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Pool of Siloam

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    Posted: 21 Jul 2019 at 13:01
Does Israel have the right or obligation to continue the excavation in The City of David?
Does Archeology have the right or obligation to continue the excavation in the City of David? 

The Pool of Siloam was uncovered in 2004 in East Jerusalem in the area known as The City of David. 
It's an amazing ongoing project that began when an underground pipe burst. Archaeologists are required to be present when unearthing sites for any reason in Jerusalem.The Pilgrim's Road stairs were uncovered first and they were just as described from Bible accounts. The road led from the purification Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount. A map dating from the same excavation that produced the photo below, predicts the entrance to Hezakiha's Tunnel another site authentic from Bible descriptions.
  
Photos and a map dating from around 1900 show the Pool of Siloam before it was filled in, the site was returned to the Israelis as part of the 1967 annexation but Palestine wants to claim the land. 
The New York Times had an article recently that expanded reporting on attempts to Judaize this find. In- Jerusalem, ahem.

But his starring role at the event run by the City of David Foundation on Sunday was more provocative. This time he was keynoting an event for a group that critics consider at the vanguard of efforts to bolster Israel’s claims to sovereignty in the areas of East Jerusalem immediately around the Old City.

Over the years, the group has moved hundreds of Jews into Silwan, a neighborhood with about 5,000 Palestinians. At the same time, it has led a sprawling excavation of an area of Silwan called Wadi Hilweh, where archaeologists say they have unearthed the original boundaries of biblical Jerusalem.

Critics say the City of David uses unorthodox archaeological techniques to highlight Jewish historical claims to the city while marginalizing those of Muslims and Christians. They also fault it for digging without the permission of the Palestinians living overhead. A handful of families have had to leave their homes because of damage caused by the excavations, advocates say.


Why did the Muslims fill in the Pool of Shiloam? Were they simply erasing history right after they obtained those lands, shortly after the picture was taken?
The story of Jesus healing the blind man at the pool of Siloam is in the Koran. Yet the PLO says it has nothing to do with history?

“The City of David brings truth and science to a debate that has been marred for too long by myths and deceptions,” US Ambassador Friedman told the JPost Magazine. “Its findings, in most cases by secular archeologists, bring an end to the baseless efforts to deny the historical fact of Jerusalem’s ancient connection to the Jewish people.”

“There has been enormous support for the City of David by the American public,” he said. “This is yet another example – and a great one – of the recognition of the Judeo-Christian values upon which both nations were founded.”


“The Americans understand that the foundations the United States are built upon are the Judeo-Christian heritage with its roots in Jerusalem,” Orenstein said. “The City of David is not simply a Jewish or Israeli heritage site but it is, in fact, an American heritage site as well in the same way Valley Forge is American. We see ourselves as the stewards, not just for the Jewish people, but for all people.”


 After the event, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat called the excavation of the road and Siloam Pool, which is in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan, “a settlement project that is based on a lie that has nothing to do with history.”

In a statement, the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations called the road’s inauguration an “illegal act in occupied territory.”

Ilan Sharon, a Hebrew University professor of archaeology who was not involved in the excavations, told Religion News Service that any established scholar believes Jews lived here at some point in history.

“It is deplorable that the officials of the right-wing Israeli government were accompanied in this illegal act in occupied territory by US government officials,” the statement said. 

Ilan Sharon, a Hebrew University profe“Therefore, there is nothing to prove,” he said.

At the same time, “digging under the homes of the people of Silwan without their permission is a political statement and an attempt to Judaize” Jerusalem, Sharon said.

“Of course, everything in our world is politicized. Archaeology is no exception.”


http://https://www.bibleplaces.com/poolofsiloam/

Early 1900s

The photograph at right was taken in the early 1900s and shows the Pool of Siloam before later Muslim construction above it.  An early description of the pool reads, “There is nothing picturesque about it, certainly. The crumbling walls, and fallen columns in and around it, give it an air of neglect.” It is a parallelogram about fifty-three feet long and eighteen feet wide. . . . Dr. Thomson says he has seen this pool nearly full, but that now the water merely passes through it. “The intermittent flow is supposed to be due to a natural syphon, but the natives’ explanation is that a dragon lives below and swallows the water when he is awake, but that when he sleeps it wells up freely. “–Major Conder.





Edited by Vanuatu - 21 Jul 2019 at 13:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2019 at 09:20
Jesus and the blind man: John 9:7
"......and he said to him 'Go down unto the waters of Siloe and wash in them. Therefore, he did, and came back seeing......"

Isaiah 8:6
"....this people hath cast away the waters of Siloe that flow with silence, and hath taken Rezin and the son of Remaliah to rule over them..."




Edited by Windemere - 22 Jul 2019 at 10:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2019 at 14:56
An ambulance is coming down one street, and a hurse down another, when they meet which gives way?
The hurse gives way because the dead have to make way for the living.

If it were that simple....

But, for Israel, there whole reason for existence is tied up with past claims, that existence is being continually denied by their opponents.  Now, I would not argue that the US has a "right to exist," but at the same time I believe that if there was a political dissolution of the United States, the people would still be there.  Problem is, the denial of Israel by its opponents doesn't strike me as similar, but is predicated on the extermination of Jewish people, not just Zionists, but as evident from terrorist attacks in the diaspora, the Jewish people in general.  So the pool of Siloam is an issue for both zionists and anti-zionists and by extension Judaism in general.  It is also an issue in archaeology as well.  I am not sure that the city diggers will find anything new, I would guess that the fill of it would have probably taken out any context for it.

Two things we can be certain of, the city archaeologists will dig it up as evidence of Israel's historical past, and the Palestinians will complain about it.  It would be nice if the Israelis tried to accommodate the Palestinians, or ameliorate what they were going to do.  On the other hand, on an all-too-human level, why should they?  The Palestinians are going to complain about it whatever they do. 

I do not see the Valley Forge comparison.  The United States has no parallel sacred place, at least not to the majority of the population.

Thank you for the quotes, Windermere.  I think that it is neat to find confirmation in the Bible, but I would also feel that there was physical confirmation of the scriptures already, even though it was filled in.


Edited by franciscosan - 22 Jul 2019 at 14:59
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2019 at 15:31
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

An ambulance is coming down one street, and a hurse down another, when they meet which gives way?
The hurse gives way because the dead have to make way for the living.

If it were that simple....

  So the pool of Siloam is an issue for both zionists and anti-zionists and by extension Judaism in general.  It is also an issue in archaeology as well.  I am not sure that the city diggers will find anything new, I would guess that the fill of it would have probably taken out any context for it.
Sorry if I've got this wrong, by the "fill of it" you mean the Pool at Siloam?
It's no longer filled in, it's been excavated and it coincides with the map showing Hezekiah's Tunnel.
My point was, desert people might hide a water source when they leave a place and may return but desert people do not bury a water source upon arrival unless they are hiding a location at a great price where water is so valuable.
Quote
I do not see the Valley Forge comparison.  The United States has no parallel sacred place, at least not to the majority of the population.
Yeah, maybe the National Parks probably not Valley Forge lol. 
The ambassador was reaching.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2019 at 15:46


Putting It Together

This drawing, by Father Vincent in the early 1900s, shows the relationship of the two pools (west is at the top).  The pool marked with a yellow arrow is the modern pool at the end of Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  It is narrow and shallow.  The new excavations are in the area labeled as “Birket el-Hamra” and marked with the red arrow.  Scholars have long believed that this was the area of an ancient pool, but without excavations they have not understood its date, size, or other important details.  A wild prediction: this will be the archaeological discovery of the decade for biblical studies.  At least there is no chance of it being declared a forgery.

http://https://www.bibleplaces.com/poolofsiloam/

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2019 at 16:30

I heard they were developing the kings garden area to the east of the pool of Siloam? So seems Siloam hasn't been the only victim of various people (filling or excavating). The kings garden is my candidate for the garden of Gethsemane.

https://iwillnotbeassimilated.blogspot.com/2019/05/sites-of-jesus-life-finds.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King's_Garden_(Jerusalem)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gethsemane
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidron_Valley

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2019 at 14:26
hello truthsetsfree,

Do you happen to know if Josephus mentions the Garden at Gethsemane as such?

Would he have called it something else?

Any help much appreciated. I'll do a search of History of the Jews. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2019 at 07:21

He mentions the kings garden area, not sure about whether he mentions Gethsemane in some form.

gardens are mentioned in Wars: book ? chap 2 sect 2 "Now it was here impossible for him to go forward, because all the places had trenches dug in them from the wall, to preserve the gardens round about, and were full of gardens obliquely situated, and of many hedges; and to return back to his own men, he saw it was also impossible, by reason of the multitude of the enemies that lay between them; many of whom did not so much as know that the king was in any danger...."

book ? chap 3 sect 2 "So they threw down all the hedges and walls
which the inhabitants had made about their gardens and groves of trees,
and cut down all the fruit trees that lay between them and the wall
of the city, and filled up all the hollow places and the chasms, and
demolished the rocky precipices with iron instruments; and thereby made all the place level from Scopus to Herod's monuments, which adjoined to the pool called the Serpent's Pool."

book ? chapt 9 sect 4 "... when Titus came first of all near to this city; although Magnus and Sosius did not only suffer nothing, but took the city by force; as did Vespasian go from the war he made against you to receive the empire; and as for Titus, those springs that were formerly almost dried up when they were under your power since he is come, run more plentifully than they did before; accordingly, you know that Siloam, as well as all the other springs that were without the city, did so far fail, that water was sold by distinct measures; whereas they now have such a great quantity of water for your enemies, as is sufficient not only for drink both for themselves and their cattle, but for watering their gardens also."

book 6 chap 1 sect 1 "And truly the very view itself of the country was a melancholy thing; for those places which were before adorned with trees and pleasant gardens were now become a desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down"

Antiquities:

"There was a certain place about fifty furlongs (6 miles) distant from Jerusalem, which is called Etham, very pleasant it is in fine gardens, and abounding in rivulets of water"
(Etham rhymes with Gethsemane.)

"And before the city, at a place called Eroge, half the mountain broke off from the rest on the west, and rolled itself four furlongs, and stood still at the east mountain, till the roads, as well as the king's gardens, were spoiled by the obstruction. ... after which he died with grief and anxiety at what had happened to him, when he had lived sixty-eight years, and reigned of them fifty-two; and was buried by himself in his own gardens."



Edited by truthsetsfree - 24 Jul 2019 at 07:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2019 at 15:29
Originally posted by truthsetsfree truthsetsfree wrote:


He mentions the kings garden area, not sure about whether he mentions Gethsemane in some form.

gardens are mentioned in Wars: book ? chap 2 sect 2 "Now it was here impossible for him to go forward, because all the places had trenches dug in them from the wall, to preserve the gardens round about, and were full of gardens obliquely situated, and of many hedges; and to return back to his own men, he saw it was also impossible, by reason of the multitude of the enemies that lay between them; many of whom did not so much as know that the king was in any danger...."

book ? chap 3 sect 2 "So they threw down all the hedges and walls
which the inhabitants had made about their gardens and groves of trees,
and cut down all the fruit trees that lay between them and the wall
of the city, and filled up all the hollow places and the chasms, and
demolished the rocky precipices with iron instruments; and thereby made all the place level from Scopus to Herod's monuments, which adjoined to the pool called the Serpent's Pool."

book ? chapt 9 sect 4 "... when Titus came first of all near to this city; although Magnus and Sosius did not only suffer nothing, but took the city by force; as did Vespasian go from the war he made against you to receive the empire; and as for Titus, those springs that were formerly almost dried up when they were under your power since he is come, run more plentifully than they did before; accordingly, you know that Siloam, as well as all the other springs that were without the city, did so far fail, that water was sold by distinct measures; whereas they now have such a great quantity of water for your enemies, as is sufficient not only for drink both for themselves and their cattle, but for watering their gardens also."

book 6 chap 1 sect 1 "And truly the very view itself of the country was a melancholy thing; for those places which were before adorned with trees and pleasant gardens were now become a desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down"

Antiquities:

"There was a certain place about fifty furlongs (6 miles) distant from Jerusalem, which is called Etham, very pleasant it is in fine gardens, and abounding in rivulets of water"
(Etham rhymes with Gethsemane.)

"And before the city, at a place called Eroge, half the mountain broke off from the rest on the west, and rolled itself four furlongs, and stood still at the east mountain, till the roads, as well as the king's gardens, were spoiled by the obstruction. ... after which he died with grief and anxiety at what had happened to him, when he had lived sixty-eight years, and reigned of them fifty-two; and was buried by himself in his own gardens."

Yes yes exactly!
Vespasian flattened the crops and gardens during the siege of Jerusalem. The earliest Pilgrim's record  of the Holy Land, the "Bordeaux Itinerary" 333 CE makes no mention of olives in Gethsemane. Scientists  studied the trees now in Gethsemane. All of them came from the same plant around 12th century. 
They have found the cave with a traditional style notch cut into rock face for supporting an olive press. They are enough examples of similar rock cuts that most archaeologists agree the notch was cut was for an olive press. In the Gospel of John we read Jesus "goes out" he was going to the cave to pray.
Suggesting that Jesus was arrested at the cave, why the divergence? Jesus was praying where the Jews in Exodus from Egypt prayed.

Could Etam have been a fortress like the Egyptian "Khetam" of Ramses II? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2019 at 14:40
Can someone explain to me the significance of this swimming/wadding/reflecting pool?  I mean, I am sure tourists would love to pay to see it, but it is a hole in the ground which once held water, no?

I will grant you that it is historical in that it is mentioned in ancient documents, but so what is the significance, other than the Ultra Orthodox saying, "see, G-d gave us this land!"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2019 at 15:24
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Can someone explain to me the significance of this swimming/wadding/reflecting pool?  I mean, I am sure tourists would love to pay to see it, but it is a hole in the ground which once held water, no?

I will grant you that it is historical in that it is mentioned in ancient documents, but so what is the significance, other than the Ultra Orthodox saying, "see, G-d gave us this land!"
It's a remnant of human history and if it's ultra orthodox to be interested in the Pool of Siloam then I'll be ultra orthodox. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jul 2019 at 08:56
The Ultra-Orthodox want to pray all day, make rugrats and are exempted from military duty.  So, the fastest growing group in Israel won't fight to defend it.  Of course, I could be wrong about the Ultra-Orthodox interest in the swimming pool.  It is hard to figure out Israeli politics.  Are settlers advocating the greater state of Israel, ultra-Orthodox?  Are the settlers within the West Bank carrying Uzis Ultra-Orthodox?  Or they're making communes, are they some kind of communist?  But, not in the sense of Russian Jewish communist, that is something a little different, I think?

So, what is the interest in the swimming pool?  We had in Denver a visiting exhibit with the Dead Sea Scrolls (which were poorly displayed, but that is another story), but there were a lot of other artifacts with them, to illustrate the history.  But, really not much of artistic interest.  The Jews had more of an inward view, whereas the Greeks had an outward view, and great art.  The Pool of Siloam is not architecturally significant, nor artistically significant, nor any inscriptions (as far as I know).  Is it neat just because it is ancient?  Would it be just as neat if we documented it, and then paved it over?  No, I would not suggest that, I say use it to exploit the tourists.  Wouldn't it be great to go swimming there on your vacation?  Of course, they would have to put in a filtration unit, but they could do that!  Cool
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jul 2019 at 10:45
Bringing up the fact that the pool was filled in by Palestinians in 1900 wasn't a political dig.(no pun intended) Historically people have tried to erase the memory of previous occupiers of land, certainly in the Middle East. Essentially I'm asking in terms of the archaeological value is there a responsibility on the part of Israelis or Archaeology itself to uncover this part of Old Jerusalem. I don't think it's an overstatement to call the discovery of Pilgrim's Road which includes the Pool of Siloam, the discovery of the decade in Jerusalem. 

Edited by Vanuatu - 29 Jul 2019 at 11:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 08:47
responsibility to whom?  the people currently living there?  lots of remains are under modern cities, do you want to dig them all up?  displacing the living people?  it seems awfully convenient that the Israelis dislike the Palestinians (because visa versa), and that it will be Palestinians that are displaced.  Two birds with one stone, and all in the name of science and history (and Greater Israel).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 14:46

On a purely human level yea the entire 350 meters of road should and will be available for public viewing. The Pool is 2000 years old and it wasn't for royalty. It's Pontius Pilate's Road 31CE. A place for a ritual bath before going to the Temple Mount to make sacrifices. Rome and Greece try to preserve ancient sites when they find them. Take the Bible out completely and you still have an unbelievable find. 
The politics are impossible to tease out between these two peoples who have to live together. Their media is as polarized as ours. You can find stories claiming that back before 2004, Israelis refused to issue building permits for the area where evictions occurred. Israelis had been saying that building violated the 1967 demarcations. The Palestinian Authority told people to build there anyway. 

However those cinder block flat houses have not been historically significant until now. It's no surprise since Israel has momentum they are going to push back. 
The idea of houses crumbling bc of digging is a bit far fetched when you consider that engineers and archaeologists would rather not be crushed in a tunnel themselves; why be reckless with something that you want to preserve? To your question -Responsibility to living humans who should have homes and to those who want to see the entire site. Is that impossible?
So much conflicting talk and on going violence, hard to not route for archaeology.

Wouldn't a responsible government, negotiate for a piece of the tourist pie and get better living conditions for the Palestinians by way of a truce? 

The Roman road, for that's what this is, built in the province of Judea, almost certainly at the initiative of that most (in)famous of Roman prefects, Pontius Pilate, for the use of the city’s residents, remains almost immaculate. A stark reminder that it was in use for less than 40 years (the latest coins found there are from 31CE) and that it was subsequently entirely covered over by debris from the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, in 70CE.
Pick up one of the original manholes, and there’s the original sewage system still intact, built-in as part of the road’s construction, with rainwater flowing through it. Half-way down there’s a little square, which probably served as a small marketplace as well. Further uphill, to one side of the road, there’s a little raised stone podium, which would have serviced preachers, and immediately you’re put in mind of that classic scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
The dig is being conducted by the professional archaeologists of the Israel Antiquities Authority, but it's financed by the East Jerusalem settler organization, Elad. Long before Friedman and Adelson and their friends arrived to defile the Roman road, it had been politicized.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 15:11
I think one concern is that digging under houses will undermine their foundations.  No, I don't need to find the Palestinian houses "historically" or "archaeologically" significant.  Strike me as old fashioned, but I believe that people have property rights which maybe should be honored by the Israeli government.  Or, we can continue forever with this tit for tat, that has probably been happening since Theodore Herzl?

If it is _that_ significant, pay the occupants off.  Give them their price.
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