Zedekiah’s Cave is the name given to a huge cavity beneath the Old City of Jerusalem. Discovered in the mid 19th century, Its full size is not known to this day. By Jewish tradition, it is the cave through which King Zedekiah snuck out of Jerusalem, escaping the Babylonians. Hence its name Zedekiah’s Cave. In January 2018, Erick and I explored this cave for The Watchman show.
History of the Cave
It is not really known when the cave was first formed and used. It seems that in Roman times it was a big quarry. Perhaps this provided some of the stones used to build the Second Jewish Temple in the time of Herod. New research suggests it was also used by the Crusaders. However, later its existence was forgotten. The cave was re-discovered, by chance, in 1864. It was surveyed, but to this day only limited excavations were carried in it.
Zedekiah’s Cave and The Freemasons
Once rediscovered, the cave was especially favored by the Freemasons. They believe that the cave was originally used by Solomon to build his temple in Jerusalem. Accordingly, the cave is sometimes also called Solomon’s quarries. To this day, the Freemasons conduct annual meetings in the main hall of the cave.
Touring Zedekiah’s Cave
The site is run by the municipality of Jerusalem and is open every day. Its main hall leads to Zedekiah’s Tears, a trickle of water dripping out of one of the walls. By Jewish tradition, this is Zedekiah’s continuous cry after realizing Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed.