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The Bethesda Pool of Mercy
The Pool of Bethesda was located on the eastern side of the city near the Fortress of Antonia. The name Bethesda means "house of mercy."The water source was a nearby spring. The Pool had five porches and according to the Bible there was a tradition that an angel moved the waters at certain times and healed the sick. It was here at the Pool of Bethesda that Jesus healed the man who was lame for thirty-eight years. Recent archaeological discoveries have again confirmed the Biblical account, that there were five porches and the fifth one divided the rectangular pool into two separate compartments. Josephus wrote about the Pool of the Sheep-market.
Archaeological remains of Herod's Jerusalem are scarce. The Romans did a thorough work of destroying everything. We know about Herod and his buildings through the writings of Josephus, Strabo, Dio Cassius, Jewish Literature, archaeology and the Bible.
The Roman Legions of Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. They spared only Herod's powerful tower fortress as a symbol of the strength of the Romans who were able to overpower it.
"After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked"
- John 5:1-9
The Healing at the Pool of Bethesda
Do you want to be healed?
He cannot walk. There are no wheelchairs. The pool is not ADA compliant. There is only the mercy of others. Perhaps family members carry him to the Bethesda pool in the morning, and pick him up at evening. The charity of others may come to this house of mercy with a few coins or bread to share. Day after day, year after year, he shares stories with those who suffer alongside hoping to win the angelic healing lottery one day.
John 5:2 - Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep [market] a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
Psalms 123:2 - Behold, as the eyes of servants [look] unto the hand of their masters, [and] as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes [wait] upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
Psalms 31:7 - I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;