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The Gihon Spring is an intermittent yet reliable water source in the Judean Mountains. Being so, it caused human settlement around from prehistoric times to what became known as Jerusalem. The Canaanites dug tunnels to and from it for agricultural use and security. During the Israelite period, its waters were diverted through another tunnel to the city’s southern end and collected in the Pool of Siloam.

The Gihon Spring in the Old Testament

The book of Kings records Solomon washing his anointing oil in the Gihon spring when he was crowned (1 Kings 1:33). The book of Chronicles records how later King Hezekiah blocked the spring’s outlet and directed the water into the city (2 Chronicles 32:30).

Gihon Spring in the New Testament

The water diverted by King Hezekiah into the city filled a pool at the southern end of the town. Known as the Pool of Siloam, it was also used in the first century. The Gospels document Jesus healing a blind man at this pool (John 9). The Gihon spring itself is not mentioned in the New Testament, but in Christian times, it was named the Fountain of the Virgin, as a local tradition argued Mary washed the swaddling clothes of Jesus in this spring.

Visiting the Gihon Spring

Today, the Gihon Spring is part of the City of David National Park and is accessed through the bent tunnel above Warren’s Shaft. Some will take the challenge of walking in this water through Hezekiah’s tunnel down to the Pool of Siloam.

For a full appreciation of the site it is recommended to have a guided day tour of Jerusalem that will include the City of David.

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