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August 16    Scripture

Jerusalem: Pool of Bethesda
The Beth Zetha Pool was also called the Sheep Pool in ancient times because it was here that sacrificial offerings were cleansed and prepared for sacrifice at the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Pool of Bethesda in First Century Jerusalem The Pool of the Sheepmarket was just below the Fortress of Antonia. BETHES'DA (beth-ez'da; Gk. from Aram. Beth hesda, "house of grace"). A spring-fed pool with five porches where invalids waited their turn to step into the mysteriously troubled waters that were supposed to possess healing virtue (John 5:2-4). The last part of v. 3 and all of v. 4, which mention a periodic disturbance of the water by an angel, are placed in brackets in the NASB because there is not sufficient attestation by early texts. Here Jesus healed the man who was lame for thirty-eight years (5:5-9). The place is now thought to be the pool found during the repairs in 1888 near St. Anne's Church in the Bezetha quarter of Jerusalem not far from the Sheep's Gate and Tower of Antonia. It is below the crypt of the ruined fourth-century church and has a five-arch portico with faded frescoes of the miracle of Christ's healing. POOL OF BETHESDA BETHES'DA Heb. "beth Chesda" (house of mercy) Gk. from Aram. Beth hesda, "house of grace"). A spring-fed pool with five porches where invalids waited their turn to step into the mysteriously troubled waters that were supposed to possess healing virtue (Jn 5:2-4). The disturbance of the water by an angel, are placed in brackets in the NASB because there is not sufficient attestation by early texts. Here Jesus healed the man who was lame for thirty-eight years. The historicity of this site was once in question. Scholars like Dr. Alfred Loisy, claimed the detail of the five porticoes was invented. They said John made it up to represent the five books of Moses, which Jesus came to fulfill. But recent archaeological discoveries have once again confirmed the Biblical account. In 1956, digging at the ancient Biblical site of Bethesda, archaeologists unearthed a rectangular pool with a portico on each side and a fifth one dividing the pool into 2 separate compartments. The place is now thought to be the pool found during the repairs in 1888 near St. Anne's Church in the Bezetha quarter of Jerusalem not far from the Sheep's Gate and Tower of Antonia. It is below the crypt of the ruined fourth-century church and has a five-arch portico with faded frescoes of the miracle of Christ's healing. This model at the Holy Land Hotel is a Scholar's conception showing how the site may have looked in Jesus' day.
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