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Aqueduct (4 Occurrences)

2 Kings 18:17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rab-shakeh from Lachish, with a strong force, against king Hezekiah, to Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the aqueduct of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the fuller's field.

2 Kings 20:20 And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made the pool and the aqueduct, and brought the water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

Isaiah 7:3 And Jehovah said to Isaiah, Go out now to meet Ahaz, thou and thy son Shear-jashub, at the end of the aqueduct of the upper pool, on the highway of the fuller's field;

Isaiah 36:2 The king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to king Hezekiah with a large army. He stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool in the fuller's field highway.

Aqueduct (4 Occurrences)
... 2. (n.) A canal or passage; as, the aqueduct of Sylvius, a channel connecting the
third and fourth ventricles of the brain. Int. ... CISTERN; WELL; POOL; AQUEDUCT. ...
/a/aqueduct.htm - 23k

Shiloah (1 Occurrence)
... 2. The Siloam Aqueduct: Opposite to the main part of Silwan is the "Virgin's Fount,"
ancient GIHON (which see), whose waters are practically monopolized by the ...
/s/shiloah.htm - 17k

Siloah (1 Occurrence)
... 2. The Siloam Aqueduct: Opposite to the main part of Silwan is the "Virgin's Fount,"
ancient GIHON (which see), whose waters are practically monopolized by the ...
/s/siloah.htm - 17k

Shelah (18 Occurrences)
... 2. The Siloam Aqueduct: Opposite to the main part of Silwan is the "Virgin's Fount,"
ancient GIHON (which see), whose waters are practically monopolized by the ...
/s/shelah.htm - 24k

Gihon (6 Occurrences)
... From Gihon Hezekiah made his aqueduct (2 Chronicles 32:30), now the Siloam tunnel. ...
Of aqueducts, besides the "Siloam aqueduct," two others have been formed. ...
/g/gihon.htm - 16k

Siloam (4 Occurrences)
... 2. The Siloam Aqueduct: Opposite to the main part of Silwan is the "Virgin's Fount,"
ancient GIHON (which see), whose waters are practically monopolized by the ...
/s/siloam.htm - 21k

Cistern (21 Occurrences)
... 2. (n.) A natural reservoir; a hollow place containing water. Int. Standard
Bible Encyclopedia. CISTERN; WELL; POOL; AQUEDUCT. sis ...
/c/cistern.htm - 29k

Fuller's (4 Occurrences)
... jashub his son by command of Yahweh (Isaiah 7:3). An old view placed these events
somewhere near the present Jaffa Gate, as here runs an aqueduct from the ...
/f/fuller's.htm - 11k

Well (2882 Occurrences)
... 22. (a.) Safe; as, a chip warranted well at a certain day and place. Int.
Standard Bible Encyclopedia. CISTERN; WELL; POOL; AQUEDUCT. ...
/w/well.htm - 39k

Field (390 Occurrences)
... jashub his son by command of Yahweh (Isaiah 7:3). An old view placed these events
somewhere near the present Jaffa Gate, as here runs an aqueduct from the ...
/f/field.htm - 44k

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A conduit or channel for supplying cities with water; a conductor for conveying water

2. (n.) A canal or passage; as, the aqueduct of Sylvius, a channel connecting the third and fourth ventricles of the brain.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


Use of Terms

1. General

2. Wells or Cylindrical Cisterns

3. Private Cisterns

4. Public Cisterns

5. Pools and Aqueducts

6. Figurative Uses


Several words are rendered by "cistern," "well," "pool," the relations of which in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) are as follows:

Use of Terms:

"Cistern," bo'r (Jeremiah 2:13, etc.), or bor (2 Kings 18:31). The latter word is frequently in the King James Version translated "well." the Revised Version (British and American) in these cases changes to "cistern" in text (Deuteronomy 6:11 2 Chronicles 26:10 Nehemiah 9:25) margin (Jeremiah 14:3), rendered "pit" in the King James Version are changed to "cistern" the Revised Version (British and American) (the latter in the American Standard Revised Version only).

The proper Hebrew word for "well" is be'er (seen in Beer-sheba, "well of the oath," Genesis 21:31), but other terms are thus rendered in the King James Version, as `ayin (Genesis 24:13, 16, etc., and frequently), ma`yan (Joshua 18:15), maqor (Proverbs 10:11). ally changes to "fountain"; in Exodus 15:27, however, it renders `ayin by "springs," and in Psalm 84:6, ma`yan by, "place of springs." "Pool," 'agham (Isaiah 14:23, etc.; in the King James Version, Exodus 7:19; Exodus 8:5, rendered "ponds"); more frequently berekhah (2 Samuel 2:13; 2 Samuel 4:12, etc.). In Psalm 84:6 the cognate berakhah, is changed to "blessing."

In the New Testament "well" represents the two words: pege (John 4:6, 14; in the Revised Version, margin "spring"; 2 Peter 2:17; the Revised Version (British and American) renders "springs"), and phrear (John 4:11, 12). "Pool" is kolumbethra, in John 5:2, 4, 7; John 9:7, 11.

1. General:

The efforts made to supplement the natural water supply, both in agricultural and in populated areas, before as well as after the Conquest, are clearly seen in the innumerable cisterns, wells and pools which abound throughout Palestine The rainy season, upon which the various storage systems depend, commences at the end of October and ends in the beginning of May. In Jerusalem, the mean rainfall in 41 years up to 1901 was 25, 81 inches, falling in a mean number of 56 days (see Glaisher, Meteorological Observations, 24). Toward the end of summer, springs and wells, where they have not actually dried up, diminish very considerably, and cisterns and open reservoirs become at times the only sources of supply. Cisterns are fed from surface and roof drainage. Except in the rare instances where springs occur, wells depend upon percolation. The' great open reservoirs or pools are fed from surface drainage and, in some cases, by aqueducts from springs or from more distant collecting pools. In the case of private cisterns, it is the custom of the country today to close up the inlets during the early days of the rain, so as to permit of a general wash down of gathering surfaces, before admitting the water. Cisterns, belonging to the common natives, are rarely cleansed, and the inevitable scum which collects is dispersed by plunging the pitcher several times before drawing water. When the water is considered to be bad, a somewhat primitive cure is applied by dropping earth into the cistern, so as to sink all impurities with it, to the bottom. The accumulation often found in ancient cisterns probably owes some of its presence to this same habit.

2. Wells or Cylindrical Cisterns:

It is necessary to include wells under the head of cisterns, as there appears to be some confusion in the use of the two terms. Wells, so called, were more often deep cylindrical reservoirs, the lower part of which was sunk in the rock and cemented, the upper part being built with open joints, to receive the surface percolation. They were often of great depth. Job's well at Jerusalem, which is certainly of great antiquity, is 125 ft. deep (see Palestine Exploration Fund, "Jerus," 371).

The discovery of "living water" when digging a well, recorded in Genesis 26:19 margin, appears to have been an unusual incident. Uzziah hewed out many cisterns in the valley for his cattle (2 Chronicles 26:9, 10 the Revised Version (British and American)), and he built towers, presumably to keep watch over both cattle and cisterns. Isaac "digged again the wells" which had been filled in by the Philistines (Genesis 26:18). Wells were frequently dug in the plain, far from villages, for flocks and herds, and rude stone troughs were provided nearby. The well was usually covered with a stone, through which a hole was pierced sufficiently large to allow of free access for the pitchers. A stone was placed over this hole (Genesis 29:10) when the well was not in use. The great amount of pottery found in ancient cisterns suggests that clay pots were used for drawing water (see Bible Sidelights, 88). Josephus (Ant., IV, viii, 37) elucidates the passage in Exodus 21:33 requiring the mouth of a "pit" or "well" to be covered with planks against accidents. This would seem to apply to wide-mouthed wells which had not been narrowed over to receive a stone cover. It may have been a well or cistern similar to these into which Joseph was cast (Genesis 37:24). In fact, dry-wells and cisterns formed such effective dungeons, that it is very probable they were often used for purposes of detention. From earliest times, wells have been the cause of much strife. The covenant between Abimelech and Abraham at Beersheba (Genesis 32) was a necessity, no less pressing then than it is now. The well, today, is a center of life in the East. Women gather around it in pursuit of their daily duties, and travelers, man and beast, divert their course thereto, if needs be, for refreshment; and news of the outer world is carried to and from the well. It is, in fact, an all-important center, and daily presents a series of characteristic Bible scenes. The scene between Rebekah and the servant of Abraham (Genesis 24:11) is one with frequent parallels. The well lies usually at some little distance from the village or city. Abraham's servant made his "camels to kneel down without the city by the well of water at the time of the evening, the time that women go out to draw water." Saul and his servant found young maidens going out of the city to draw water (1 Samuel 9:11). Moses helped the daughters of the priest of Midian at the well, which was evidently at some distance from habitation (Exodus 2:16).

3. Private Cisterns:

Private cisterns must be distinguished from public cisterns or wells. They were smaller and were sunk in the rocks within private boundaries, each owner having his own cistern (2 Kings 18:31 Proverbs 5:15). Ancient sites are honeycombed with these cisterns. A common type in Jerusalem seems to have been bottle-shaped in section, the extended bottom part being in the softer rock, and the narrow neck in the hard upper stratum. Many irregularly shaped cisterns occur with rock vaults supported by rock or masonry piers. Macalister tells of the discovery at Gezer of a small silt catchpit attached to a private cistern, and provided with an overflow channel leading to the cistern. It is an early instance of a now well-known method of purification. The universal use of cement rendering to the walls of the cisterns was most necessary to seal up the fissures of the rock. The "broken cisterns" (Jeremiah 2:13) probably refer to insufficiently sealed cisterns.

4. Public Cisterns:

Besides private cisterns there were huge public rock-cut cisterns within the city walls. The great water caverns under the Temple area at Jerusalem show a most extensive system of water storage (see Recovery of Jerusalem, chapter vii). There are 37 of these described in Palestine Exploration Fund, "Jerus," 217, and the greatest is an immense rock-cut cavern the roof of which is partly rock and partly stone, supported by rock piers (see Fig. 1, Palestine Exploration Fund). It is 43 ft. deep with a storage capacity of over two million gallons and there are numerous access manholes. This cistern is fed by an aqueduct from Solomon's Pools about 10 miles distant by road, and is locally known as Bahar el Kebir, the "Great Sea." One of the most recent and one of the most interesting rock-cut reservoirs yet discovered is that at Gezer. (SeePalestine Exploration Fund Statement, 1908, 96.) In this example, the pool of spring water is reached by a great rock-tunnel staircase which descends 94 ft. 6 inches from the surface. The staircase diminishes in size as it descends, and at its greatest, it is 23 ft. high and 12 ft. 10 inches wide. These proportions may seem unnecessarily large, but may be accounted for by the necessity for providing light at the water level. As a matter of fact, the brink of the pool receives the light from above. The work dates back to pre-Israelite times.

5. Pools and Aqueducts:

Open pools were common in every city. They were cut out of the rock and were built and cemented at points where occasion demanded. They were often of great size. The pool outside Jerusalem known as Birket es Sultan measures 555 ft. x 220 ft. x 36 ft. deep, and the so-called Hezekiah's Pool within the walls, is 240 ft. x 144 ft. x about 20 ft. deep. The latter probably owes its origin to the rock-cut fosse of early Jewish date. The Birket es Sultan, on the other hand, probably dates from the time of the Turkish occupation. They may, however, be taken as examples, which, if somewhat larger, are still in accord with the pool system of earlier history. Pools were usually fed by surface drainage, and in some cases by aqueducts from springs at some distance away. They seem to have been at the public service, freely accessible to both man and beast. Pools situated outside the city walls were sometimes connected by aqueducts with pools within the city, so that the water could be drawn within the walls in time of siege. The so-called Pools of Solomon, three in number (see Fig. 3), situated about 10 miles by road from Jerusalem, are of large proportions and are fed by surface water and by aqueducts from springs. The water from these pools is conveyed in a wonderfully engineered course, known as the lower-level aqueduct, which searches the winding contours of the Judean hills for a distance of about 15 miles, before reaching its destination in "the great sea" under the Temple area. This aqueduct is still in use, but its date is uncertain (see G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, 131, where the author finds reason for ascribing it to the period of Herod). The course and destination of another aqueduct known as the high-level aqueduct is less definite. These aqueducts are of varying dimensions. The low-level aqueduct at a point just before it enters the Temple area was found to measure 3 ft. high x 2 ft. 3 inches wide, partly rock-cut and partly built, and rendered in smooth-troweled cement, with well-squared stone covers (see Palestine Exploration Fund, Excavations at Jerusalem, 53). There are many remains of rock-cut aqueducts throughout Palestine (see Fig. 4) which seem to indicate their use in early Hebrew times, but the lack of Old Testament references to these works is difficult to account for, unless it is argued that in some cases they date back to pre-Israelite times. The great tunnel and pool at Gezer lends a measure of support to this hypothesis. On the other hand, a plea for a Hebrew origin is also in a measure strengthened by the very slight reference in the Old Testament to such a great engineering feat as the cutting of the Siloam tunnel, which is doubtless the work of Hezekiah. The pool of Siloam was originally a simple rock-cut reservoir within the walls, and was constructed by Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:30). It measures 75 ft. x 71 ft. It is the upper pool of Isaiah 7:3. A lower overflow pool existed immediately beyond, contained by the city wall across the Tyropoeon valley. The aqueduct which supplies the upper pool takes a tortuous course of about 1,700 ft. through the solid rock from the Virgin's fountain, an intermittent spring on the East slope of the hill. The water reaches the pool on the Southwest of the spur of Ophel, and it was in the rock walls of this aqueduct that the famous Siloam inscription recording the completion of the work was discovered.

Herod embellished the upper pool, lining it with stone and building arches around its four sides (see Palestine Exploration Fund, Excavations at Jerusalem, 154), and the pool was most likely in this condition in the time of Christ (John 9:6, 7). There are numerous other pools, cisterns and aqueducts in and around Jerusalem, which provide abundant evidence of the continual struggle after water, made by its occupants of all times (see G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, chapter v, volume I).

See also PIT; WELL, etc.

6. Figurative Uses:

Good wives are described as cisterns (Proverbs 5:15). "The left ventricle of the heart, which retains the blood till it be redispersed through the body, is called a cistern" (Ecclesiastes 12:6). Idols, armies and material objects in which Israel trusted were "broken cisterns" (Jeremiah 2:13, see above) "soon emptied of all the aid and comfort which they possess, and cannot fill themselves again."


G. A. Smith, Jerusalem; Palestine Exploration Fund Memoirs, Jerusalem vol; Wilson, The Recovery of Jerusalem; Macalister, Bible Sidelights; Palestine Exploration Fund Statement; Bliss and Dickie, Excavations at Jerusalem; Josephus.

Arch. C. Dickie


ak'-we-dukt. See CISTERN.


Jesus Led Back from the Court of Herod to that of Pilate.
... From that hour they became friends, having been enemies many years; in fact,
ever since the falling-in of the aqueduct. [The cause ...
/.../the dolorous passion of our lord jesus christ/chapter xxi jesus led back.htm

The Misfortunes which Overwhelmed the Jews after their Presumption ...
... After this he stirred up another tumult by making use of the holy treasure, which
is called Corban, [320] in the construction of an aqueduct three hundred ...
/.../pamphilius/church history/chapter vi the misfortunes which overwhelmed.htm

Of the Oracle Found Inscribed an a Stone, when the Walls of ...
... And indeed it afterwards happened, that when Valens by building an aqueduct supplied
Constantinople with abundance of water, the barbarous nations made various ...
/.../the ecclesiastical history of scholasticus/chapter viii of the oracle found.htm

Bishop Gaudentius Said: These Things Wholesomely, Duly, and Fitly ...
... highways, or rather "in cities which are on the public highways, or Canals,' by
which they that pass go without labour, as in a canal or aqueduct the water ...
/.../schaff/the seven ecumenical councils/canon xx bishop gaudentius said .htm

... See Via Appia. Aqueduct of Damasus, 121. ... Damasus, Pope, 139, 217, 219; his aqueduct,
121; built an oratory to the memory of Simplicius and Faustinus, 333. ...
// and christian rome/index 2.htm

Letter xiii. --To the Church at Nicomedia .
... What advantage is the magnificence of the aqueduct to the thirsty, if there is no
water in it, even though the symmetrical disposition of columns [2217 ...
/.../gregory of nyssa dogmatic treatises etc/letter xiii to the church at.htm

St. Gregory the Great.
... The gigantic baths, fed by no aqueduct since the ruin wrought by Vitiges the Goth,
rose like fallen cities in a wilderness. Ivy began to creep over them. ...
/.../allies/the formation of christendom volume vi/chapter v st gregory the.htm

Pontius Pilate
... On another occasion, described by the same historian, Pilate had seized the sacred
money at the Temple and employed it in building an aqueduct, a piece of ...
/.../milligan/men of the bible some lesser-known/pontius pilate.htm

And it came to Pass, after Jesus had Returned Out of Egypt...
... Then he who had been dead rose up, and went away. And Jesus, by the word
of His power, brought water into the pools by the aqueduct. ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of pseudo-matthew/chapter 26 and it came.htm

And Again the Son of Annas, a Priest of the Temple...
... in them from the torrent. Moreover, he shut the aqueduct by which the
water came in, and then broke it down. And when Jesus saw ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of pseudo-matthew/chapter 28 and again the.htm



Related Terms

Shiloah (1 Occurrence)

Siloah (1 Occurrence)

Shelah (18 Occurrences)

Gihon (6 Occurrences)

Siloam (4 Occurrences)

Cistern (21 Occurrences)

Fuller's (4 Occurrences)

Well (2882 Occurrences)

Field (390 Occurrences)

Pools (15 Occurrences)

Pool (25 Occurrences)

Jerusalem (782 Occurrences)

Aquila (7 Occurrences)

Nicopolis (1 Occurrence)

Nephtoah (2 Occurrences)

Lo-debar (4 Occurrences)

Laodicea (6 Occurrences)

Lodebar (4 Occurrences)

Troas (6 Occurrences)

Roman (26 Occurrences)

Etam (5 Occurrences)

Middin (1 Occurrence)

Bethlehem (49 Occurrences)

Aptitude (1 Occurrence)

Attalia (1 Occurrence)

Side (4225 Occurrences)

Supply (40 Occurrences)

Tekoa (12 Occurrences)

Rabshakeh (15 Occurrences)


Ephesus (20 Occurrences)

Jordan (188 Occurrences)

Hammath (2 Occurrences)

Pontius (4 Occurrences)

Pilate (60 Occurrences)

Lachish (22 Occurrences)

Names (133 Occurrences)

Upper (99 Occurrences)

Highway (27 Occurrences)

Hezekiah (124 Occurrences)

God (45911 Occurrences)

Assyria (124 Occurrences)

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