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Bethesda Overview

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Bethesda Overview
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Photo Comments

View of the excavation of the area of the Pools of Bethesda—looking southwest.

In the lower half of the picture is the area where first there were a series of small pools and cisterns, and it was there that invalids waited for healing.  This would be the area where the man healed by Jesus would have been waiting (John 5).  Later, when Jerusalem was under Roman control, a Temple to the god of healing, Asclepius, was constructed here.  Foundation walls of this temple are visible to the left of the single, partial, column, left of the center of the image.  Eventually, a large Byzantine Church was built over the whole area.

In the center of the image, notice the group of people standing on a staircase.  Just beyond them is where a portion of the Southern of the two pools is visible.  Sightly above and right of center, the outer portion of the apse of the small Crusader Church is visible.

Note the houses on the hill beyond the area of the pools.  Runoff water from this hill flowed into the Bezaith Valley and which was collected in the Pools of Bethesda.