2.There was in Jerusalem, at the sheep-market, a pool. The circumstance of the place is added, from which we learn that the miracle was not concealed or known to a few persons only; for the five porches show that the place was celebrated for the great number of persons who resorted to it, and this was also implied in its vicinity to the temple. Besides, the Evangelist expressly says that many diseased persons lay there With respect to the meaning of the name, the learned justly reject the fanciful opinion of Jerome, who, instead of Bethesda, makes it Betheder, and interprets it to mean the house of the flock; for here mention is made of a pool, which was near the sheep-market Those who read it Bethesda, as meaning a place of fishing, have no reason on their side. There is greater probability in the opinion of those who explain it to be a place of pouring out; for the Hebrew word (
אשך) (Eshed) signifies flowing out; but the Evangelist, as was then the ordinary way of speaking, pronounced it Esda For I think that the water was conveyed into it by conduits, that the priests might draw out of it; unless perhaps the place received its name from the circumstance that the water was poured into it by means of tubes. It was called the sheep-market, in my opinion, because the beasts which were to be offered in sacrifice were taken there.