POOL; POND; RESERVOIR
pool, pond, rez'-er-vwar, rez'-er-vwar ((1) berekhah, "pool"; compare Arabic birkat, "pool"; compare berakhah, "blessing," and Arabic barakat, "blessing"; (2) agham, "pool," "marsh," "reeds"; compare Arabic 'ajam, "thicket," "jungle"; (3) miqwah, "reservoir," the King James Version "ditch" (Isaiah 22:11); (4) miqweh, "pond," the King James Version "pool" (Exodus 7:19); miqweh ha-mayim, English Versions of the Bible "gathering together of the waters" (Genesis 1:10); miqweh-mayim, "a gathering of water," the King James Version "plenty of water" (Leviticus 11:36); (5) kolumbethra, "pool," literally, "a place of diving," from kolumbao, "to dive"):
Lakes (see LAKE) are very rare in Syria and Palestine, but the dry climate, which is one reason for the fewness of lakes, impels the inhabitants to make artificial pools or reservoirs to collect the water of the rain or of springs for irrigation and also for drinking. The largest of these are made by damming water courses, in which water flows during the winter or at least after showers of rain. These may be enlarged or deepened by excavation. Good examples of this are found at Diban and Madeba in Moab. Smaller pools of rectangular shape and usually much wider than deep, having no connection with water courses, are built in towns to receive rain from the roofs or from the surface of the ground. These may be for common use like several large ones in Jerusalem, or may belong to particular houses. These are commonly excavated to some depth in the soil or rock, though the walls are likely to rise above the surface. Between these and cylindrical pits or cisterns no sharp line can be drawn.
The water of springs may be collected in large or small pools of masonry, as the pool of Siloam (John 9:7). This is commonly done for irrigation when the spring is so small that the water would be lost by absorption or evaporation if it were attempted to convey it continuously to the fields. The pool (Arabic, birkat) receives the trickle of water until it is full. The water is then let out in a large stream and conducted where it is needed. (In this way by patient labor a small trickling spring may support much vegetation.)
'Agham does not seem to be used of artificial pools, but rather of natural or accidental depressions containing water, as pools by the Nile (Exodus 7:19; 8:5), or in the wilderness (Psalms 107:35; 114:8; Isaiah 14:23; 35:7; 41:18; 42:15). In Isaiah 19:10 the rendering of the King James Version, "all that make sluices and ponds for fish," would be an exception to this statement, but the Revised Version (British and American) has "all they that work for hire shall be grieved in soul." Miqweh occurs with 'agham in Exodus 7:19 of the ponds and pools by the Nile. Berekhah is used of "the pool of Gibeon" (2 Samuel 2:13), "the pool in Hebron" (2 Samuel 4:12), "the pool of Samaria" (1 Kings 22:38), "the pools in Heshbon" (Song of Solomon 7:4), "the pool of Shelah," the King James Version "Shiloah" (Nehemiah 3:15); compare "the waters of Shiloah" (Isaiah 8:6). We read in Ecclesiastes 2:6, "I made me pools of water, to water therefrom the forest where trees were reared." There is mention of "the upper pool" (2 Kings 18:17; Isaiah 7:3; 36:2), "the lower pool" (Isaiah 22:9), "the king's pool" (Nehemiah 2:14). Isaiah 22:11 has, "Ye made also a reservoir (miqwah) between the two walls for the water of the old pool (berekhah)." Kolumbethra is used of the pool of Bethesda (John 5:2,4,7) and of the pool of Siloam (John 9:7,11).
See also CISTERN; NATURAL FEATURES; BJ, V, iv, 2.
Alfred Ely Day
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