Siloam

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For the Arab village, see Silwan. For the ancient city and contemporary Jewish neighborhood, see City of David. For the town in the United States, see Siloam, Georgia.
Shiloah pool overlooking Silwan

Siloam (Hebrew: Shiloah; Arabic: Silwan) is an ancient site in Jerusalem, located in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, south of the Old City. According to the Hebrew Bible, Siloam was built around the "serpent-stone", Zoheleth, where Adonijah gave his feast in the time of Solomon. It is the site of the Pool of Siloam and the Tower of Siloam, both mentioned in the New Testament.

Antiquity[edit]

Silwan, late 19th century

Josephus describes the waters of Siloam as "sweet and abundant." [1] In the New Testament, the collapse of the Tower of Siloam is cited by Jesus as one of two examples where sudden, untimely death came to people who didn't necessarily deserve it more than most other sinful people.[Luke 13:1-5] According to the Gospel of John,[9:1-9] Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth. Jesus spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He then told the man, “Go wash yourself in the Pool of Siloam.” So the man went and washed and came back seeing.

A pool and church were built in Siloam by the Byzantine empress Eudocia (c. 400–460 CE) to commemorate the New Testament miracle.[2]

Siloam inscription[edit]

An inscription from Siloam, from the lintel of Shebna-yahu's tomb

The Siloam inscription was discovered in the water tunnel built during the reign of Hezekiah, in the early 7th century BC. The Siloam inscription is now preserved in the Archeological Museum of Istanbul, Turkey. Another important inscription found at Siloam is the lintel of Shebna-yahu's tomb (known as the Shebna Inscription), which is in the collections of the British Museum.

Archaeology[edit]

In 2004, archaeologists excavating the site for the Israel Antiquities Authority found biblical-era coins marked with ancient Jewish writing, pottery shards and a stone bottle cork that confirmed the identification of the site as the biblical Siloam Pool.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smith, Stelman. The Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names. Bridge Logos, 2009. ISBN 978-0882707518
  2. ^ "The Siloam Pool Where Jesus Healed the Blind Man". Biblicalarchaeology.org. 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  3. ^ Plushnick, Ramit. "Archaeologists identify remains of Siloam Pool, where it is believed Jesus miraculously gave sight to a blind man". Highbeam.com. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 

Coordinates: 31°46′12.29″N 35°14′10.17″E / 31.7700806°N 35.2361583°E / 31.7700806; 35.2361583