John’s account of Jesus healing the man blind from birth (John 9:1-41) is one of the longest Gospel narratives of the miracles of Jesus and demonstrates the great compassion and power of Jesus in the life of a man who was, according to the Lord, not blind because of sin, but so that “God’s works might be revealed in him.” Jesus made mud with a mixture of his saliva and clay from the ground, and placed it on the man’s eyes, instructing him to “wash in the pool of Siloam.” Afterwards, the blind man was miraculously able to see for the first time in his life.
The location of the Pool of Siloam was originally believed to be adjacent to Hezekiah’s Tunnel, a narrow, rectangular pool that was used by men and women to wash and to “gain a blessing.” However, in 2004, another site was unearthed to reveal a possible different location for the Pool of Siloam. This second location lay undiscovered for centuries until a maintenance crew working on a drainage pipe just south of the Old City of Jerusalem found a series of large steps leading to an ancient pool dating from the First Century BC.
Interestingly, this second “pool”—in an area known as the King’s Garden—was fed by the Gihon Spring, the same water via Hezekiah’s Tunnel that flows from the smaller pool. Excavations also uncovered coins embedded in the cement dated to the time of Jesus.
Which site is the genuine Pool of Siloam? While the latest discovery of a second pool would suggest its authenticity, visitors to both pools can draw their own conclusions. To gain wider appreciation of these pools, consider a guided day tour of Jerusalem that includes the City of David.