The Pool of Siloam (Shiloh) was located on the south side of the Lower City, the City of David in the Tyropoeon Valley. It was a man-made reservoir and the only permanent water source for the city of Jerusalem in this period, being fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring diverted through Hezekiah's Tunnel, built in the 8th century BC.. The Pool of Siloam is clearly distinguishable in the Second Temple model of Jerusalem. During the time of Jesus the poor people, and sick people would come here to bathe. It is very interesting that Jesus chose this place to send the blind man (John 9:6-7), for it was recorded among the writings of the oral law that this was the Messiah's pool. The Old Testament clearly identifies the Messiah as the "sent one" numerous times, and Siloam is the same word in the Hebrew and the English transliteration is the word apostle, or missionary.
This map shows the areas of expansion by the Philistines around the 10th century B.C. This was the time period when Saul had died and David began to reign in Israel. The Philistines were clearly superior in strength but the Lord promised that he would be with Israel. The Philistines expanded eastward toward Jerusalem but were stopped by King David and the armies of Israel. The Book of Samuel mentions the five cities of the Philistines: Ashdod (coastal), Gaza (coastal), Ashkelon (coastal), Gath (inland), and Ekron (inland).
A massive gate unearthed in Israel may have marked the entrance to a biblical city that, at its heyday, was the biggest metropolis in the region. The town, called Gath, was occupied until the ninth century B.C. In biblical accounts, the Philistines — the mortal enemies of the Israelites — ruled the city. The Old Testament also describes Gath as the home of Goliath, the giant warrior whom the Israelite King David felled with a slingshot. The new findings reveal just how impressive the ancient Philistine city once was, said lead archaeologist of the current excavation, Aren Maeir, of Bar-Ilan University in Israel
Kiriath-Jearim is located in a commanding spot in the Judean highlands, 12 km west of Jerusalem. The Arabic name – Deir el-Azar – probably stems from the reference to Eleazar, who according to 1 Samuel 7: 1 took charge of the ark of the covenant when it was brought to Kiriath-Jearim. The identification of Deir el-Azar with biblical Kiriath-Jearim is accepted unanimously. The mound is ca. 250 x 250 m in size = 5 hectares, one of the biggest Iron Age tells in the highlands. It has not been damaged by modern construction. The site is mentioned many times in the Bible: as a border town between the territories of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, in the Ark Narrative, the list of returnees from exile and other places. According to the Book of Samuel the ark had been captured by the Philistines following the defeat of Israel in the battle of Eben-ezer. It then spread havoc in Philistines cities and was hence returned to Beth-shemesh. From there it was taken to Kiriath-Jearim and finally brought by King David to Jerusalem. The Ark Narrative and the strong polemic against the town in the Bible hint at the existence of a temple in late-monarchic times
Frederick Law Olmsted: Landscape Architect of NYC Central Park, Frontier Explorer of Wild West & South Pacific
The tragic life of Frederick Law Olmsted is arguably the most important historical figure that the average American knows the least about. Best remembered for his landscape architecture, from New York's Central Park to Boston's Emerald Necklace to Stanford University's campus, Olmsted was also an influential journalist, early voice for the environment, and abolitionist credited with helping dissuade England from joining the South in the Civil War. This momentous career of public service in now retold.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, SCHOLARS!