ISRAEL - Second Temple Era Aqueduct Uncovered

Arno Froese

The stretch of the ancient aqueduct, which measures some 300 meters (roughly 1,000 feet) in length, was discovered during archaeological excavations of the area prior to the planned development of the settlement by the Municipality of Jerusalem. The municipality plans on building schools.

Antiquities Authority excavation directors Dr. Ofer Shyam and Ruth Cohen note that the Jerusalem aqueduct was built to meet the ancient city’s growing water demands.

“In the late days of the Second Temple, the city of Jerusalem grew significantly. The Temple had been rebuilt and the water that flowed in conduits and cisterns was no longer sufficient for the thousands of pilgrims and residents,” they explain. “Water needed to be brought to the city from a distance.”

So, in order to meet Jerusalem’s growing need for water, the Hasmoneans, and then King Herod, built two aqueducts to Jerusalem. One of the aqueducts, “the Upper Aqueduct” channeled water to the upper city, what is presently the Jewish and Armenian Quarters of the Old City. The other, “the Lower Aqueduct,” brought water to the Temple.

The aqueducts were remarkable feats of engineering, each traversing the roughly ten kilometers from Bethlehem Springs where the water originated to Jerusalem., 28 August 2023

Arno's Commentary

Whenever anything is connected to the second, or sometimes even the first temple, archaeologists in Israel proclaim it in large headlines. In olden times, the main water supply came from Bethlehem, some 10 kilometers away. It is noteworthy that this is the birthplace of Jesus, the source of the water of life, who proclaims in the last book of the Bible: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).

Today, the city on the hill is thirsty, and water is limited. reports that Israel’s national water company had officially inaugurated a new municipal water system. This system was launched in 1994. It is the fifth water transmission system, costing 2.5 billion shekels. It is estimated that sufficient water will be available for Jerusalem and communities until 2060. The new system—a pipe approximately 3 meters in diameter—will transport desalinated seawater to the capital and nearby communities. It is estimated that the project will be completed by 2026. CGEI adds: “In an era of a climate crisis that plagues the countries of the Middle East, Europe, and the United States, Israel has overcome the obstacles.”

Quite logically, this will become a model for the rest of the world. Water is a precious commodity, and countries located in hot climate zones will be at Israel’s doorstep asking for advice. Here we are reminded of Zechariah 8:23: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

Read more from this author

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety