On our tour of Jerusalem we are now moving down to look at the oldest part of the city, known as the City of David. You can see the temple mount at the top of the photo (taken from further along the Mount of Olives ridge, in a place called the ‘Hill of Corruption’ [2 Kings 23:13]).
With the Kidron Valley on the right, and the Central, or Tyropoeon, Valley on the left, you can see why this little slice of land has been an important defensive position for centuries. When David captured Jerusalem, this was all the city was! All the houses of the ordinary people have long gone – because it is the safest place in the city, many rich people live here now. The walls around this area have been rebuilt many times, including by governor Nehemiah when the people returned from exile in Babylon.
Just to the left of the walls, in the Central valley and near the front of the photo you will see a square building with an open centre. This is the pool of Siloam, which is surrounded by colonnades and fed by two underground tunnels cut under the city from the ancient Gihon spring, once Jerusalem’s only source of water. Jesus Himself came through a year or two ago, and told a blind man to wash in the pool, after which he could see.
Further reading: 2 Samuel 5:6-10 (David captures Jerusalem), John 9 (The healing at the pool).