Saturday 26 October 2013

The four biblical pools

Rusticatio - the four biblical pools: the Upper Pool at Mamilla, the Lower Pool near Jaffa Gate (also called the Patriarch's Pool), Beth-zatha at St Anne's, and the Pool of Siloam in the City of David. The first two are mentioned in the Old Testament, the other two in the New. All four were enlarged by Herod, if I remember right.
Group in the Upper Pool of Mamilla

The true marvel of ancient engineering, however, is Hezekiah's Tunnel, built to connect the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam, and both enclosed within the then city walls by King Hezekiah. The tunnel, carved through solid rock, is 533 metres long, and seems to have taken 4 years to complete. Sennacherib came to Jerusalem after having conquered Lachish, but he approached the City from the North. To have approached it from the south, as is the hypothesis of some, would have been foolish in military terms, because his army would have been marching through the Gehenna and Kidron valleys flanking the City of David. All invaders have always attacked Jerusalem from the relatively easier North. The minimalists, says Vernet, are quite wrong when they place the Upper Pool (associated with the prophecy of Isaiah) in the City of David.

Inside the Tunnel

The tunnel again

Another view of the tunnel

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