There is great joy in Israel this past week! Why? Was one of the high holidays just observed? No. Has Hamas finally recognized the State of Israel? Hardly. Rather, the cause of joy is the abundance of rain that has fallen! Making up for the lack of rain last year, the heavens have opened up in record amounts! When it rains in Israel, people give thanks to God, for it is truly a blessing from above!
While unfortunately the heavy rainfall has caused a great deal of flooding in the south, in Tel Aviv, and up north (where the level of the Sea of Galilee is at normal height already!), one particular area in Jerusalem where the flooding struck hard is the ancient Pool of Siloam. Located at the southern end of the City of David (for more information on the City of David excavations, click HERE), the Pool of Siloam is where Jesus once sent the man born blind in order to wash (see John 9).
For centuries, the waters that flow from the Gihon Spring (located a few 100 meters north on the bottom of the slope of the eastern edge of the City of David) through Hezekiah’s Tunnel (also called the Siloach, see Isaiah 8:6, a 1,720 foot tunnel hewned by King Kezekiah in 701 BC) have served as the primary source for the pool. Rainfall has also contributed to the filling of this pool. In fact, the Festival of Water Libation observed on the last day of Sukkot (see John 7) was, in part, a celebration of God blessing Israel with the first rains of the fall season. It was 6 years ago that the pool was excavated. But this past week, it rained so much that this entire excavated part of the Pool of Siloam ended submerged under brown muddy water. The pools steps, normally exposed, were totally submerged. Personally, I would have loved to have seen this in person. I hope precautions were made so that no one was injured.