Pools in Scripture
Pools in Scripture
In the English Bibles, the word 'pool' stands for three Hebrew words . . .

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Pools in Scripture
    Pools in Scripture
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Pools in Scripture
    In the English Bibles, the word "pool" stands for three Hebrew words:
    (1) 'agam means properly a pond of stagnant water; in Ex., vii, 19; viii, 5, it designates probably sheets of water left in low places by the Nile from the inundation;
    (2) miqveh signifies originally "the gathering together" of the waters (Gen., i, 10), hence a place where waters flowing from different directions are collected together, a reservoir being usually formed by damming up the valley;
    (3) berekah (comp. Arab. birket) is an entirely artificial reservoir generally excavated in the rock and covered inside with a lining of masonry to prevent leaking. These three words convey a fair idea of the way the natives of Palestine and neighbouring regions have at all times secured a sufficient supply of water, a precaution by no means unimportant in countries where dry weather prevails for the greater part of the year. Natural pools of the kind described in Scripture by the name 'agam are practically unknown in Palestine. If importance be attached to the vocabulary of the sacred writers, we might be justified in supposing that most pools were wholly artificial, for all are indiscriminately styled berekah in the Hebrew Bible. Yet there can be no doubt that some were reservoirs obtained by building a dam across valleys; such was, at any rate, the Lower, or Old, Pool (Birket el-Hamra, south of Jerusalem), which, before the Upper Pool ('Ain Silwan) was constructed, was filled from the Gihon (the Virgin's Fountain) by a surface conduit, along the eastern slope of the spur of Ophel, and later was fed from the surplus water overflowing from the Upper Pool.
    The other pools in or about the Holy City were all entirely artificial, being excavated in the rock. Those mentioned in Scripture are:
    (1) the Pool of Siloe (A. V. Siloah; II Esd., iii, 15; John, ix, 7), or Upper Pool (IV Kings, xviii, 17; Is., vii, 3; xxxvi, 2), or the King's Pool (II Esd., ii, 14), built by Ezechias "between the two walls" (Is., xxii, 11), to bring into the city through an underground conduit, the Siloe tunnel, the water of Gihon;
    (2) the Pool of Bethsaida (A. V. Bethesda; John, v, 2); the exact location of this pool is to this day an object of dispute; commonly but quite groundlessly it is identified with the Birket Israil, north of the Temple and southwest of St. Stephen's Gate (Bab Sitti Maryam); others (Conder, Paton etc.) see it in the pool at the Fountain of Gihon ('Ain Sitti Maryam), southeast of the Haram—-the berekah 'asuyah (i.e. "well made") of Neh. (II Esd.) iii, 16; others finally think it should be sought some distance north of the Birket Israil and west of St. Ann's Church and recognized there in old constructions still suggesting the form of porticoes;
    (3) the Berekah 'asuyah of II Esd. has just been mentioned; it was the reservoir of the intermittent spring of Gihon;
    (4) we should perhaps cite also the Dragon Fountain of II Esd., ii, 13, which lay between the Valley Gate (practically the modern Jaffa Gate) and the Dung Gate (about due west of the southern end of the Birket es-Sultan); probably connected with the Dragon Fountain was the Serpent's Pool mentioned by Josephus (Bell. Jud., V, iii, 2), but the site of both is now a mere matter of conjecture. Despite the historical interest attached to them, it is needless to recall here the various pools of the Holy Land more or less incidentally mentioned in Scripture: the Pool of Gabaon, which witnessed the bloody encounter of the servants of David with the defenders of Saul's dynasty; the Pools of Hesebon, and finally the pools alluded to in Eccl., ii, 6 as being the work of Solomon. These are supposed by some to be the famous Pools of Solomon (about eight miles south of Jerusalem) from which several winding aqueducts, one forty-seven miles long, brought the water into the city.
    BAEDEKER-BENZIGER, Palestine and Syria (Leipzig, 1906); BLISS, Excavations at Jerusalem (London, 1898); MASTERMAN, The Pool of Bethesda in Biblical World (Feb., 1905); PAL. EXPLOR. FUND, Quart. Statement (oct., 1896; Jan., 1897); IDEM, Jerusalem; PATON, The Meaning of the Expression "Between the Two Walls" in Journ. Of Biblic. Literature, I (1906); IDEM, Jerusalem in Biblical Times, particularly c. iii, The Springs and Pools of Ancient Jerusalem (Chicago, 1908); HEIDET, Bethsaide in Vig., Dict de la Bible; MAUSS, La piscine de Bethesda a Jerusalem (Paris, 1888); VINCENT, Les murs de Jerusalem d'apres Nehemie in Revue Biblique (1904), 56-74.
    CHARLES L. SOUVAY
    Transcribed by Judy Levandoski

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Biblical Geography —     Biblical Geography     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Biblical Geography     With the exception of the didactic literature, there is no book in the Bible which, to a greater or less extent, does not contain mention of, or allusions to, the… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • evolution — evolutional, adj. evolutionally, adv. /ev euh looh sheuhn/ or, esp. Brit., /ee veuh /, n. 1. any process of formation or growth; development: the evolution of a language; the evolution of the airplane. 2. a product of such development; something… …   Universalium

  • MIKVEH — (Heb. מִקְוֶה; pl. mikva ot; Hebrew for a collection or gathering (of water), a pool or bath of clear water, immersion in which renders ritually clean a person who has become ritually unclean through contact with the dead (Num. 19) or any other… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Christian naturism — Baptism of Jesus, Bordone, Giotto 1276 1336 Christian naturists are Christians found in most branches and denominations of Christianity who practice naturism or nudism. They find no conflict between the teachings of the Bible and living their… …   Wikipedia

  • Beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses — The beliefs and practices of Jehovah s Witnesses are based on the Bible teachings of its founder, Charles Taze Russell and his successors, Joseph Franklin Rutherford and Nathan Homer Knorr. Since about 1976 they have also been based on decisions… …   Wikipedia

  • Hinduism — /hin dooh iz euhm/, n. the common religion of India, based upon the religion of the original Aryan settlers as expounded and evolved in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, etc., having an extremely diversified character with many… …   Universalium

  • Animals in the Bible — • The sacred books were composed by and for a people almost exclusively given to husbandry and pastoral life, hence in constant communication with nature Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Animals in the Bible     Anima …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Ecclesiastes Rabbah — Rabbinic Literature Talmudic literature Mishnah • Tosefta Jerusalem Talmud • Babylonian Talmud Minor tractates Halakhic Midrash Mekhilta de Rabbi Yishmael (Exodus) Mekhilta de Rabbi Shimon (Exodus) Sifra (Leviticus) Sifre (Numbers Deuteronomy)… …   Wikipedia

  • Mamilla Pool — in Jerusalem (1854) Mamilla pool (2005) …   Wikipedia

  • Southern Baptist Convention — Reaching the world for Christ. Classification Protestant Theology Evangelical Baptist Governa …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”