A large open reservoir for collecting and storing water. Artificial pools were dug out of the soil or hewn out of rock. At times they were located inside the cities and linked to springs by means of conduits. This ensured the inhabitants a supply of water even in time of siege. Some pools were enlargements or adaptations of such existing natural features as caves.
Among the various pools mentioned in the Scriptures are those of Gibeon (2Sa 2:13; see GIBEON, GIBEONITES), Hebron (2Sa 4:12), Heshbon (Ca 7:4; see BATH-RABBIM), Samaria (1Ki 22:38), and Jerusalem. It has been suggested that the pools made by the congregator (King Solomon) for irrigation purposes are perhaps to be identified with reservoirs found S of Bethlehem. (Ec 2:6) Water from nearby springs was stored in these reservoirs.
Pools of Jerusalem. The approximate location of King Hezekiah’s pool adjoining the conduit that he constructed to bring the waters of the spring of Gihon into Jerusalem is the Pool of Siloam, the present Birket Silwan, just SW of the City of David. (2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:30) The first-century Pool of Siloam (Joh 9:7) seems to have been found nearby, some 100 m (330 ft) SSE of Birket Silwan.
The Biblical references to the “old pool” (Isa 22:11), “upper pool” (2Ki 18:17; Isa 7:3; 36:2), and “lower pool” (Isa 22:9) give no indication about their exact position in relation to the city of Jerusalem. Scholars generally believe that the “lower pool” (perhaps the same as “the Pool of the Canal” mentioned at Ne 3:15) may be identified with Birket el-Hamra at the southern end of the Tyropoeon Valley. But opinions vary considerably regarding the placement of the “upper pool.”—See POOL OF THE CANAL.
Concerning the Pool of Bethzatha, see BETHZATHA.
Reedy Pools. Whereas the Hebrew term bere·khahʹ means “pool” (such as an artificial pool), the word ʼaghamʹ signifies “reedy pool,” likely a natural collection of water in a depression. (Ex 7:19; 8:5; Ps 107:35; 114:8; Isa 35:7; 41:18) The prophecy that God would make Babylon “reedy pools of water” graphically indicated how desolate she would become.—Isa 14:23.