Siloam
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Siloam
Bible Meaning: Sent
Strong's Concordance #G4611

The pool of Siloam was created when King Hezekiah authorized a tunnel be built that would redirect the Gihon Spring that was Jerusalem's primary source of fresh water. Because of the spring's location, it was vulnerable to attack. If it were captured, it would aid the enemy while making it almost impossible to live in Jerusalem for an extended period (2Chronicles 32:1 - 4).

Hezekiah's tunnel redirected the spring from coming out toward the Kidron Valley to flowing toward the southwestern end of the old city of David. This made Jerusalem's water supply more secure and accessible to the people (2Kings 20:20). The place where the water exited the tunnel created the pool of Siloam.


Ancient notes

In 1880 A.D., an inscription was found carved into the hard tunnel wall that was close to the Siloam pool. Written in Hebrew, the six-line inscription, according to one translation, states the following.

"When the tunnel was driven through . . . each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through - the voice of a man calling to his fellow . . . And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed, each toward his fellow, axe against axe; and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1200 cubits, and the height of the rock above the heads of the quarrymen was 100 cubits."

Jesus' play on words

Jesus, a short time after the Feast of Tabernacles in 29 A.D., is in Jerusalem. Leaving the temple area after a heated confrontation with the Pharisees (John 8), he notices a man born blind. After covering the man's eyes with clay he tells him to wash in the pool of Siloam (John 8:6 - 7). The man does what he is told and is miraculously healed.

Location of Pool of Siloam Map
Location of Pool of Siloam

In a unique play on words, Jesus, who was sent by God, sends a blind man to a pool whose name, Siloam, means "sent" so that he can be made whole!

Important verses

2Chronicles 32:30
This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David (which created the Siloam pool). And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.

2Chronicles 33:14
Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah.

Luke 13:1 - 2, 4
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? . . . Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

John 9:1, 6 - 8, 11
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth . . .

When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and 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.

The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? . . .

He (the former blind man) 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.

Additional Studies


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Series Notes
Scripture references are based
on the King James translation.



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