Pool of Siloam

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Pool of Siloam (Hebrew: בריכת השילוח‎) (Breikhat Hashiloah) is a rock-cut pool on the southern slope of the City of David, the original site of Jerusalem, located outside the walls of the Old City to the southeast. The pool was fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring, carried there by two aqueducts.

Contents

History

The Pool of Siloam is mentioned several times in the Bible. Isaiah 8:6 mentions the pool's waters, while Isaiah 22:9 ff. references the construction of Hezekiah's tunnel. For Christians, the pool has additional significance as it is mentioned in the Gospel of John, as the location to which Jesus sent a man who had been blind from birth, as part of the act of healing him.[1]

A substantial remodeling of a nearby pool, thought to be the Siloam Pool, was constructed in the 5th century, under Byzantine direction, and is said to have been built at the behest of the Empress Aelia Eudocia. This pool, having been somewhat abandoned and left to ruin, partly survives to the present day; surrounded by a high wall of stones on all sides (except for an arched entrance to Hezekiah's tunnel – which was only rediscovered in the 19th century).

The lower pool

Ancient records report that during the Second Temple period, there was a lower pool. In the Autumn of 2004, workers making excavations for the Ir David Foundation, for a sewer near the present-day pool uncovered stone steps, and almost immediately Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron (prominent archaeologists) were on the scene; it very quickly became obvious to them that these steps were likely to have been part of the Second Temple period pool. Excavation swiftly commenced and confirmed the initial supposition; the find was formally announced on August 9, 2005 and received substantial international media attention.[2][3] The pool is less than 70 yards from the edge of the Byzantine reconstruction of a pool previously thought to be the Siloam Pool. This small pool collected some of the water as it emptied there at the southern end of Hezekiah's tunnel. The water continued on through a channel into the recently discovered Pool of Siloam. The source of the water is from the Gihon Spring located at the northern end of Hezekiah's tunnel on the eastern side of the City of David. An ancient pool (Upper Pool) existed near the Gihon Spring but was no longer used after King Hezekiah redirected the waters to the western side of the city.[4]

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