Siloah, Siloam

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 10
A pool on the south of Jerusalem near the west slope of the Kidron valley. It is mentioned in the Old Testament as being “by the king’s garden” when the walls of Jerusalem were being rebuilt by Nehemiah (Neh. 3:1515But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Col-hozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David. (Nehemiah 3:15)). In Isaiah 8:66Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son; (Isaiah 8:6), under the name of SHILOAH, it is used symbolically: the people refused its waters that went softly, preferring Syria and the king of Israel: the strong waters of Assyria should sweep them away. In the New Testament the man born blind, after being anointed with clay, was sent to wash at Siloam, which signifies “sent.” Christ being the Sent One, we are figuratively taught that light comes when Christ in humiliation is known as the Sent One of God (John 9:7,117And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. (John 9:7)
11He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. (John 9:11)
The pool still exists under the name of the Birket Silwan. It is supplied with water from a fountain higher up the hill, called the Virgin’s Fountain. Several travelers have passed through the passage that connects the two, in some parts walking erect, and sometimes stooping, sometimes kneeling, and sometimes crawling on all fours. A short inscription was found at the pool, but which merely said that the passage was begun at both ends simultaneously, and met in the middle. The letters are ancient, which has led to the supposition that the passage was made in the days of Hezekiah, who made alterations in the watercourses (2 Chron. 32:3-43He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him. 4So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? (2 Chronicles 32:3‑4)). The flow of the water is intermitting, as if regulated by an underground siphon. In the winter the water rises three or four times a day, but in the summer only once in several days. The superfluous water flows in a channel cut in the rock to the gardens below. The pool is about 53 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 19 feet deep.