Pool found where Bible says Jesus restored sight

JERUSALEM – Archaeologists in Jerusalem say they have identified the remains of the Siloam Pool, where the Bible says Jesus miraculously cured a man’s blindness, researchers said Thursday – underlining a stirring link between the works of Jesus and ancient Jewish rituals.

The archaeologists are slowly digging out the pool, where water still runs, tucked away in what is now the Arab neighborhood of Silwan. It was used by Jews for ritual immersions for about 120 years until the year A.D. 70, when the Romans destroyed the Jewish Temple.

Many of Jesus’ acts are directly linked to Jewish rituals, and the miracle of the blind man is an example. According to the Bible, the man was undergoing ritual immersion in the Siloam Pool for entry into the Temple compound, and Jesus used the occasion to cure his blindness.

In the last four months, archaeologists have revealed the pool’s 50-yard length and a channel that brought in water from the Silwan spring. In the past week, a section of stone road that led from the pool to the Jewish Temple was uncovered.

“The moment that we revealed and discovered this four months ago, we were 100 percent sure it was the Siloam Pool,” said archaeologist Eli Shukron.

“We know today that the Siloam Pool is connected to the Temple Mount. There is a road that connects the two elements. The entire system is clearer today,” Shukron said.

Stephen Pean, a Bible scholar, said the pool’s waters were considered so pristine they could purify even a leper.

The archaeologists excavating the site are with the Israeli government’s Antiquities Authority. They found biblical-era coins marked with ancient Jewish writing, along with pottery shards and a stone bottle cork – helping them confirm the area was the Siloam Pool.

Jesus, according to the New Testament, put clay on a blind man’s eyes and then sent him to wash them out in the pool’s purifying waters, giving him sight.

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