RESERVOIR (Heb. miqwâh, a source of water). Because most of western Asia was subject to periodic droughts, and because of frequent sieges, cities set great store by their waterworks. Some of the reservoirs and many private cisterns were hewn into solid rock. Some provided for abundant storage (Neh.9.25). Uzziah helped his land by having many cisterns built (2Chr.26.10). Elisha bade Israel provide many special reservoirs (ditches) near Jerusalem (2Kgs.3.12-2Kgs.3.17). It was considered wise for each home to have its own cistern (2Kgs.18.31). Among the most famous reservoirs of Palestine were the pools of Solomon, thirteen miles (twenty-two km.) from the city (Eccl.2.6). Water from these was conveyed to the city by aqueducts, some of which remain today.

Reservoir near Bethlehem. One of three that are known as Solomon's Pools. From here, near Bethlehem, water was transported via an aqueduct to Jerusalem.

RESERVOIR (מִקְוֶה, H5224, meaning cistern or reservoir). A place for the storage of water.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

pool, pond, rez’-er-vwar, rez’-er-vwar ((1) berekhah, "pool"; compare Arabic birkat, "pool"; compare berakhah, "blessing," and Arabic barakat, "blessing"; (2) agham, "pool," "marsh," "reeds"; compare Arabic ’ajam, "thicket," "jungle"; (3) miqwah, "reservoir," the King James Version "ditch" (Isa 22:11); (4) miqweh, "pond," the King James Version "pool" (Ex 7:19); miqweh ha-mayim, English Versions of the Bible "gathering together of the waters" (Ge 1:10); miqweh-mayim, "a gathering of water," the King James Version "plenty of water" (Le 11:36); (5) kolumbethra, "pool," literally, "a place of diving," from kolumbao, "to dive"): Lakes (see Lake) are very rare in Syria and Palestine, but the dry climate, which is one reason for the fewness of lakes, impels the inhabitants to make artificial pools or reservoirs to collect the water of the rain or of springs for irrigation and also for drinking. The largest of these are made by damming water courses, in which water flows during the winter or at least after showers of rain. These may be enlarged or deepened by excavation. Good examples of this are found at Diban and Madeba in Moab. Smaller pools of rectangular shape and usually much wider than deep, having no connection with water courses, are built in towns to receive rain from the roofs or from the surface of the ground. These may be for common use like several large ones in Jerusalem, or may belong to particular houses. These are commonly excavated to some depth in the soil or rock, though the walls are likely to rise above the surface. Between these and cylindrical pits or cisterns no sharp line can be drawn.

The water of springs may be collected in large or small pools of masonry, as the pool of Siloam (Joh 9:7). This is commonly done for irrigation when the spring is so small that the water would be lost by absorption or evaporation if it were attempted to convey it continuously to the fields. The pool (Arabic, birkat) receives the trickle of water until it is full. The water is then let out in a large stream and conducted where it is needed. (In this way by patient labor a small trickling spring may support much vegetation.)


rez’-er-vwor, -vwar (miqwah; the nodetitle ditch (Isa 22:11)).

See Ditch; Cistern; POOL.