“The ‘Third Wall’ in Jerusalem and the ‘Cave of the Kings’ (Josephus, The Jewish War V. 147),” Levant, Vol. 18 (1986), p. 121.


Josephus, The Jewish War (H. Thackeray, translator) Loeb Classical Library, V. 147.


In the 19th century, this magnificent (and as we now know) Hellenistic tomb was thought to be the burial place of the later kings of Judah. In 1863, a sarcophagus with an inscription was discovered in the tomb, which enabled it to be identified as the mausoleum of Queen Adiabene. Unfortunately, it is still called, to the confusion of tourists, the Tomb of the Kings.


Some have argued that Josephus is referring instead to the quarry known as Zedekiah’s cave under the north wall of the Old City. But this huge cavern is a quarry, not a burial cave.