POOL OF THE CANAL
A pool or reservoir of water, apparently S of the City of David where the Valley of Hinnom and the Central (Tyropoeon) Valley meet. (Ne 3:15) It seems that this pool was also termed “the lower pool.”—Isa 22:9.
The Masoretic text at Nehemiah 3:15 designates this “the Pool of Shelah.” Some scholars believe that “Shelah” should be emended to “Shiloah,” meaning “Sender” and applying to a canal, or channel, that delivers water to a pool. (Isa 8:6) Thus, while some Bible versions leave “Shelah” untranslated, The Jerusalem Bible renders the expression “the conduit cistern,” and the New World Translation reads “the Pool of the Canal.”
Remains have been found of a channel, or canal, that ran S from the Gihon spring, following the contour of the Kidron’s bank and terminating in an ancient reservoir now called Birket el-Hamra. Sections of the canal were covered with stone slabs, but it appears that there were openings so that water could be drawn off to irrigate parts of the valley. The gradual slope of this canal may be referred to in the words “the waters of the Shiloah that are going gently.” (Isa 8:6) The location of Birket el-Hamra fits Nehemiah’s placement of the Pool of the Canal, near the King’s Garden and the Stairway going down from the S end of the City of David.