At the southern end of the city of David (Biblical Jerusalem), you will find a special place known as the Pool of Siloam.
This rock-cut pool is located at the southern end of the city of David and its water comes from the Gihon spring via a tunnel (almost 1800 ft long).
The Pool of Siloam is a landmark you can not miss when visiting the old city of Jerusalem, especially if you are trying to follow the steps of our Lord Jesus.
The Pool of Siloam in the Holy Bible
Like many sites in the Holy Land, the origins of the pool can be traced back all the way to king Hezekiah of Judea from the Iron age(late eighth-century B.C).
We are told in the old testament that King Hezekiah anticipated a siege of the city by the Assyrian Empire.
In order to protect the city’s water supply during these dark days, the king commenced a strategic engineering project that would be an impressive one for that time:
He ordered the digging of a 1,750-foot tunnel under the city of David to bring water from the Gihon spring, which lay outside the city wall, inside the city to a pool on the opposite side of the ridge.
In the years followed that event, Hezekiah’s Tunnel continued to carry freshwater to the city, and different pools were built there, including the Pool of Siloam.
In the Gospel of John, we are told that it was there, just beside the pool, where Jesus had performed on of his famous miracles, restoring the eyesight of a blind man by “simply” making clay with his spittle and spreading it on the man’s eye(John 9:7).
“Go wash in the pool of Siloam”… So he went and washed, and came back seeing”
During the time of Christ, the pool was mainly used as a Mikveh for ritual bathing. It could have also been an important source of fresh drinking water for the inhabitants of the city as it was fed by waters from the Gihon spring.
The naturally flowing spring water would have qualified the Pool of Siloam as a drinking water source.
During the Byzantine era in the Holy Land, a church commemorating this important event was commissioned and built over what was believed to be the original location of the pool.
It was named “Our Savior, the illuminator” and the sick would come there to bathe in the Holy Water in the hope to find a cure for their sickness, and misfortune.
The uncovering of the Pool
During repairing work of a waterpipe south of the Temple Mount in the City of David, the archaeologists Eli Shukron and Ronny Reich found two stone steps from ancient times.
Later, further excavations had revealed, that they were part of a monumental pool from the times of the Second temple – the same period or Lord Jesus had lived.
This structure was 225 feet long with a trapezoidal shape, with the widening end pointing toward the Tyropoeon valley.
The pool stood in adjacent to an area which was known as the King’s Garden, but become a prominent sacred Christian site for the event when Jesus healed the blind man.