Pool of Bethesda

Located next to St Anne in the Muslim Quarter, this is traditionally considered to the area where Hz. Isa عليه اسلام healed a paralyzed man

Jerusalem, Palestine

Coordinates: 31.768366, 35.213661

The Pool of Bethesda was a pool in Jerusalem known from the New Testament story of Hz. Isa عليه اسلام miraculously healing a paralysed man.

It is now associated with the site of a pool in the current Muslim Quarter of the city, near the gate now called the Lions’ Gate and the Church of St. Anne, that was excavated in the late 19th century.


Acc to christian sources, the event took place near the “Sheep Gate” in Jerusalem (now the Lions’ Gate), close to a fountain or a pool called “Bethzatha”

John’s Gospel account describes how Hz. Isa عليه اسلام, visiting Jerusalem for a Jewish feast (John 5:1), encounters one of the disabled people who used to lie here, a man who had been paralysed for thirty-eight years.

Hz. Isa عليه اسلام asks the man if he wants to get well. The man explains that he is unable to enter the water, because he has no one to help him in and others go down ahead of him.

He waited for 38 years for someone to help him into the pool waters which were believed to have healing properties.

Hz. Isa عليه اسلام tells him to pick up his bed or mat and walk; the man is instantly cured and is able to do so.

The compound containing the pools and the church is owned by the French government and administered by the White Fathers. It also contains a museum and a Greek-Catholic (Melkite) seminary.

Grandfather of Hz. Isa عليه اسلام

According to an ancient tradition, Bethesda is also where Hz. Isa’s عليه اسلام maternal grandparents, Hz. Imran عليه اسلام and Bibi Hannah رضي الله عنها (Anne and Joachim) lived — and where his mother Bibi Maryam رضي الله عنها was born. The Church of St Anne, built around 1140, stands nearby.

Jews more determined to kill Hz. Isa عليه اسلام after this Incident

The Gospel then explains that this healing took place on the Sabbath, and the local Jews told the cured man that the Law forbade him to carry his mat on this day.

He tells them that he had been told to do so by the man who had healed him. They ask him who this healer was but he is unable to tell them because Hz. Isa عليه اسلام had slipped away into the crowd.

Later, Hz. Isa عليه اسلام finds the man in the Temple, and tells him not to sin again, so that nothing worse happens to him.

The man goes away and tells the Jewish people that it was Jesus who had made him well (John 5:15).

The Gospel account explains that the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he was healing on the Sabbath. He responds by saying that “My Father is still working, and I also am working” (John 5:17).

This assertion makes the Jews all the more determined to kill him, because not only is he breaking the Sabbath but he is making himself equal to God by calling God his father (John 5:1-18).

Note: Some of the information in this article comes from Christians sources.