Ein Rogel

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Nehemiah's Well in ca. 1870.

Ein Rogel (Hebrew: ‛êyn rôgêl עין רגל) was a spring on the outskirts of Jerusalem mentioned in the Bible as the hiding-place of David's spies, Jonathan and Ahimaaz (2 Sam. 17:17). It may also have been a sacred place in pre-Israelite times.[1] In English it also appears sometimes as Enrogel and En-rogel.

History[edit]

According to the Bible, Ein Rogel lay close to the stone Zoheleth where Adonijah held a sacrificial feast when he attempted to assert his claims to the throne (1 Kings 1:9). In later times it was one of the boundary marks between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:7, 18:16). The obviously sacred character of the spring suggests that it is the same as the Dragon Well of Neh. 2:13.[1]

The meaning of the name and its identification are uncertain.[1] The interpretation 'Fuller’s Well' does not bear the mark of antiquity. It is probable that, like Zoheleth, the original name had some sacred or mythic significance.[1]

Two identifications of the place have been suggested.

(1) Virgin’s fountain (‘Ain Sitti Maryam), later ‘Ain Umm ed-Deraj, ‘the only real spring close to Jerusalem,' exactly opposite to which lies ez-Zehweleh, perhaps Zoheleth; and
(2) Bir Ayub, also known as the Well of Nehemiah, at the junction of W. er-Rababi and Kidron. However, Bir-Ayub is a well, not a spring, and lies too far from ez-Zehweleh, although it lies near a large stone in Siloam village called Zehwillat. As Bir Ayub is in full view of the city, it does not suit the context of 2Sam. 17:17, and its antiquity is uncertain.

The chief points in favour of (1) (which Baed. identifies with Gihon spring) are: its antiquity and the evidence of Josephus. (Anti. vii. 14 4), who places the well in the royal gardens. Other arguments are based upon the fact that in later times the well was used by fullers.[1]

Ein Rogel is mentioned in "Topography of Jerusalem," a document found in the Cairo Geniza that describes how the water breaks through to the riverbed after a winter of plentiful rainfall.[2]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]