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January 24    Scripture



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Bible Cities: Siloam
Ancient Siloam

Map of Ancient Siloam

THE village of Siloam is situated in the valley of the Kidron below the south-east angle of the walls of Jerusalem. It is noted for its remarkable fountain. The water now issues from an arched basin, and flows into a lower basin, which is supposed to be the one into which our Lord sent the blind man. The water is said to be of a rather disagreeable taste. The Fountain of Siloam is a considerable distance up the valley, and is called the Fountain of the Virgin. From this point the water runs through a subterraneous channel until it finds its way into the pool, which is 53 feet long and 18 wide. There is a flight of steps down to the pool, which is faced with stones, and has several columns at the side. The water from the pool flows through a channel in the rock out into the gardens beyond. It is very curious that the water of Siloam ebbs and flows, but not at regular intervals. - Ancient Geography

Pool of Siloam in Easton's Bible Dictionary sent or sending. Here a notable miracle was wrought by our Lord in giving sight to the blind (John 9:7-11). It has been identified with the Birket Silwan in the lower Tyropoeon valley, to the south-east of the hill of Zion. The water which flows into this pool intermittingly by a subterranean channel springs from the "Fountain of the Virgin" (q.v.). The length of this channel, which has several windings, is 1,750 feet, though the direct distance is only 1,100 feet. The pool is 53 feet in length from north to south, 18 feet wide, and 19 deep. The water passes from it by a channel cut in the rock into the gardens below. (See EN-ROGEL -T0001214.) Many years ago (1880) a youth, while wading up the conduit by which the water enters the pool, accidentally discovered an inscription cut in the rock, on the eastern side, about 19 feet from the pool. This is the oldest extant Hebrew record of the kind. It has with great care been deciphered by scholars, and has been found to be an account of the manner in which the tunnel was constructed. Its whole length is said to be "twelve hundred cubits;" and the inscription further notes that the workmen, like the excavators of the Mont Cenis Tunnel, excavated from both ends, meeting in the middle. Some have argued that the inscription was cut in the time of Solomon; others, with more probability, refer it to the reign of Hezekiah. A more ancient tunnel was discovered in 1889 some 20 feet below the ground. It is of smaller dimensions, but more direct in its course. It is to this tunnel that Isaiah (8:6) probably refers. The Siloam inscription above referred to was surreptitiously cut from the wall of the tunnel in 1891 and broken into fragments. These were, however, recovered by the efforts of the British Consul at Jerusalem, and have been restored to their original place.

Pool of Siloam in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Shelach in Nehemiah 3:15, KJV "Siloah," "Shiloah" (Isaiah 8:16), Siloam (John 9:7; John 9:11). Now Silwan. Every other pool has lost its Bible designation. Siloam, a small suburban tank, alone retains it. It is a regularly built pool or tank (bereekah) near the fountain gate, the stairs that go down from the city of David (S. of the temple mountain), the wall above the house of David, the water gate, and the king's garden (compare Nehemiah 12:37 with Nehemiah 3:15). Josephus (B. J. 5:9, section 4; 4, section 1; 6, section 1; 12, section 2) places it at the end of the valley of Tyropeon, outside the city wall where the old wall took a bend eastward, and facing the hill on which was the rock Peristereon to the E. The adjoining village Kefr Silwan on the other side of Kedron also retains the name Siloam. Silwan stands at the southern extremity of the temple mountain, known as "the Ophel." It is partly hewn out of the rock, partly built with masonry, measuring 53 ft. long, 18 wide, 19 deep. A flight of steps descends to the bottom. Columns extend along the side walls from top to bottom. The water passes hence by a channel cut in the rock, and covered for a short way, into the gardens below which occupy the site of "the lower pool" or "the king's pool" (Nehemiah 2:14). The fountain of the Virgin above is connected by a zigzag conduit, 1,750 ft. long cut through the rock, with a reservoir, an oblong basin, decreasing. in size as it proceeds from 15 to three feet, in a cave entered by a small rock hewn archway. From this artificial cave at the west end of Siloam an open channel in the rock conveys the water into Siloam. The Virgin's fountain (where the lamp here figured was found), 15 ft. long by six wide at the bottom, is on the opposite side of the valley from the Jewish burying ground where Kedron turns W. It is near the beginning of the projection of the temple hill called "Ophel." It is named now also "the fountain of the mother of steps" ('Ayin 'um 'ed durag), because it is reached by two flights of 26 descending steps cut in the rock. It is a natural syphon, so that at times it is quite dry and in a short time rises beyond its ordinary limits. The term kolumbeethra in John 9:7 implies "a pond for swimming." R. Ishmael says of its source, the Virgin's fountain, that there the high priest used to plunge. It was to Siloam that a Levite was sent with the golden pitcher on "the last and great day of the feast" of tabernacles. From Siloam he brought the water to be poured over the sacrifice in memory of the water at Rephidim. To it Jesus alluded when standing in the temple He cried, "if any man thirst let him come unto Me and drink," etc. (John 7:37-39). He "sent" the blind man to wash the clay off his eyes in Siloam, which means "sent," and he returned seeing. Messiah "the sent One" (Luke 4:18; John 10:36) answers to the type Siloam the sent water (Job 5:10; Ezekiel 31:4) that healed; He flows gently, softly, and healing, like Siloam fertilising and beautifying, not turbid as the winter torrent Kedron, nor sweeping destructively all before it as Euphrates (symbol of Assyria), but gliding on in its silent mission of beneficence (Isaiah 8:6; Isaiah 42:1-4; Isaiah 40:11; 2 Corinthians 10:1). Siloam was called so from sending its waters to refresh the gardens below, still the greenest spot about Jerusalem, and abounding in olives, figs, and pomegranates. The water for the ashes of the red heifer also was taken from Siloam (Dach Talm. Babyl. 380). Into Siloam probably Hezekiah led by a subterranean aqueduct down the Tyropoeon valley the waters on the other side of the city when "he stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon and brought it straight down to the W. side of the city of David" (2 Chronicles 32:30).

Siloam in Naves Topical Bible Also called SHILOAH and SILOAH -A pool in Jerusalem Ne 3:15; Isa 8:6 -Jesus directs the blind man whom he had healed to wash in Joh 9:1-11 -Tower of, in the wall of Jerusalem, falls and kills eighteen people Lu 13:4

Siloam in Smiths Bible Dictionary (sent). Shiloach, Isa 8:6 Siloah, Ne 3:15 Siloam, Joh 9:11 Siloam is one of the few undisputed localities in the topography of Jerusalem; still retaining its old name (with Arabic modification, Silwan), while every other pool has lost its Bible designation. This is the more remarkable as it is a mere suburban tank of no great size, and for many an age not particularly good or plentiful in its waters, though Josephus tells us that in his day they were both "sweet and abundant." A little way below the Jewish burying-ground, but on the opposite side of the valley, where the Kedron turns slightly westward and widens itself considerable, is the fountain of the Virgin, or Um'ed'Deraj, near the beginning of that saddle-shaped projection of the temple hill supposed to be the Ophel of The Bible and the Ophlas of Josephus. At the back part of this fountain a subterraneous passage begins, through which the water flows, and through which a man may make his way, sometimes walking erect, sometimes stooping, sometimes kneeling, and sometime crawling, to Siloam. This conduit is 1708 feet long, 16 feet high at the entrance, but only 16 inches at its narrowest tributaries which sent their waters down from the city pools or temple wells to swell Siloam. It enters Siloam at the northwest angle; or rather enters a small rock-cut chamber which forms the vestibule of Siloam, about five or six feet broad. To this you descend by a few rude steps, under which the water pours itself into the main pool. This pool is oblong, about 52 feet long, 18 feet broad and 19 feet deep; but it is never filled, the water either passing directly through or being maintained at a depth of three or four feet. The present pool is a ruin, with no moss or ivy to make it romantic; its sides fallen in; its pillars broken; its stair a fragment; its walls giving way; the edge of every stone was round or sharp by time; in some parts mere debris, though around its edges wild flowers, and among other plants the caper trees, grow luxuriantly. The present pool is not the original building; it may be the work of crusaders, perhaps even improved by Saladin, whose affection for wells and pools led him to care for all these things. Yet the spot is the same. This pool, which we may call the second, seems anciently to have poured its waters into a third before it proceeded to water the royal gardens. This third is perhaps that which Josephus calls "Solomon's pool," and which nehemiah calls the "king's pool." Ne 2:14 The expression in Isa 8:6 "waters of Shiloah that go softly," seems to point to the slender rivulet, flowing gently though once very profusely out of Siloam into the lower breadth of level where the king's gardens, or royal paradise, stood, and which is still the greenest spot about the holy city. Siloam is a mere spot even to the Moslem; much more to the Jew. It was to Siloam that the Levite was sent with the golden pitcher on the "last and great day of the feast" of Tabernacles; it was from Siloam that he brought the water which was then poured over the sacrifice, in memory of the water from the rock of Rephidim; and it was to this Siloam water that the Lord pointed when he stood in the temple on that day and cried, "If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink." The Lord sent the blind man to wash, not in, as our version has it, but at (eis), the pool of siloam; for it was the clay from his eyes that was to be washed off.

Siloam in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE si-lo'-am, si-lo'-am, si-lo'-a, she'-la, shi-lo'-a: (1) me ha-shiloach (shiloach or shilloach is a passive form and means "sent" or "conducted") "the waters of (the) Shiloah" (Isa 8:6). (2) berekhath ha-shelach, "the pool of (the) Shelah" (the King James Version "Siloah") (Neh 3:15). (3) ten kolumbethran tou (or ton) Siloam, "the pool of Siloam" (Jn 9:7). (4) ho purgos en to Siloam, "the tower in Siloam" (Lk 13:4). 1. The Modern Silwan: Although the name is chiefly used in the Old Testament and Josephus as the name of certain "waters," the surviving name today, Silwan, is that of a fairly prosperous village which extends along the steep east side of the Kidron valley from a little North of the "Virgin's Fountain" as far as Bir Eyyub. The greater part of the village, the older and better built section, belongs to Moslem fellahin who cultivate the well-watered gardens in the valley and on the hill slopes opposite, but a southern part has recently been built in an extremely primitive manner by Yemen Jews, immigrants from South Arabia, and still farther South, in the commencement of the Wady en Nar, is the wretched settlement of the lepers. How long the site of Silwan has been occupied it is impossible to say. The village is mentioned in the 10th century by the Arab writer Muqaddasi. The numerous rock cuttings, steps, houses, caves, etc., some of which have at times served as chapels, show that the site has been much inhabited in the past, and at one period at least by hermits. The mention of "those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them" (Lk 13:4) certainly suggests that there was a settlement there in New Testament times, although some writers consider that this may have reference to some tower on the city walls near the Pool of Siloam. 2. The Siloam Aqueduct: Opposite to the main part of Silwan is the "Virgin's Fount," ancient GIHON (which see), whose waters are practically monopolized by the villagers. It is the waters of this spring which are referred to in Isa 8:5,6: "Forasmuch as this people have refused the waters of Shiloah that go softly, .... now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the River." The contrast between the little stream flowing from the Gihon and the great Euphrates is used as a figure of the vast difference between the apparent strength of the little kingdom of Judah and the House of David on the one hand, and the might of "Rezin and Remaliah's son" and "all his glory." Although it is quite probable that in those days there was an open streamlet in the valley, yet the meaning of Shiloah, "sent" or "conducted," rather...

Siloam Scripture - John 9:11 He 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.

Siloam Scripture - John 9:7 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.

Siloam Scripture - Luke 13:4 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?

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