This morning when I woke up and checked my Facebook feed I found an interesting news story.
The Siloam inscription is being returned to Israel.
The Siloam inscription was found in Hezekiah’s Tunnel in 1880 by Jacob Eliahu who was a student of Conrad Schick. Later Jacob was adopted by Horatio Spafford.
Spafford of course is best know for writing the hymn It is Well with My Soul. Above is a picture of the original draft of the hymn. It is hanging in the lobby of the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem.
I have walked through Hezekiah’s Tunnel several times when I have been in Jerusalem.
The inscription was found about five meters behind where I am standing at the exit of the tunnel.
It was difficult to take a picture of the replica that was placed on the wall of the tunnel at the same place where the original was found as it is dark and narrow at that point.
The inscription gives details of the construction of the tunnel in Paleo Hebrew script.
The original inscription is currently at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum in Istanbul, Turkey.
Unfortunately when I was there the hall where the inscription is displayed was closed. See: Historic Istanbul
The inscription was sent to the museum in Istanbul as Jerusalem was part of the Ottoman Empire at the time it was found.
There is currently a movement to repatriate historic artifacts to countries where they were found, and I am sure that we will see more headlines like this in the future.
There are two other inscriptions that Israel would like to have repatriated. The Gezer calender and the Temple Warning inscription are also in the museum in Istanbul.
The Siloam Inscription