In Jerusalem, a recent excavation project has revealed a remarkable archaeological discovery dating back over two millennia. This significant find is situated at the site mentioned in the New Testament as the place where Jesus miraculously healed a blind man.
Collaborating on this project are the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel National Parks Authority, and the City of David Foundation. Earlier this year, they announced their intention to open the Pool of Siloam, a biblical landmark revered by both Christians and Jews, to the public for the first time in 2,000 years.
In recent weeks, archaeologists have made noteworthy progress in their excavation efforts, unveiling a series of eight steps leading into the Pool. These steps have remained concealed for two millennia, dating back to the time when Jesus walked the earth.
Ze’ev Orenstein, director of International Affairs for the City of David Foundation, emphasized the historical and cultural significance of these excavations, stating, “The ongoing excavations within the City of David — the historic site of Biblical Jerusalem — particularly of the Pool of Siloam and the Pilgrimage Road, serve as one of the greatest affirmations of that heritage and the millennia-old bond Jews and Christians have with Jerusalem.” He added, “Not simply as a matter of faith, but as a matter of fact.”
Established in 1986, the City of David Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and developing the City of David and its surroundings while fostering connections among people of various faiths and backgrounds to ancient Jerusalem.
Orenstein further highlighted the significance of the City of David, noting, “The half-mile running through the City of David, from the Pool of Siloam in the south, continuing along the Pilgrimage Road, up to the footsteps of the Western Wall, Southern Steps and Temple Mount, represents the most significant half-mile on the planet. There is no half-mile anywhere on Earth which means more to more people — not to millions, but to billions — than the half-mile that is the City of David.”
The Pool of Siloam, initially constructed approximately 2,700 years ago as part of Jerusalem’s water system during the reign of King Hezekiah, is described in the Bible in the Book of Kings II, 20:20. Over time, it underwent various phases of construction and expanded to cover an area of 1.25 acres. The Gospel of John records that Jesus performed a miraculous healing at the Pool of Siloam, restoring sight to a man born blind.
While a small section of the pool has been accessible to the public for several years, the majority of the pool is currently undergoing excavation. It will be opened to the public either gradually or once the entire site has been unearthed.
Rev. Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, expressed the profound significance of this discovery, stating, “In the Pool of Siloam, we find evidence of history preserved for us, revealed at just the right time. Theologically, it affirms Scripture, geographically it affirms scripture, and politically it affirms Israel’s unquestionable and unrivaled link to Jerusalem. Some discoveries are theoretical. This one is undeniable. It is proof of the story of the Bible and of its people, Israel.”
The Pool’s revelation in 2004 during infrastructure work by the Hagihon water company, followed by subsequent archaeological surveys supervised by professors Roni Reich and Eli Shukron, exposed the northern and a portion of the eastern perimeter of the Pool of Siloam.
Ze’ev Orenstein concluded by acknowledging the ongoing challenges to Jerusalem’s biblical heritage, stating, “Whether in the halls of the United Nations, ongoing efforts by Palestinian leadership, or on university campuses, Jerusalem’s Biblical heritage is under assault.” He anticipates that in the coming years, visitors to the City of David will have the opportunity to witness this historical evidence firsthand and “see with their own eyes, touch with their own hands, and walk with their own feet upon the very stones their ancestors walked thousands of years ago, as they made their way to Jerusalem on pilgrimage.”
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