The Pool of Bethesda

 

The story of the healing of a lame man at the pool of Bethesda is told in John 5.The ruins of this pool is well preserved and is not far inside the current Lionís or St. Stephenís Gate on the right.In the time of Jesus this was the location of the Sheep Gate.John mentions five covered colonnades.

 

Whatever spring might have fed this pool gave this location a long history.At least one cistern goes back to 700 BC and others back to around 200 BC (if memory serves).There are also ruins from an altar to the god of healing Asclepius that dates to around AD 200, the ruins of a Greek Orthodox basilica and a later Crusader church.This is of course in the Muslim quarter today.

 

Here is a schematic of the location on site (unfortunately difficult to read):

 

 

Here is the center area of the ruins (foreground), where I think the central pool was in Jesusí day (possibly):

 

 

Surrounding this central area are grottos, where perhaps individuals sat in the water.You can see the cave like overhang in this picture of the same basic area:

 

 

And a final shot from above: