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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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John 9:7,11 , or SHILOAH, Nehemiah 3:15 Isaiah 8:6 ; a fountain and pool at the vase of the hill Ophel, near the opening of the Tyropoeon into the valley of the Kidron on the south of Jerusalem;

"Siloah's brook, that flowed

Fast by the oracle of God."


The pool is now an artificial stone reservoir, fifty-three feet long, eighteen feet wide, and nineteen feet deep. Steps lead to the bottom of the pool, three or four feet above which the water flows off southeast to water the cultivated grounds in the valley below. The fountain is in an arched excavation in the foot of the cliff above the pool; and the small basin here is connected by a winding passage cut through the solid rock under the hill Ophel, with the "Fountain of the Virgin" eleven hundred feet north on the east side of Mount Moriah. See BETHESDA .

This passage was traversed throughout by Dr. Robinson. The water flowing through it is tolerably sweet and clear, but has a marked taste, and in the dry season is slightly brackish. It is thought to be driven from the reservoirs under the ancient temple area, and in part from Mount Zion. It runs "softly," Isaiah 8:6 , but ebbs and flows in the "Fountain of the Virgin," and less perceptibly in that of Siloam, at irregular intervals. Thus the water rose more than a foot in the upper fountain, and fell again within ten minutes, while Dr. Robinson was on the spot. He once found a party of soldiers there washing their clothes, John 9:1-11 and it is in constant use for purposes of ablution. At Siloam also the water is used for washing animals, etc.

Nothing is known respecting the "tower" near Siloam, the fall of which killed eighteen men. The ancient city wall is believed to have enclosed this pool. Christ teaches us by the above incident that temporal calamities are not always proofs of special guilt, Luke 13:4,5 , though the utmost sufferings ever endured in this world are far less than the sins of even the best of men deserve, Lamentations 3:39 .

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Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Siloam'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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