Solomon's Pool in Bible's Second Temple Era at Risk of Collapsing, Visitors Fear

(Photo: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)Palestinian boys collect fish in ancient Solomon's Pools near West Bank town of Bethlehem July 2, 2005. Solomon's Pools were built during King Herod's reign. They provided water to both Bethlehem and Jerusalem from ancient times until very recently. The three pools are each over 100 m (328 feet) long and 10 m (32 feet) deep and have a combined capacity of nearly 300,000 cubic meters of water.

Tourists visiting Solomon's Pools in the West Bank have asked authorities to do more to care for the ancient reservoirs as they are falling apart from harsh weather and neglect.

The pools, which date back to the Second Temple Era, are located southwest of Bethlehem in the Palestinian village of Al Khader, and therefore the Palestinian Authority is responsible for maintaining and repairing the pools.

Benjamin Tropper, a tour guide who works at the pools, told YNet News that the ancient pools serve as a testimony to "[King] Herod's construction abilities," describing them as the "most impressive water area" built during its time nearly 2,000 years ago.

"These pools are a major architectural wonder," Tropper told the media outlet. "I noticed that a part of the wall had collapsed and we're worried that if the damage is not fixed, the main pool will collapse from the force of the water."

"The broken part of the wall is approximately 20 meters wide and there is a danger that an avalanche will destroy the site, which is a very important cultural and archaeological asset," he added.

As the Jewish Press reports, the pools were built by King Herod and the Romans to serve as a water distribution system for the towns Al Khader and Herodium, as well as the Second Jewish Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

The pools collected water from rain, as well as two aqueducts, to funnel it to the towns and temple, the media outlet explains.

As the Jerusalem Post reported in 2012, although Herod completed the second phase of the pool construction to move water to Herodium, where his fortress was, it was actually King Solomon who first built the pools in the 2nd or 1st Century BC.

The media outlet adds that there may be mention of the pools in the Book of Ecclesiastes 2.6, when Solomon says that he "made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees".

As The Christian Post reported earlier this year, that in recent years Israeli archaeologists have confirmed the discovery of another pool, the pool of Siloam described in John 9 as the site where Jesus heals a blind man.

The pool is mentioned in John 9:1-11, in which Jesus commands a blind man to wash mud from his eyes in the pool of Siloam so he may be healed.

"He replied, 'The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see,'" the story reads, in part.

Archaeologists have also discovered the Pool of Bethesda, also mentioned in the Gospel of John to be a site of a miracle, where Jesus commands a disabled person waiting by the pool for 38 years to enter the water and be healed.

"[Jesus] asked the man 'Do you want to get well?' 'Sir,' the man replied, 'I have no one to help me get into the pool when the water is stirred! While I'm trying to get there, somebody else always get ahead of me!' Then Jesus simply said, 'Stand up, pick up your mat, and start walking!' When the man trusted Jesus, he was immediately able to walk again,'" the story from John 5 reads in part.