Excavations will be taking place at the biblical Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, leading to unprecedented public access to the site of a miracle performed by Jesus Christ.
The Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel National Parks Authority and the City of David Foundation announced the project on Tuesday, according to Fox News.
“The Pool of Siloam’s excavation is highly significant to Christians around the world,” Pastor John Hagee, the founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel, told the outlet.
“It was at this site that Jesus healed the blind man,” Hagee said, referring to the miracle described in John 9, “and it is at this site that, 2,000 years ago, Jewish pilgrims cleansed themselves prior to entering the Second Temple.”
— Avi Kaner ابراهيم אבי (@AviKaner) January 2, 2023
“The Pool of Siloam and the Pilgrimage Road, both located within the City of David, are among the most inspiring archeological affirmations of the Bible,” he said.
A small section of the pool has been excavated and made public, but the new project seeks to go beyond that, according to Ze’ev Orenstein, director of international affairs for the City of David Foundation.
“One of most significant sites affirming Jerusalem’s Biblical heritage — not simply as a matter of faith, but as a matter of fact — with significance to billions around the world, will be made fully accessible for the first time in 2,000 years,” Orenstein told Fox News.
“Despite ongoing efforts at the United Nations and Palestinian leadership to erase Jerusalem’s heritage, in a few years’ time, the millions of people visiting the City of David annually will literally be able to walk in the footsteps of the Bible, connecting with the roots of their heritage and identity,” he said.
— Jerusalem Dateline (@JlemDateline) December 30, 2022
According to CBN, the pool was a reservoir for water from the Gihon Spring that was developed under the reign of King Hezekiah. During the Second Temple period, the pool served as a ritual bath for pilgrims going to the temple.
“The Pool of Siloam in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem is a site of historic, national and international significance,” Moshe Lion, the mayor of Jerusalem, said, according to The Jerusalem Post. “After many years of anticipation, we will soon merit being able to uncover this important site and make it accessible to the millions of visitors visiting Jerusalem each year.”
Efforts to explore the site began in 1880 after an inscription concerning Hezekiah was found in the water tunnel. Later excavations expanded the site. In 2004, an infrastructure project uncovered some steps to the pool.
“When I think of this news, I think of another phrase from the Hebrew Bible, ‘My ears have heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you,'” the Rev. Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, told Fox News.
“This news means that one of the most important archeological discoveries in history can soon be seen by visitors from all over the world. It will affirm all they believe. Having faith is part of worshipping God, but faith alone isn’t required to believe. There are historic facts attesting to the truth of Scripture,” he said.
The Israel Antiquities Authority will begin excavating the City of David’s Pool of Siloam and will open it to the public.https://t.co/VTXlx1Fzwh
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) December 27, 2022
“In the Pool of Siloam, we find evidence of history preserved for us, revealed at just the right time,” Moore said. “This is a truly historic event. Theologically, it affirms Scripture, geographically it affirms history and politically it affirms Israel’s unquestionable and unrivaled link to Jerusalem.
“Some discoveries are theoretical. This one is an undeniable. It is proof of the story of the Bible and of its people, Israel.”
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