The Pool of Siloam

“After saying this, he (Jesus) spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.” –John 9:6-7

The pool of Siloam was discovered in 2005. Before its discovery scholars, if you can call them that, said that there wasn’t a real pool of Siloam and that John was only writing about a religious concept in his Gospel. These “scholars” believed that the pool of Siloam was only a theological concept and not a real historical location. Well, once again archaeology has proven the Bible to be completely reliable. Not only that, John’s description of the pool and location are exactly where the archaeologist discovered this pool. The pool was feed by the tunnel that King Hezekiah had built in the 8th Century BC because of his fear of an Assyrian siege of Jerusalem. The tunnel traveled 1,750 feet from the Gihon Spring outside the walls and under the City of David to reach its destination at Siloam. The pool was originally used for storing fresh water if an army were to camp around the walls of Jerusalem, cutting off the food and water supply to the city. The pool was updated in the 1st Century AD and was believed to be repurposed as a Jewish ritual bath, which is called a Mikveh. Jewish law required flowing water, but the pool of Siloam qualified because it came for a spring that flowed into the pool. This would have been the pool that Jesus performed the miracle of healing the man born blind. Siloam would have been a public gathering place near the Temple for Jewish pilgrims, who by Jewish law were required to travel to Jerusalem once a year. From the context of John, we can see that Jesus was fleeing the Temple courts from the priests and large crowd after He revealed who He was very famously saying, “Before Abraham was born, I AM.” It was these words that made the priests and crowd very angry at Jesus for claiming that He was God. As He passed by the pool of Siloam, the disciples asked him about the blind man and Jesus had an opportunity to show who He was in a very tangible way through a healing that would hopefully silence that anger that had been aroused. Because of the pool’s location and public purpose, the whole of Jerusalem would have known about Jesus’ miracle very quickly. It is no wonder that that very day the priests had already heard about what had happened.

Blessings,

Pastor Joel