The Pool of Siloam

Submit questions  -  New Articles
Picture of Jerusalem's Pool of Siloam
Location - 31° 46' 14" N, 35° 14' 6" E (31.770556, 35.235)
Holy Land Photos

The pool of Siloam was originally made by King Hezekiah, ruler of the Kingdom of Judah from 715 to 686 B.C. (2Chronciles 32:30). It was constructed so that the city of Jerusalem, naturally deficient in water, would be better able to survive a siege from the mighty Assyrian Empire. It was the Assyrians under King Shalmaneser V who, in 723 B.C., conquered the Northern Ten Tribes of Israel's capital at Samaria and took the people captive.

20. And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool (Siloam) and a conduit . . . (2Kings 2:20, HBFV).

The Biblical pool of Siloam was found in Autumn 2004 when workers, digging for a new sewer line, uncovered several stone steps. Archaeologists were immediately notified when the steps were found. Subsequent excavations confirmed the authenticity of the location. Before this discovery it was believed that a Byzantine reconstruction, less than 70 yards away, was the location mentioned in the Gospel of John.

The pool is located on the southern slope of the city of David (the original site of Jerusalem) and is just outside the walls of the Old City. It was fed by the waters of the Gihon springs, which were carried to it by two aqueducts. The related tower, mentioned only in the book of Luke (Luke 13:4), is believed to have been part of the city wall near the waters.

Water from the pool, combined with the ashes of a red heifer, was used by temple priests to perform a unique cleansing ceremony (Numbers 19). According to Jewish tradition, the water was retrieved for the religious rite by children riding bulls.

Pictures - Maps
from Life of Christ

Mary and Joseph's Journey  -  Nazareth

Events in Jesus' Ministry

Judean Wilderness

Capernaum  -  Sermon on the Mount

The pool called Siloam, mentioned in John chapter 9, is different from the one mentioned in John 5 (called Bethesda) where Jesus healed a man who was handicapped for thirty-eight years (see John 5:1 - 9). As he and his disciples pass a man blind from birth, the disciples ask whether the man is being punished by God for his own sins or those of his parents. Jesus' answer is quite revealing.

"Neither did this man sin, nor his parents; rather, this blindness came so that the works of God might be manifested in him (John 9:3, HBFV).

God allowed the man to be born with a genetic defect or deformity, which caused blindness, so that he could be used as an example of the Eternal's great power! Christ puts clay on the man's eyes and then commands him to wash in Siloam's pool. After the man washes he miraculously is able to see!

Tradition states that on the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles (known as the Last Great Day), a golden vessel was filled with water from the pool of Siloam and taken to the temple. When the water reached the altar it was poured out before God with much rejoicing. Jesus referred to this tradition when he stated, on the Last Great Day, that from those who have God's spirit would come 'rivers of living water' (John 7:37 - 38).

Additional Study Materials
The Seven Hills of Jerusalem Map
Timeline of Jesus' Last Days
Jesus' ministry after resurrection
Map of Ancient Jerusalem

The Pool of Siloam

Holy Bible, a Faithful Version

© The Bible Study Site