The healing powers of the Pool of Siloam

The ancient prehistorical Pool of Siloam is a pool mentioned in John 9, when Jesus cured a blind man with a mud mixture and told him to go wash it from his eyes. Recent excavations in the City of David area of Jerusalem have uncovered what may be the very pool where Jesus performed the miracle, just 50 meters from the traditional site.. Map.

Pool of Siloam
Pool of Siloam

The Pool of Siloam has been regarded as sacred by a variety of faiths since ancient times. Jews used water from the pool for purification rituals in the Temple during the Feast of Tabernacles, and it was probably the site of the pagan Shrine of the Four Nymphs built by Hadrian in 135 AD.

Christians were naturally attracted to the pool because of Jesus’ miraculous cure, and its healing properties are mentioned in the journals of the earliest pilgrims.

The Bordeaux pilgrim (333 AD) described the pool as having four porches. The Pool of Siloam visited by these Byzantine pilgrims was probably the one next to Hezekiah’s tunnel with that name (pictured at right), and may not have been the one visited by the blind man.

A church was built next to this “Byzantine pool” by the empress Eudokia around 450 AD, which was destroyed by the Persians in 614 AD. The tradition of the pool’s healing powers continued among the Arabs but its subsequent history is not entirely known.

Perhaps debris from higher up washed into the pool and villagers cleared it away periodically as they needed water. A mosque was built next to the pool in the 1890s, which still stands today.


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