Pool of Shiloah, Jerusalem

4.0
The Pool of Siloam was 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.
Initial ConstructionThe Pool of Siloam was first built during the reign of Hezekiah, to provide a water supply inside the City to protect it from a siege. The pool was fed by the newly constructed Siloam tunnel. Prior to this, the Gihon Spring had emptied in a large open basin at its source, before being conveyed to the City by an aqueduct. This basin is sometimes known as the Upper Pool. This aqueduct was very vulnerable to attackers, so, under threat from the Assyrian king Sennacherib, Hezekiah sealed up the old outlet of the Gihon Spring and the Upper Pool, and built the underground Siloam tunnel in place of the aqueduct. During this period the Pool of Siloam was therefore sometimes known as the Lower Pool. It seems likely that during the Governorship of Nehemiah, the pool was also known as the King's Pool.
Second Temple PeriodThe pool was reconstructed no earlier than the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 BCE), although it is not clear whether this pool was in the same location as Hezekiah's pool — if so, all traces of the earlier construction have been destroyed. The pool remained in use during the time of Jesus. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus sent "a man blind from birth" in order to complete his healing. As a freshwater reservoir, the pool would have been a major gathering place for ancient Jews making religious pilgrimages to the city. Some scholars, influenced by Jesus commanding the blind man to wash in the pool, suggest that it was probably used as a mikvah (ritual bath),. However, mikvahs are usually much smaller in size, and if the pool were a mikvah, it would be the largest ever found by a substantial margin. Yoel Elitzur has proposed that the pool was used for swimming rather than ritual immersion.
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  • Outside the walls not far from St. Peter's Church in Gallicanto. This finger and mentioned several times in the Bible, it is believed that this is the place where Jesus healed the blind.
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  • This is next to the water tunnels in the city of David. The pool itself is a relatively recent archaeological find; however it is only partially excavated as the other parts sit under private properti...  more »
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