JERUSALEM – The Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel National Parks Authority and the City of David Foundation announced days before the new year that the Pool of Siloam, a biblical site cherished by Christians and Jews , will be open to the public for the first time in 2,000 years in the near future.
“The digging of the pool of Siloam is very important to Christians around the world,” American pastor John Hagee, founder and president of Christians United for Israel, told Fox News Digital. “It was in this place that Jesus healed the blind man (John: 9), and it is in this place that, 2,000 years ago, Jewish pilgrims were cleansed before entering the Second Temple.
The Pool of Siloam and the Way of Pilgrimage, both located within the City of David, are among the most inspiring archaeological claims in the Bible.
“Christians are deeply blessed by the work of the City of David and Israel’s enduring commitment to ensuring religious freedom for all who visit and live in the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem, Israel’s undivided capital.”
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Ze’ev Orenstein, director of international affairs for the City of David Foundation in Jerusalem, told Fox News Digital: “One of the most significant sites that affirms the biblical heritage of Jerusalem, not only as a matter of faith, but as a matter of fact … of importance to billions around the world, it will become fully accessible for the first time in 2,000 years.”
The Pool of Siloam is located in the southern part of the City of David and within the area of the Jerusalem Walls National Park.
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A small section of the pool, which has been completely excavated, has been accessible to the public for several years. The vast majority of the pool is being excavated and will be opened gradually or once the entire site has been excavated. The archeological project to fully excavate the pool will take several years. There is a floor plan for pool visitors to view the excavation in progress.
“Despite ongoing efforts by the United Nations and the Palestinian leadership to erase Jerusalem’s heritage, in a few years the millions who visit the City of David annually will be able to literally walk in the footsteps of the Bible , connecting with the roots of their heritage and identity,” noted Orenstein.
The pool was first built approximately 2,700 years ago as part of Jerusalem’s water system in the 8th century BC. The construction was developed during the reign of King Hezekiah as quoted in the Bible in the Book of Kings II, 20:20, according to the two Israelis. agencies and the City of David Foundation.
According to estimates, the Pool of Siloam went through many stages of construction and reached a size of 1¼ acres.
“When I think of this news, I think of another phrase from the Hebrew Bible: ‘My ears have heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you,'” Rev. Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, told Fox News Digital.
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“This news means that one of the most important archaeological discoveries in history will soon be visible to visitors from all over the world. It will affirm everything they believe. Having faith is part of worshiping God, but faith alone is not necessary to believe. There are historical facts that testify to the truth of Scripture.”
Moore, who is on the advisory board of The Combat Antisemitism Movement, added: “In the pool of Siloam, we find evidence of history preserved for us, revealed at the right time. This is a truly historic event. Theologically, it is it affirms Scripture, geographically affirms history, and politically affirms Israel’s unquestionable and unmatched bond with Jerusalem. Some discoveries are theoretical. This one is undeniable. It is proof of the history of the Bible and its people, Israel.”
A stroke of luck revealed the pool in 2004 when infrastructure work carried out by the Hagihon water company uncovered some of the pool’s steps. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), under the supervision of professors Roni Reich and Eli Shukron, launched a survey. As a result, the northern perimeter, as well as a small section of the eastern perimeter of the Pool of Siloam, was discovered.
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“The perimeter of the pool was built as a series of steps, which allowed bathers to sit and immerse themselves in the waters of the pool,” according to the IAA.
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said: “The Pool of Siloam in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem is a site of historical, national and international importance. After many years of waiting, we soon deserve to be able to discover this important site . . . and make it accessible to the millions of visitors who visit Jerusalem every year.”