David and Mephibosheth & Tsinnor

Finger Pointing UpIn Your message to Nathan You made it clear that You wouldn’t ignore any sins that David committed. 

Since You know everything from the beginning to the end, it makes me think that David is going to do something bad?

1. First Temple oil lamps
First Temple Oil Lamps
A water tunnel dating back to the 10th Century BCE has been discovered at the City of David that could be the “tsinnor” mentioned in the account of King David’s conquest of Jerusalem (II Samuel 5:8).

The opening of the tunnel, which was discovered during ongoing excavations at the site earlier this year, is just wide enough to allow one person to pass through, but, due to debris that has yet to be moved, only the first 50 meters of the tunnel are accessible.
The walls of the tunnel are composed partly of unworked sto
nes, while other parts use the bedrock. The tunnel was discovered under a large stone structure which was previously identified by archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar as King David’s palace (2 Samuel 5:11).

The already existing tunnel was integrated into its construction and was probably used to channel water to a pool located on the palace’s southeast side. Toward the end of the First Temple period, the tunnel was converted to an escape passage, perhaps used in a manner similar to King Zedekiah’s escape during the Babylonian siege (2 Kings 25:4).

“And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines. 

And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive.  And so the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought gifts.

David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates. 

And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for a hundred chariots.  

And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succor Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.

Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went. 

And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 

And from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceeding much brass.

When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadadezer, 

Then Toi sent Joram his son unto king David, to salute him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him: for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. And Joram brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass:

Which also king David did dedicate unto the LORD, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued” (2 Sam 8:1-11).

“And David gat him a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, being eighteen thousand men.

And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David’s servants. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went. 

And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed Judgment and justice unto all his people “(2 Sam 8:13-15).

Joab was put over the host, Jehoshaphat was recorder, Zadok and Ahimelech were the priests, Seraiah was the scribe, Benaiah was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and David’s sons were chief rulers.

“And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Sam 9:1).

2. Warrens Shaft
Warren’s Shaft
Discovered by Charles Warren in his investigations of the city in the 1860s, this underground tunnel system has become known as “Warren’s Shaft.”

The system by this name consists of four parts: the stepped tunnel, the horizontal curved tunnel, the 45-foot (14 m) vertical shaft and the feeding tunnel.

Scholars have long debated the date and function of this system.

“And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually” (2 Sam 9:7).

David then told Ziba what he’d told Mephibosheth and also that he and his 15 sons and 20 servants would serve Mephibosheth.  And Mephibosheth had a son named Micha.

“And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.

Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.

And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honor thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee?  Hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it? 

Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away” (2 Sam 10:1-4).

When David heard about that he was ashamed and he told the men to stay in Jericho until their beards grew out.  

And when the Ammons saw that David was angry at them they hired 20,000 footmen of the Syrians in Beth-rehob and Zoba, as well as a 1,000 men from King Maacah and 12,000 from Ish-tob.

4. David’s Conquering of Jerusalem
How did David and his men conquer
Biblical archaeology has uncovered many things pertaining to the history of ancient Jerusalem. Without one exception, archaeology has confirmed the historicity of the Bible! Warren’s Shaft Warren’s Shaft discovered in the 19th century.

The excavations at the City of David in Jerusalem have been going on since the 19th century. In more recent years, particularly in the late 1970s and 80s, the excavations on the eastern slope of the City of David (called “Area G”) have shed a lot of light on both Canaanite and Israelite Jerusalem.

A little further south the water system of the city was discovered. Specifically, it was Warren who explored a 52 vertical tunnel (now called Warren’s Shaft) that was believed to be the “water shaft” mentioned in 2 Samuel 5.

Whether it was this shaft or another part of the water system we cannot be certain. Yet for sure, some “water shaft” (tsinnor in Hebrew) was used in the 2 Samuel 5 story and it played an important role in how the city (then called Jebus) was conquered.

When David heard of this he sent for Joab and in time the Syrians and Ammons both fled.  Then Hadarezer brought all the Syrians to Helam, so David pursued them and when he caught up with them he destroyed 700 chariots, 40,000 horsemen, and he also smote their captain, Shobach. 

When all the kings realized that they had no chance against Israel they made a peace treaty with Israel and became their slaves.  So now the Syrians feared to ever help the Ammons again.


The word translated as “water shaft” in 2 Sam 5:8 is the Hebrew tsinnor.  Used in only one other Biblical pas­sage (Ps 42:7), the term’s interpretation has long been debated by scholars.

It is apparent from the context that the tsinnor was a means of conquering the city. 

While some suggest meanings such as “dagger,” “hook” or “grappling-iron,” the context of Ps 42:7 (where the NIV translates tsinnor as “water­falls”) implies that the word in 2 Sam 5:8 has to do with a water system.

Cognates (words related by descent from the same ancestral language) from Aramaic and Ugaritic also in­dicate that tsinnor refers to a watercourse, shaft or tunnel.

This implies that Joab led the charge through an underground waterway.  At one time archaeologists thought that the site known as “Warren’s Shaft” was the tsinnor.

From the top of Warren’s Shaft a stepped tunnel leads to an above-ground entrance inside the Canaanite city wall. Joab was thought to have entered the water system through the Gihon spring and climbed up the once nar­row shaft to conquer the city.

New discoveries made since 1995, how­ever, have shed new light on this water sys­tem. It now appears that the stepped tunnel that leads from the entrance to Warren’s Shaft did not have its present form until the 8th century B.C.

In Joab’s time the top of Warren’s Shaft was still buried 4 feet (1.2 m) below the floor of the tunnel. Joab’s entrance into the city via the tsinnor had to have been by some other water source or passage.

As helpful as archaeology is in bringing the Bible to life, it is important to realize that old con­clusions often need to be revisited in light of more recent excavation and analysis.

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