CONDUIT (תְּעָלָה, H9498, channel, aqueduct). Tr. “watercourse” (Job 38:25, KJV), “channel” in RSV, poetically speaking of the seeming torrents of rain in a cloudburst. It is rendered “trench” in 1 Kings 18:32-38, the ditch which Elijah dug around his stone altar to retain the water he poured over his sacrifice.

Jerusalem, like other fortified cities founded close to springs in Bronze and Iron Age Pal., had a system of channels and tunnels to supply water to its citizens (see Gezer; Gibeon; Lachish; Megiddo). The Jebusites had dug further into the hill on which Jerusalem stood to permit water from the spring Gihon (q.v.) to flow back into a storage pool. They could lower buckets down a forty ft. shaft (2 Sam 5:8; see Gutter) to fetch water, and then return through a sloping rock-cut tunnel to their houses inside the city wall.

When Sennacherib invaded Judah and the siege of Jerusalem seemed imminent, Hezekiah stopped up all the fountains outside the city wall, by which seem to be meant the apertures in the Shiloah conduit, and the Brook Kidron that ran through the fields below the city (2 Chron 32:1-4). In place of the old system he ordered a winding tunnel or conduit (2 Kings 20:20) dug under the city hill to bring the water of Gihon to a new pool built at the end of the Tyropoeon Valley on the W side of the city of David (2 Chron 32:30; Ecclus 48:17; see Siloam).

Later on, a fifteen m. long aqueduct was constructed, before the times of Herod the Great and Pontius Pilate (for they repaired it), to bring water to the Temple from three great reservoirs S of Bethlehem. Sennacherib had built an aqueduct to supply water to Nineveh (q.v.) from a river above Jerwan, over thirty m. away. See also Water.


J. Simons, Jerusalem in the OT (1952), 175-179; G. A. Barrois, “Siloam,” IDB (1962), IV, 352-355; M. Burrows, “Jerusalem,” IDB (1962), II, 849-851; R. W. Hamilton, “Water Works,” IDB (1962), IV, 811-816.

See also

  • [[Aqueduct

  • Cistern