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A pool in the Tyropoean Valley, just outside the south wall of Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ gave sight to the man born blind (John 9:1-7). Thanks to the excavations of Mr. Bliss and others, the identification of the present pool with the Siloe of Isaiah 8:6 and John 9:7 is beyond all doubt. Near the traditional pool (birket Silwan), Mr. Bliss found in 1896 the ruins of an ancient basin, 75 ft. north and south by 78 ft. east and west and 18 ft. deep, on the north side of which was a church with a nave. The pool connects with "the upper source of the waters of Gihon" (2 Chronicles 32:30) by a subterranean conduit (2 Kings 18:17), called "the king's aqueduct" (Ezra 2:14), 600 yards long, the fall of which is so slight that the water runs very gently; hence Isaiah 8:6 compares the House of David to "the waters of Siloe, that go with silence". In 1880 the excavations of the German Palestinian Society uncovered in the Siloe pool near the outflow of the canal an inscription, which is, excepting the Mesa stone, the oldest specimen of Hebrew writing, probably of the seventh century B.C. The tower "in Siloe", (Luke 13:4) Was probably a part of the near-by city wall, as Mr. Bliss's excavations show that the pool had given its name to the whole vicinity; hence "the gate of the fountain" (Nehemiah 2:14).


Bliss, Excavations of Jerusalem, 1894-7 (London, 1898), 132-210; Zeitschr. des deutschen Palastina-vereins (Leipzig), XXII, 61 sqq.; IV, 102 sqq., 250 sqq.; V, 725; Pal. Explor. Fund, Quarterly Statement (London, 1882), 122 sq., 16 sq., 178 sq.; (ibid., 1883), 210 sqq.; Revue biblique (Paris, 1897), 299-306; HEIDET IN VIGOUROUX, Dict. de la Bible, s.v. Siloe; MOMMERT, Siloah, etc. (Leipzig, 1908); WARREN AND CONDER, Survey of Western Palestine, II (London, 1884), 343-71.

About this page

APA citation. Reagan, N. (1912). Siloe. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Reagan, Nicholas. "Siloe." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph E. O'Connor.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, D.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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