Hershel Shanks

JERUSALEM’S PUBLIC POOLS. In 2005 archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron discovered the steps of the Roman-period Pool of Siloam at the southern tip of the City of David. Here, too, the Gospel of John locates one of Jesus’ healing miracles: the curing of the blind man (John 9:1–7). Like the Pool of Bethesda, the Siloam Pool has steps interspersed with broad landings. Excavator Reich identifies it as a large public mikveh, where pilgrims visiting Jerusalem for the major festivals could ritually bathe en masse before proceeding to the Temple Mount. The Pool of Bethesda likely functioned in the same way.