pools in Scripture
In Palestine, where dry weather prevails eight months of the year and springs are not abundant, the supply of water, especially in cities and towns, was assured by means of reservoirs either made by damming up a narrow valley or excavated from the rock (Hebrew: berekah).
Although practically every town had its pool, yet those that were in the neighborhood of Jerusalem are mentioned much more frequently.
Besides these three, 2 Esdras mentions the "well made pool," probably the reservoir immediately ad- joining the spring of Gihon.
Famous in history because of the pool of Gabaon, which witnessed the bloody encounter of the servants of David with the defenders of Saul's dynasty (2 Kings 2), not to mention the pool (possibly a double pool, like that of Bethsaida) of Hesebon, to which the author of the Canticle of Canticles (Canticles 7) compares the eyes of the beloved.
- the Lower or Old Pool (Birket el-Hamra) south of the old city, originally fed by the spring of Gihon ('Ain Sitti Maryam) flowing through a surface canal
- the Pool of Siloe, or Upper Pool, or the King's Pool, northwest of the spring of Gihon, inside the old city wall; its water came likewise from the Mountain of Gihon, but by means of an underground channel, the famous Tunnel of Siloam attributed to King Ezechias (Ecclesiastes 48)
- the Pool of Bethsaida (John 5), part of which may still be seen west of Saint Ann's Church, bearing the marks of a construction of the last century B.C., whatever the origin of the flow of its water
New Catholic Dictionary