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English Bible Dictionary

Bethesda

 

(house of mercy, or the flowing water), the Hebrew name of a reservoir or tank, with five "porches," close upon the sheep-gate or "market" in Jerusalem. (John 5:2) The largest reservoir - Birket Israil - 360 feet long, 120 feet wide and 80 feet deep, within the walls of the city, close by St. Stephen's Gate, and under the northeast wall of the Haram area, is generally considered to be the modern representative of Bethesda, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. Robinson, however, suggests that the ancient Bethesda is identical with what is now called the Pool of the Virgin, an intermittent pool, south of Birket Israil and north of the pool of Siloam.

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