region. The king in those days in Judah is Hezekiah. Hezekiah prepares for their arrival and prepares the city for siege for protection. One of the things he is doing is building a broad wall that will provide a solution to a Jerusalem that absorbs many refugees from the exile of Israel that happened a few years earlier.
Isaiah (22:10) “And ye numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and ye broke down the houses to fortify the wall;”.
The wall was built hastily, and Hezekiah did not spare houses that were in the way of construction of the wall, the prophet Isaiah refers harshly to King Hezekiah. What happened to the characters we mentioned? Everything will be told about by the wall. Come with the Bible to the Broad Wall and reawaken the characters and the words.