a pond, or reservoir, for holding water (Heb. berekhah; modern Arabic, birket), an artificial cistern or tank. Mention is made of the pool of Gibeon ( 2 Samuel 2:13 ); the pool of Hebron ( 4:12 ); the upper pool at Jerusalem ( 2 Kings 18:17 ; 20:20 ); the pool of Samaria ( 1 Kings 22:38 ); the king's pool ( Nehemiah 2:14 ); the pool of Siloah ( Nehemiah 3:15 ; Ecclesiastes 2:6 ); the fishpools of Heshbon (Cant 7:4 ); the "lower pool," and the "old pool" ( Isaiah 22:9 Isaiah 22:11 ).
The "pool of Bethesda" ( John 5:2 John 5:4 John 5:7 ) and the "pool of Siloam" ( John 9:7 John 9:11 ) are also mentioned. ( Isaiah 35:7 ) says, "The parched ground shall become a pool." This is rendered in the Revised Version "glowing sand," etc. (marg., "the mirage," etc.). The Arabs call the mirage "serab," plainly the same as the Hebrew word sarab , here rendered "parched ground." "The mirage shall become a pool", i.e., the mock-lake of the burning desert shall become a real lake, "the pledge of refreshment and joy." The "pools" spoken of in Isaiah 14:23 are the marshes caused by the ruin of the canals of the Euphrates in the neighbourhood of Babylon.
The cisterns or pools of the Holy City are for the most part excavations beneath the surface. Such are the vast cisterns in the temple hill that have recently been discovered by the engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund. These underground caverns are about thirty-five in number, and are capable of storing about ten million gallons of water. They are connected with one another by passages and tunnels.
Pools, like the tanks of India, are in many parts of Palestine and Syria the only resource for water during the dry season, and the failure of them involves drought and calamity. ( Isaiah 42:15 ) Of the various pools mentioned in Scripture, perhaps the most celebrated are the pools of Solomon near Bethlehem called by the Arabs el-Burak , from which an aqueduct was carried which still supplies Jerusalem with wafer. ( Ecclesiastes 2:6 ) Ecclus. 24:30, 31.