In recent weeks, archaeologists and workers in Israel have unearthed eight steps at the Pool of Siloam as part of a major project that will reveal – for the first time in centuries – the very stones that Jesus and the men and women of Scripture once walked.
The project was announced late last year by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the Israel National Parks Authority and the City of David Foundation and involves excavating a site in the southern part of the City of David and within the Jerusalem Walls National Park area. The pool was built some 2,700 years ago during the reign of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:20) and allowed “bathers to sit and immerse themselves in the waters of the Pool,” according to an IAA news release. The Babylonians destroyed it around 600 B.C. before it was rebuilt, as recorded in Nehemiah.
Within Christianity, it is most famous for being the place where Jesus healed the blind man (John 9). John 9:7 says Jesus told the blind man, “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam.” The rest of the verse reads, “So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.”
Although some of the steps previously were excavated, the new project will “enable the complete exposure of the Pool of Siloam,” according to IAA.
In recent weeks, the excavation exposed eight additional steps that haven’t been seen in centuries.
“The ongoing excavations within the City of David – the historic site of Biblical Jerusalem – particularly of the Pool of Siloam and the Pilgrimage Road, serve as one of the greatest affirmations of that heritage and the millennia-old bond Jews and Christians have with Jerusalem,” Ze’ev Orenstein, director of International Affairs for the City of David Foundation, told Fox News Digital.
Eventually, the full Pool of Siloam will be opened for tourist access as “part of a route that will begin at the southernmost point of the City of David and culminate at the footsteps of the Western Wall,” IAA said.
“The half-mile running through the City of David, from the Pool of Siloam in the south, continuing along the Pilgrimage Road, up to the footsteps of the Western Wall, Southern Steps and Temple Mount, represents the most significant half-mile on the planet,” Orenstein said. “There is no half-mile anywhere on Earth which means more to more people – not to millions, but to billions – than the half-mile that is the City of David.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Robert Hoetink, pictured is the Pool of Siloam
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
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