Uncovering the History of Ancient Jerusalem’s Water Supply—and the Beginnings of the Revolt against Rome

Dec. 29 2021

Recently archaeologists conducted a survey of what is known as the Biyer Aqueduct, a three-mile-long portion of the complex system used in ancient times to get water to the residents of Jerusalem. Nathan Steinmeyer explains what they found:

Throughout its long history, Jerusalem has always had a major problem securing water for its inhabitants. During the Iron Age (1200–586 BCE), the nearby Gihon spring, along with a large reservoir and cisterns, was sufficient to supply the relatively small population. Both Hezekiah’s tunnel and the Siloam Pool were built by King Hezekiah in the 8th century BCE to expand the city’s Iron Age water system.

Towards the end of the Second Temple period, the city’s population grew dramatically, and the Gihon spring was no longer able to provide enough water for the city. It was for this reason that Jerusalem’s aqueduct was built to bring in water from more distant sources. The dating of the aqueduct system, however, has been much debated.

Carbon-14 dating led the team from Hebrew University to suggest that the Biyer Aqueduct was likely constructed during the reign of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate (ca. 26–36 CE). . . . During the survey, the team documented the various methods used in its construction and took several radiocarbon samples from the plastered walls. Analysis of the samples indicates the aqueduct was likely built in the early 1st century CE and was refurbished in the 2nd century, after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. As such, the team suggests that the Biyer Aqueduct could be the same aqueduct attributed to Pilate by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus.

According to Josephus, Pilate used money from the Temple’s treasury to build the aqueduct, which led to riots in the city.

Read more at Bible History Daily

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Jerusalem, Second Temple, Water

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy