Monday, March 22, 2010

Pool of Siloam

Pool of Siloam (Hebrew sent or sending) is a landmark located at the lower part of the southern slope of Ophel, the original site of Jerusalem, but now just to the south east (and outside) the walls of Old City Jerusalem. The pool is a receptacle for the waters of the Gihon Spring, which were carried there by two aquaducts - the Middle Bronze Age Channel (a 20ft deep direct cutting that was covered with rock slabs, and dates from the Middle Bronze Age ~1800BC), and Hezekiah's Tunnel (a curving tunnel within the bedrock, dating from the reign of King Hezekiah ~700BC).

The pool is mentioned or alluded to several times in the Bible. Isaiah 8:6 mentions the pool's waters, while Isaiah 22:9 references the construction of Hezekiah's tunnel. For Christians, the most notable mention of the pool is as the location in which the Gospel of John places the act of Jesus healing a man who had been blind from birth (John 9). According to Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa, Jesus' presence at the pool could simply have been a result of the requirement to wash before attending the Temple; religious law of the period required Jews to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem at least once a year.





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