Siloam - Called also Shiloah, Silos, or Siloa, was a fountain under the walls of Jerusalem, towards the east, between the city and the brook Kidron. Calmet thinks that this was the same with En-rogel, or the fuller's fountain, which is mentioned in Joshua 15:7; Joshua 18:16; in 2 Samuel 17:17; and in 1 Kings 1:9. Its waters were collected in a great reservoir for the use of the city; and a stream from it supplied the pool of Bethesda.
By interpretation, Sent - From the Hebrew שלח shalach, he sent: either because it was looked upon as a gift sent from God, for the use of the city; or because its waters were directed or sent by canals or pipes, into different quarters, for the same purpose. Some think there is an allusion here to Genesis 49:10; that this fountain was a type of Shiloh, the Christ, the Sent of God; and that it was to direct the man's mind to the accomplishment of the above prophecy that our Lord sent him to this fountain. This supposition does not appear very solid. The Turks have this fountain still in great veneration, and think the waters of it are good for diseases of the eyes. Lightfoot says that the spring of Siloam discharged itself by a double stream into a twofold pool - the upper was called שילוח shiloach - the lower שלח shelach ; the one signifying απεϚαλμενος, sent, the latter, κωδιων fleeces; and that our Lord marked this point so particularly, to inform the blind man that it was not to Shelach, but to Shiloach, that he must go to wash his eyes. These two pools seem to be referred to in Isaiah 7:23; Isaiah 22:9.
Wash in the pool - In the fountains.
Of Siloam - See the notes at Luke 13:4.
By interpretation, Sent - From the Hebrew verb to send perhaps because it was regarded as a blessing sent or given by God. Why Jesus sent him to wash there is not known. It is clear that the waters had no efficacy themselves to open the eyes of a blind man, but it is probable that he directed him to go there to test his obedience, and to see whether he was disposed to obey him in a case where he could not see the reason of it. An instance somewhat similar occurs in the case of Naaman, the Syrian leper, 2 Kings 5:10. The proud Syrian despised the direction; the tremble blind man obeyed and was healed. This case shows us that we should obey the commands of God, however unmeaning or mysterious they may appear. God has always a reason for all that he directs us to do, and our faith and willingness to obey him are often tried when we can see little of the reason of his requirements. In the first edition of these notes it was remarked that the word Siloam is from the same verb as Shiloh in Genesis 49:10. “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah - until Shiloh (that is, the Sent of God: the Messiah) come,” and that John in this remark probably had reference to this prophecy. This was incorrect: and there is no evidence that John in this passage had reference to that prophecy, or that this fountain was emblematic of the Messiah. The original words Siloam and Shiloh are from different roots and mean different things. The former, Siloam שׁלח Shiloachis derived from שׁלה shaalach(to send); the latter, Shiloh שׁילה Shiylohmeans rest or quiet, and was given to the Messiah, probably, because he would bring rest that is, he would be the “prince of peace.” Compare Isaiah 9:6.
On one occasion Christ anointed the eyes of a blind man with clay and bade him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.... He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” John 9:7. The cure could be wrought only by the power of the Great Healer, yet Christ made use of the simple agencies of nature. While He did not give countenance to drug medication, He sanctioned the use of simple and natural remedies. MH 233.1
When we have prayed for the recovery of the sick, whatever the outcome of the case, let us not lose faith in God. If we are called upon to meet bereavement, let us accept the bitter cup, remembering that a Father's hand holds it to our lips. But should health be restored, it should not be forgotten that the recipient of healing mercy is placed under renewed obligation to the Creator. When the ten lepers were cleansed, only one returned to find Jesus and give Him glory. Let none of us be like the unthinking nine, whose hearts were untouched by the mercy of God. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17. MH 233.2Read in context »
In the Saviour's manner of healing there were lessons for His disciples. On one occasion He anointed the eyes of a blind man with clay, and bade him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.... He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” John 9:7. The cure could be wrought only by the power of the Great Healer, yet Christ made use of the simple agencies of nature. While He did not give countenance to drug medication, He sanctioned the use of simple and natural remedies. DA 824.1
To many of the afflicted ones who received healing, Christ said, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” John 5:14. Thus He taught that disease is the result of violating God's laws, both natural and spiritual. The great misery in the world would not exist did men but live in harmony with the Creator's plan. DA 824.2
Christ had been the guide and teacher of ancient Israel, and He taught them that health is the reward of obedience to the laws of God. The Great Physician who healed the sick in Palestine had spoken to His people from the pillar of cloud, telling them what they must do, and what God would do for them. “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God,” He said, “and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.” Exodus 15:26. Christ gave to Israel definite instruction in regard to their habits of life, and He assured them, “The Lord will take away from thee all sickness.” Deuteronomy 7:15. When they fulfilled the conditions, the promise was verified to them. “There was not one feeble person among their tribes.” Psalm 105:37. DA 824.3
These lessons are for us. There are conditions to be observed by all who would preserve health. All should learn what these conditions are. The Lord is not pleased with ignorance in regard to His laws, either natural or spiritual. We are to be workers together with God for the restoration of health to the body as well as to the soul. DA 824.4
And we should teach others how to preserve and to recover health. For the sick we should use the remedies which God has provided in nature, and we should point them to Him who alone can restore. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to Christ in the arms of our faith. We should teach them to believe in the Great Healer. We should lay hold on His promise, and pray for the manifestation of His power. The very essence of the gospel is restoration, and the Saviour would have us bid the sick, the hopeless, and the afflicted take hold upon His strength. DA 824.5Read in context »