I. In 1 Kings 1:33,38, that which is, in the Hebrew, |Bring ye Solomon to Gihon: and they brought him to Gihon|; is rendered by the Chaldee, |Bring ye him to Siloam: and they brought him to Siloam.| Where Kimchi thus; |Gihon is Siloam, and it is called by a double name. And David commanded, that they should anoint Solomon at Gihon for a good omen, to wit, that, as the waters of the fountain are everlasting, so might his kingdom be.| So also the Jerusalem writers; |They do not anoint the king, but at a fountain; as it is said, 'Bring Solomon to Gihon.'|
The bubblings up of Siloam yielded a type of the kingdom of David, Isaiah 8:6. |Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Siloah that go softly,| &c. Where the Chaldee paraphrast thus; |Because this people are weary of the house of David, which deals gently with them, as the waters of Siloam slide away gently.| And R. Solomon; |Siloam is a fountain, whose name is Gihon and Siloam.|
II. That fountain was situated on the west part of the city, but not far from the south-west corner.
Josephus, speaking of that deep valley which runs between Sion and Acra, saith, |it is extended to Siloam; for so we call the sweet and large fountain.| But now the mounts Sion and Acra, and likewise the valley that cut between them, did run out from east to west. And the same author, in the same place, speaking of the compass of the outermost wall, saith these things among others, |And thence it bends to the south behind the fountain Siloam.| After the tumult raised at Jerusalem by the Jews under Florus, -- the Neapolitan tribune, coming thither with king Agrippa, is besought by the Jews, |that taking only one servant, he would go about through the city as far as Siloam| (that is, from the east to the west, through the whole city): and that thence, from the peaceable and quiet behavior of the people towards him, he might perceive, that the people were not in a heat against all the Romans, but against Florus only.
III. Siloam was on the back of Jerusalem, not of Sion. Let that of Josephus be noted; |The Romans, when they had drove out the seditious from the Lower City, burnt it all to Siloam.| This we therefore observe, because we may see some maps, which, placing Siloam behind Sion, do deceive here, and are deceived: when in truth it ought to be placed behind Acra. The pool, indeed, of Siloam was behind some part of Sion, westward; but the fountain of Siloam was behind Acra.
IV. It emptied itself, by a double rivulet, into a double pool, to wit, the upper and the lower, 2 Kings 18:17; Isaiah 7:3. The lower was on the west, and is called 'The pool of Siloam,' John 9:7; Nehemiah 3:15. The upper, perhaps, was that which is called by Josephus, 'the pool of Solomon,' in the place lately quoted. |And thence (saith he) the outermost wall bends to the south behind the fountain of Siloam: and thence again bends to the east at the pool of Solomon.| See 2 Chronicles 32:30; Isaiah 22:9,11.
V. They drew waters out of the fountain of Siloam, in that solemn festivity of the feast of Tabernacles, which they called, |The pouring out of water|: concerning which the fathers of the traditions thus; |The pouring out of water, in what manner was it? There was a golden cup, containing three logs, which one filled out of Siloam,| &c. The Gemarists inquire, |Whence was this custom? From thence, that it is said, 'And ye shall draw waters with joy out of the wells of salvation.'| R. Levi saith, |Why is it called The place of draught? -- Because thence they draw out the Holy Spirit.|
Thence, also, they drew the water that was to be mingled with the ashes of the red cow, when any unclean person was to be sprinkled.
The priests, eating more liberally of the holy things, drank the waters of Siloam for digestion's sake.
Let us also add these things; but let the reader unriddle them: -- |He that is unclean by a dead carcass entereth not into the Mountain of the Temple. It is said, That they that should appear should appear in the court. Whence do you measure? From the wall, or from the houses? Samuel delivers it, From Siloam, &c. And Siloam was in the middle of the city.|