“Sheep Market”? or “Sheep Gate”?

This term occurs only once in Scripture in John 5:2 King James Version.

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. —John 5:2 KJV

The Greek word is here is προβατικῇ, an adjective which means “pertainting to sheep.” The King James translators inserted the noun “market.” Almost all others believe the implied noun is “gate” or, following the Vulgate Version, “pool.”

Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool… —John 5:2 LSB excerpt

Most modern translators decided on “Sheep Gate” (John 5:2 NKJV, John 5:2 NASB, John 5:2 LSB John 5:2 NIV, etc.) The marginal note of the Revised King James Version also says “sheep-gate.”

More information

Market or marketplace

The English words “marketplace” or “market” appear 17 times in the New American Standard Version, but not in direct relation to sheep.

Hebrew: חוּץ —transliteration: chuts —Examples: 1 Kings 20:34; Zephaniah 1:11


ἀγορά —transliteration: agora —occurrences: 11 —Examples: Matthew 11:16; Acts 16:19

μάκελλον —transliteration: makellon -—occurrences: 1 (1 Corinthians 10:25 “the meat market”)

Φόρον —transliteration: phoron —occurrences: 1 (Acts 28:15 NASB)

ἐμπόριον —transliteration: emporion —John 2:16 NASB “a place of business”

Article Version: October 12, 2021