“(Heb. `ain; i.e., “eye” of the water desert), a natural source” “of living water. Palestine was a “land of brooks of water, of” “fountains, and depths that spring out of valleys and hills” (Deut. 8:7; 11:11). “These fountains, bright sparkling “eyes” of the desert, are “remarkable for their abundance and their beauty, especially on” the west of Jordan. All the perennial rivers and streams of the “country are supplied from fountains, and depend comparatively” “little on surface water. “Palestine is a country of mountains” “and hills, and it abounds in fountains of water. The murmur of” “these waters is heard in every dell, and the luxuriant foliage” “which surrounds them is seen in every plain.” Besides its” “rain-water, its cisterns and fountains, Jerusalem had also an” abundant supply of water in the magnificent reservoir called “Solomon’s Pools (q.v.), at the head of the Urtas valley,” whence it was conveyed to the city by subterrean channels some “10 miles in length. These have all been long ago destroyed, so” “that no water from the “Pools” now reaches Jerusalem. Only one” “fountain has been discovered at Jerusalem, the so-called” “Virgins’s Fountains, in the valley of Kidron; and only one” “well (Heb. beer), the Bir Eyub, also in the valley of Kidron,” “south of the King’s Gardens, which has been dug through the” solid rock. The inhabitants of Jerusalem are now mainly “dependent on the winter rains, which they store in cisterns.” (See WELL.)

The perennial source from which the Pool of Siloam (q.v.) is “supplied, the waters flowing in a copious stream to it through a” “tunnel cut through the rock, the actual length of which is 1,750” feet. The spring rises in a cave 20 feet by 7. A serpentine “tunnel 67 feet long runs from it toward the left, off which the” tunnel to the Pool of Siloam branches. It is the only unfailing fountain in Jerusalem. “The fountain received its name from the “fantastic legend” that here the virgin washed the swaddling-clothes of our Lord. “This spring has the singular characteristic of being “intermittent, flowing from three to five times daily in winter,” “twice daily in summer, and only once daily in autumn. This” peculiarity is accounted for by the supposition that the outlet from the reservoir is by a passage in the form of a siphon.

Leave a comment