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 (2 Sam. 2:13; see GIBEON, GIBEONITES), Hebron (2 Sam. 4:12), Heshbon (Song of Sol. 7:4; see BATH-RABBIM), Samaria (1 Ki. 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. (Eccl. 2:6) Water from nearby springs was stored in these reservoirs and conveyed to Jerusalem by an aqueduct measuring some forty miles (c. 64 kilometers) in length.
POOLS OF JERUSALEM
The general location of the ancient Pool of Siloam (John 9:7) is thought to be the present Birket Silwan, just SW of the City of David. Likely this is also 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.—2 Ki. 20:20; 2 Chron. 32:30.
The Biblical references to the “old pool” (Isa. 22:11), “upper pool” (2 Ki. 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 Nehemiah 3:15) may be identified with Birket el-Hamra at the southern end of the Tyropean Valley. But opinions vary considerably regarding the placement of the “upper pool.” Some assign it a location in the northern part of the Tyropean Valley, others place it at the spring of Gihon, and still others link it with Birket Silwan. Whereas some advance the thought that the “lower pool” is the same as the “old pool,” others believe that the “old pool” is the same as the “upper pool.”—See POOL OF THE CANAL.
Concerning the pool of Bethzatha, see BETHZATHA.
Whereas the Hebrew term bere·khahʹ means “pool” (such as an artificial pool), the word ʼaghamʹ signifies “reedy pool” or “pool full of reeds,” 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.