Biblical Siloam Pool next to Temple Mount to be fully excavated

The other events of Hezekiah's reign, and all his exploits, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought the water into the city, are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Yehuda

Kings

20:

20

(the israel bible)

December 27, 2022

2 min read

The ancient pool of Siloam, first mentioned in the biblical book of Kings II, will be fully excavated and opened to the public, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.

The structure is located just outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City to the southeast.

“The Pool of Siloam in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem is a site of historic, national and international significance,” said Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion. “After many years of anticipation, we will soon merit being able to uncover this important site and make it accessible to the millions of visitors visiting Jerusalem each year.”

During the Second Temple period, millions of pilgrims coming from outside of Jerusalem probably used the pool as a ritual bath (mikveh) before ascending to the Temple Mount, through what archaeologists have dubbed as the “Pilgrimage Road,” the city’s main street that led directly to the sanctuary.

By that point, the pool – which was the city’s main water source – had been renovated and expanded to reach its largest size, approximately 5 dunams (1¼ acres).

Rendering of the Pool of Siloam, Second Temple period. Credit: Shalom Kveller, City of David Archives.

According to the Bible, the structure was first built under King Hezekiah, some 2,700 years ago.

“The other events of Hezekiah’s reign, and all his exploits, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought the water into the city, are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Yehuda,” reads Kings II, 20:20.

A crucial archaeological discovery unearthed in 1880 also testifies to the importance of the site: an inscription in ancient Hebrew script from the 8th century BCE recording that the Gihon Spring’s water was diverted to the Pool during the reign of King Hezekiah.

The pool is also mentioned in the Gospel of John as the site where Jesus heals a blind man.

Excavated multiple times over the course of the decades, the pool was partially exposed in 2004 during works on Jerusalem’s water infrastructure. The IAA excavation that followed under the direction of Professors Roni Reich and Eli Shukron uncovered the northern perimeter, as well as a small portion of the eastern perimeter of the Pool of Siloam.

Visitors will now be able to observe the excavations and eventually visit the pool as part of a route starting at the southernmost point of the City of David and ending at the footsteps of the Western Wall. The same route that Jewish pilgrims walked 2,000 years ago.

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