New excavations in Jerusalem have unearthed steps that had not been seen in 2,000 years. This is the place where Jesus was said to have healed a man who was blind in the New Testament.
Earlier this year, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced, along with the Israel National Parks Authority, that the Pool of Siloam – a sacred biblical site beloved by Christians and Jews – would be opened to the public in the near future for the first time in 2,000 years.
Archeologists have made significant progress during the last few weeks in the excavation. They discovered eight steps that descended into the Pool, which hadn’t been seen for 2,000 years, around the time Jesus walked on the Earth.
Ze’ev Orenstein is the director of International Affairs at the City of David Foundation. He stated that the ongoing excavations in the City of David – the historic site of Biblical Jerusalem – particularly of the Pool of Siloam, and the Pilgrimage Route, serve as a great affirmation of this heritage, and the centuries-old bond between Jews and Christians with Jerusalem.
He added, “Not just as a question of faith but also as a fact.”
The City of David Foundation was founded in 1986 as a non-profit organization. It is “dedicated” to the preservation and improvement of the City of David, and its surroundings, and to connect people of different faiths and backgrounds with ancient Jerusalem.
Orenstein stated that the half-mile from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount and Western Wall is the most important half-mile in the world.
He added that “there is no other half-mile on Earth which is more meaningful to so many people, not just millions but billions of people, than the City of David half-mile.”
It was built in the eighth century B.C. as part of Jerusalem’s water system. According to two Israeli agencies, and the City of David Foundation, the construction took place during King Hezekia’s reign, as recorded in the Bible Book of Kings II 20:20.
Estimates suggest that the Pool of Siloam was built in several stages and eventually reached a size of 1,25 acres. According to the Gospel of John’s passage, Jesus restored sight to a blind man at the Pool of Siloam.
For several years, a small portion of the pool has been excavated and is open to the public. The pool will be excavated in its entirety or piecemeal.
Rev. Johnnie Moore said in January, the president of the Congress of Christian Leaders: “In the Pool of Siloam we find evidence of our history preserved for us and revealed at the perfect time.”
It affirms Scripture from a theological, geographic, and political perspective. Some discoveries are theoretical. This is a fact. “It is proof that the Bible’s story and the people of Israel are true,” he said.
In 2004, the pool was discovered by chance when the Hagihon Water Company, while carrying out infrastructure work, uncovered a few of the steps. Under the supervision of Roni Reich, Eli Shukron, and other professors, the Israel Antiquities Authority launched a survey. The northern perimeter of the Pool of Siloam as well as the eastern perimeter of a small portion were discovered.
Orenstein said that Jerusalem’s Biblical Heritage is being attacked, whether in the halls of the United Nations or by the Palestinian leadership.
Orenstein said that visitors to the City of David in a few years will be able “to see with their eyes, touch with their hands, and even walk on the stones their ancestors had walked thousands of years ago as they made their pilgrimage to Jerusalem.”