What is…

also known as: Béthesda, Bethsaida, Beth-zatha

Greek: Βηθεσδά —transliteration: Béthesda

Meaning: house of mercy; house of grace; place for receiving and caring for the sick

This is a spring fed reservoir or pool of ancient Jerusalem with 5 porches (Greek: kolumbethra—“a swimming bath”). It was located near the sheep-gate or sheep market (John 5:2; Neh. 3:1).

Jesus Christ miraculously healed a paralytic man at this place.

Model of the Pool of Bethesda. Photo by Deror Avi.
Model of the Pool of Bethesda of ancient Jerusalem. Displayed in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Photo by Deror Avi.

Eusebius the historian (A.D. 330) calls it “the sheep-pool.”

Under these “porches” or colonnades were usually a large number of sick people waiting for the “troubling of the water.”

Archaeological excavation of the pool of Bethesda.
Archaeological excavations of the ancient ruins of the pool of Bethesda

In modern times, many communities have been named after this site of a Biblical miracle.

More information

Article Version: June 27, 2019