The last known king of Judah was Zedekiah. He is said to have temporarily escaped the clutches of the invading Babylonians, In 586 BCE, the invaders captured Jerusalem, they massacred much of the population, ransacked the holy temple – leaving it in ruins. They are also said to have taken many temple artefacts home with them. What happened to king Zedekiah? There is a cave named after him in Jerusalem where he was rumoured to have made his escape from the surrounding hoards.
There are further claims that the cave led the king and his troops several miles to the east, close to the Dead Sea. Alas, the king was reputedly captured there, by the Plains of Jericho. His eyes were gauged out after seeing is only sons slaughtered before him.
There remains just two pertinent questions. What then remained of the seed of Judah, which could be traced back to king David, an ancestor of Zedekiah? The awaited Messiah is supposed to be an heir of this royal line. Another perplexing mystery surrounds the fate of the fabled Ark of the Covenant. Legend has it that Jeremiah the Prophet, a contemporary of king Zedekiah, might have smuggled the cherished Ark, or other temple artefacts along the same route as the king’s escape.
Therefore Zedekiah’s Cave might be the portal for much more than an amazing undiscovered tunnel, with unknown depths, between the Old City of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.
FOR RICHARD’S ATTENTION
Zedekiahs’ Cave mentioned in many contemporary sources i.e. Wyatt, Vendyl Jones etc., as being the portal for a) King Zedekiah’s escape route b) Tunnel to Qumran c) Jeremiah’s portal to start his journey to hide the Ark somewhere inside it.
Problems with above theory: 1) Zedekiah said to have set off his escape route from royal garden that relates to a palace. So far, the palaces of the kings of Judah are said to have existed south of the Old City. The location of Zedekiah’s Cave is much further away to the north of Jerusalem. 2) Gate between 2 walls is the recorded precise Biblical starting point for the king’s escape. The structure that Wyatt, Vendyl etc., thought was the gate between the walls was built many centuries after the time of the king and Jeremiah.
Clue 1: I read an account by the 19th Century explorer Rabbi Schwartz. He distinctly wrote that Zedekiah’s Cavern was a) located north of Zedekiah’s b) a tunnel exists there and c) Gigantic bones were found there. The discovery of those bones led to unrest by local Arabs, which resulted in the Turkish governor sealing the site in 1847.
Clue 2: Following the story of the bones, it led to a site known as Tomb of the Kings. This is situated very close to the Garden Tomb. Ron Wyatt did find evidence of an underground cavity around the Garden Tomb. Its closeness to the Tomb of the Kings allows for an underground passage to pass by both locations.
Clue 3: The problem still remained of associating this site with a king’s palace, which general consensus places much further to the south. I studied up on Jeremiah’s Grotto where he was temporarily held captive by king Zedekiah. Once again, records contradicted a popular new theory that placed the grotto at the site of the Garden Tomb. I carefully read accounts of his captivity and discovered that he was held in the courtyard of the king’s guard. But what could that mean if the king’s residence was only to the south?
Clue 4: I then stumbled upon a place known as the Garden of Uzza. It was the burial place of king Manasseh in 641 BC. He was Zedekiahs’ grandfather. Only sixty years separated the burial and escape route, so it seemed logical that Zedekiah would have known of this garden. But was it connected to a royal palace?
Clue 5: It next became known that Manasseh was also buried in the garden of his palace. But where could this Garden of Uzza be?
Clue 6: The final piece of the jigsaw came from reading an old archaeological report where two archaeologists claimed that the Tomb of the Kings, in the north of Jerusalem, was associated with the Garden of Uzza.
While much of the above is subject to highly disputed and controversial claims, it is none the less well documented, with authoritative sources being quoted.