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The Pool Of Siloam - City Of David Jerusalem

The Pool of Siloam City of David




The Pool of Siloam is a historic site located in the City of David Jerusalem. It is a rock-hewn pool that was used for ritual purification and was believed to have therapeutic properties. The pool is mentioned in the Old and New Testaments and is considered an important religious and cultural site for both Christians and Jews.

The Pool of Siloam in the Old Testament

The Pool of Siloam is associated with the water systems of Jerusalem providing water to the city in ancient times. It is referenced briefly in Nehemiah 3:15 while describing the building of walls around the city:

"Shallun son of Col-Hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He rebuilt it, put its roof over it, and installed its doors, bolts, and bars. He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Shelah near the king’s garden, as far as the steps going down from the City of David." (Nehemiah 3:15)

This describes infrastructure repairs around the Pool of Shelah, likely referring to the Pool of Siloam which stored waters flowing from the Gihon Spring outside the city walls through Hezekiah's Tunnel underneath the City of David.


The Pool of Siloam in the New Testament 


In the New Testament, the Pool of Siloam is most prominently featured in John 9:1-12, when Jesus miraculously cures a man's blindness by having him bathe in the Pool's waters:

“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth...He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. ‘Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the Pool of Siloam’. So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.” (John 9:1-7)

Archaeologists uncovered the remains of the ancient Pool of Siloam in 2004, confirming the historical existence of the sacred water site across Scripture where Jesus performed healing miracles.


So in both the Old Testament references to Jerusalem's water infrastructure and the New Testament account of Jesus curing blindness, the Pool of Siloam emerges as a key historical site anchoring bible narratives with evidence still resonating today. 


Siloam Pool Construction and Purpose


Although its exact history is unknown, the Pool of Siloam is considered to have been constructed between 516 BC and 70 AD, during the Second Temple period. Over 2 million gallons of water could be stored in the pool, which was built by chiseling a sizable cistern out of the rock. It was hydrated by a sophisticated network of aqueducts and channels that transported water from the Gihon Spring, which was situated more than half a mile away. The Gihon Spring was one of the most significant water sources in ancient Jerusalem, and the city's rulers were responsible for its protection.


The Pool of Siloam served as a significant location for religious ritual purification. The pool was connected to the Jewish festival of Sukkot, when Jews would visit the pool to carry out their purification rituals, according to Jewish tradition—the sick and weak used it for healing because it was thought to have therapeutic qualities. The pool is mentioned in the New Testament's account of the recovery of a man who had been born blind. Jesus told the man that if he went to the pool and washed his eyes in the water, he would be healed. Christians remember this incident as a miracle and view it as a pivotal moment in Jesus' life.


Early Christians made a lot of pilgrimages to the Pool of Siloam. The pool was surrounded by a complex of buildings, including a church and a hospital, during the Byzantine era. Many pilgrims traveled to Jerusalem to visit the site, which was regarded as one of the most significant pilgrimage sites. The magnificent church that Justinian I, the Byzantine emperor, erected over the pool in the sixth century was later destroyed by the Persians in 614 AD.


The Pool of Siloam was accidentally rediscovered in the 19th century. Robinson, a British engineer, found the location while looking for the Gihon Spring's source. The man recorded the discovery in his journal after being astounded by what he saw. The pool was quickly dug up and restored, and ever since, it has become a well-liked tourist attraction.


The Pool of Siloam is now regarded as one of Jerusalem's most significant cultural and historical sites. It is situated close to the Old City and the Temple Mount in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Visitors can access the pool by descending a staircase to the water's edge, where they can see the pool's ancient rock walls. It is a tranquil location with lush greenery and a serene ambiance.


I will sum up by saying that the Pool of Siloam is a crucial religious, cultural, and historical location that has played a significant role in Jerusalem's history for thousands of years. It has long been revered by Jews, Christians, and other cultures as a site of pilgrimage, healing, and religious significance. The pool continues to be one of Jerusalem's most popular tourist attractions, drawing tens of thousands of tourists annually who come to take in its beauty, explore its past, and consider its spiritual significance.





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