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Pool of Bethesda

Today, the Pool of Bethesda is located in the Muslim quarter in Jerusalem.  The Pool of Bethesda has upper and lower levels.  The two pools were built in two different periods.  One was built around King Solomon’s time for the purpose of providing water for the Temple’s sacrificial rites.  The other was built about 2 BCE to increase the water supply.  Some said it was for ritual baths.  When Herod the Great expanded the walls in 1 CE, the pool was included inside the territory of the walls.

The Entrance

The Pool of Bethesda is situated next to the church of St. Anne.

The Garden

This is the garden outside the Church of St. Anne.  According to tradition, the Church was located at the place where Mary, Jesus’ mother was born.

The Five Porticoes

The area of the Pool of Bethesda is similar in size to a football field. This is an immense water collection system. According to the historical records, there were five porticoes in this pool. You can still see the remains clearly erected in the area.

The Five Porticoes

According to the Biblical Archeology Society on 10/3/2020, it was said that “When Jesus heals the paralytic in the Gospel of John, the Bethesda Pool is described as having five porticoes—a puzzling feature suggesting an unusual five-sided pool, which most scholars dismissed as an unhistorical literary creation. Yet when this site was excavated, it revealed a rectangular pool with two basins separated by a wall—thus a five-sided pool—and each side had a portico.”

John 5:1-91After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3 In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.”

Inside View

In Roman times, a statue of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing, was erected nearby.  

 A snake-entwined rod, used as a symbol of healing, led people to worship idol.

Ironically, the idol has mouth but do not speak, eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear, noses but do not smell, hands but do not feel, feet but do not walk, make no sound in their throats (Psalms 115:5).  But our living Son of God Jesus healed this paralyzed man by His authority (John 5:1-9).

Inner View

The depth of the pool is about 45 feet.

The View of the depth

Another view to see how deep this pool is.

water Collection

Water still collects in the lower areas.

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