When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,…
Some men were set to work to clear out the mouth of the well, which was being rapidly covered up. A chamber had been excavated to the depth of ten feet, and in the floor of the chamber was the mouth of the well, like the mouth of a bottle, and just wide enough to admit a man's body. We lowered a candle down the well and found the air perfectly good, and after the usual amount of noise and talking among the workmen and idlers, I was lashed with a good rope round the waist, and a loop for my feet, and lowered through the mouth of the well by some trusty Arabs, directed by my friend, Mr. Falcher, the Protestant missionary. The sensation was novel and disagreeable. The numerous knots in the rope continued to tighten and to creak, and after having passed through the narrow mouth I found myself suspended in a cylindrical chamber, in shape and proportion not unlike that of the barrel of a gun. The twisting of the rope caused me to revolve as I was being lowered, which produced giddiness, and there was the additional unpleasantness of vibrating from side to side, and touching the sides of the well. I suddenly heard the people from the top shouting to tell me that I had reached the bottom, so when I began to move I found myself lying on my back at the bottom of the well: looking up at the mouth the opening seemed like a star. It was fortunate that I had been securely lashed to the rope, as I had fainted during the operation of lowering. The well is seventy.five feet deep, seven feet six inches diameter, and is lined throughout with rough masonry, as it is dug in alluvial soil. The bottom of the well was perfectly dry at this time of the year (the month of May), and covered with loose stones. There was a little pitcher lying at the bottom unbroken, and this was an evidence of there being water in the well at some seasons, as the pitcher would have been broken had it fallen upon the stones. It is probable that the well was very much deeper in ancient times, for in ten years it had decreased ten feet in depth. Every one visiting the well throw stones down for the satisfaction of hearing them strike the bottom, and in this way, as well as from the debres of the ruined church built over the well during the fourth century, it has become filled up to probably more than a half of its original death.
(Lieut. S. Anderson, R. E.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,