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Pool of Siloam

Steps Leading Down To The Pool of Siloam

herodian_road After putting mud in his eyes, John 9 tells us that the blind man to go down the Pool of Siloam and wash his eyes. That man would have walked down this Roman road leading down to the area of the Pool of Siloam. In the centuries since then, this road has been buried and buildings have been built on top of it. Only within the past few years have visitors been able to walk upon this road.

Are you interested in traveling to Israel? Join me this October for a 12-day Bible Study tour of this beautiful land. See the Israel Tour Page for an itinerary and pricing details.

Pool of Siloam

pool_of_siloam In John 9, we read a wonderful story in the life of Jesus. While walking through Jerusalem, He comes across a blind man. Feeling compassion on the man, Jesus wipes mud on the man's eyes and asks him to go and wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam. These steps, on the northern edge of the pool, lead down to the water's edge. (Tomorrow, we will post another picture relating to this story.)

Are you interested in traveling to Israel? Join me this October for a 12-day Bible Study tour of this beautiful land. See the Israel Tour Page for an itinerary and pricing details.

Hezekiah's Tunnel

3_Hezekiah_Tunnel_2 As Hezekiah prepared for Sennacherib’s approach at the end of the 8th century, he knew the city would need water supplies to survive the inevitable siege. II Kings 20:20 notes his solution, which is evident today in the engineering marvel called Hezekiah’s Tunnel (or, Siloam Tunnel). The tunnel is 533 m long with a 0.6% gradient from the mouth of the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam, where it empties.

Walking Through The City

Walking Through The City


Today, we walked. And then we would walk some more. Then, we ate lunch. Then, we walked some more. We are all tired, but we'll never forget the memories that we made today. We started the morning early. To get access to the Temple Mount, you need to get up early and get in line. They open the gates at 7:30, so we left our hotel around 6:45. By 7:00, we were inline and by 7:45, we were on the Temple Mount. We walked around the outside of the Al-Asqa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. We discussed the Biblical events that occurred in this location (Solomon's Temple, Second Temple, the Day of Pentecost, etc).

church_of_holyAfter exiting the Temple Mount, we took a short visit to the Pool of Bethesda before making our way to the Via Dolorosa. There is considerable discussion about whether or not this is actually the path Jesus walked on the way to the cross (I think not), but it is a beautiful way to walk through the Muslim and Christian Quarters of the Old City. We finally arrived at the Church of the Holy Sepulture, which is the traditional location of Calvary.

After lunch and a bit of shopping, we continued through the Muslim spice market to the Western Wall. This original wall from the Second Temple is always something that everyone will remember.

Our next stop was at the Davidson Archaeological Center where we viewed some of the excavations going on just south of the Temple Mount. This also included the opportunity to sit on the First Century steps. From this location, you have a wonderful view of the City of David sitting just to your south.

As we toured the City of David, we were able to visit the large stone structure, which is possibly the palace of King David. From there, we made our way to the Gihon Spring. The group that runs this excavation and park have made tremendous upgrades to the Gihon Spring viewing area since I have been there. It was wonderful.

inscriptionAfterwards, our group split up and some of us walked through Hezekiah's Tunnel. When the Assyrians were about to attack Jerusalem, King Hezekiah redirected the water flow from the Gihon Spring so that the water would run into the walled city. Water still flows through this tunnel today. The tunnel is about 500 meters and built through solid bedrock. It takes about 30 minutes to walk and it was refreshing to have the cool water rush across your feet.

We ended our day by walking (yes, walking again) up the Herodian channel from the Pool of Siloam and the Temple Mount.

Overall, it was a great day and I'm enjoying so much being with all of these people on the tour. It is quickly coming to a close. Tomorrow, we head to the Shephelah, one of my favorite parts of this land. Until then....

2012 Israel Trip Favorite Picture - Part I

2012 Israel Trip Favorite Picture - Part I


In an earlier post, I spoke about my favorite picture from my first trip to Israel in 2010. I've labeled this post "Part I" because I actually have a few pictures that are my favorites from this most recent trip. I'll talk about those in some later posts. This first picture was not chosen because of it composition or it's ability to retell a Biblical story. I chose it because of what I had to do to get it. En Rogel is mentioned a few times in the Bible, but is mostly known as the location of Adonijah's feast in 1 Kings 1. As David was getting old, one of his sons, Adonijah took it upon himself to appoint himself as the successor to David. Adonijah rounded up a number of officials and threw a feast at En Rogel. When Nathan the prophet heard about it, he and Bathsheba approached David and told him what was happening. David immediately arranged for Solomon to be appointed king in a ceremony at the Gihon Spring, which is only a few hundred yards away from En Rogel.

Later, En Rogel is mentioned as one of the locations marking the border between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. It is located near the confluence of the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys south of the original City of David.

The location of En Rogel is not easy to get to. However, I knew that we would be close to it when we visited the Pool of Siloam. As we exited the area of the Pool, I was disappointed because of some nearby road construction. They had some of the area blocked off and a large temporary fence was blocking the view. The fence consisted of a three foot high concrete barrier with a four foot high sheet metal fence on top of it. I was able to figure out a way to climb upon the concrete barrier by jumping up and simultaneously grabbing hold of the top of the sheet metal. As I jumped up onto it, I think I said a quick prayer hoping that the top of the sheet metal wasn't razor sharp. (The last thing that I wanted to do was slice my hand open. My wife would not approve of this activity.) Luckily, the sheet metal was thick which allowed me to pull myself up. Once I regained my balance, I leaned over the fence and I could see location at the bottom of the hill. I pulled my camera around me and snapped off a couple of pictures. As I was about to jump down, I turned around to see our Tour Leader holding up his camera, requesting that I take a couple of pictures for him.

Consequently, this is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. Sometimes you have to do what you've got to do to get the picture you want.

2012 Israel Trip - Day Seven

2012 Israel Trip - Day Seven


This morning started out on top of the Mount of Olives. For anyone that has been to Jerusalem, the view from the Mount of Olives is something that you will never forget. This morning was no exception. When I woke up this morning, there was some clouds in the air and I thought that our view would be obscured. However, within 30 minutes of the sun coming up, the clouds burned off and it was crystal clear from up on top. We took our typical group picture which you will probably see on Ferrell Jenkins' blog. We traveled down off the top of the hill and down to the traditional site of the Garden of Gethsemane. It is interesting to look up at the East Gate and envision Judas and the men with him traveling down the hill with torches and spears to arrest Jesus. Standing there, you realize how close all of these places are. No doubt, Jesus could hear the men leaving the city and coming down to arrest Him. He could have had plenty of time to run, but He didn't.  And for that, I am thankful.

Going into the modern city of Jerusalem, we visited the ancient city of David. It is very interesting to walk around the ruins, see the ancient walls of the city and to see the Gihon Spring. From there, we walked through the Caananite Tunnel, which carried water from the Gihon Spring to other parts of the city during that time. Our tour ended by looking at the excavations of the Pool of Siloam. This is one of my favorite places. Mostly because I love the story in John 9 of Jesus' compassion in healing the blind man at that pool.

The afternoon was spent down in the Bethlehem area. Even though Bethlehem is only 6 miles from Jerusalem, it is within West Bank territory and difficult to get to. We made a stop by the Church of the Nativity, which is the traditional location of the birthplace of Jesus.

We had one final surprise stop at the Herodium just south of Bethlehem. We were not able to tour the Herodium (which is on my bucket list), but we were able to drive up to it and take pictures.

All in all, another great day in Israel. It's quickly coming to an end, but we still have a lot to cover. Tomorrow we head south and go to Masada, En Gedi, Qumran and Jericho.