The people of the Bible used cisterns regularly for their water supply. Rainfall was limited, coming only five months of the year from November through March. People would dig pits into the rock, sometimes entirely underground (as in the cistern at the Old Testament city of Arad) or in the ground and covered with a roof (as in the cistern at the New Testament city of Korazin).

The walls of the cistern were plastered (as seen here) to prevent the water from seeping out. An area would be prepared to collect the water (e.g., a rooftop, a courtyard, or even a street), and the water would be channeled into the cistern. It was fresh water, but not particularly clean. If a cistern decays or collapses, it no longer can hold water.

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Upcoming Tours

We would love to walk with you in the Holy Land. Here are upcoming opportunities:

Nov 01 — Nov 15, 2020
Walking with the Patriarchs
Led by George DeJong
Spring 2021
Israel in Depth
Led by George DeJong
Summer 2021
Ancient Paths to Modern Leadership
Led by George DeJong
Sep 18 — Oct 02, 2021
Israel & Turkey in Depth
Led by George DeJong
Fall 2021
Through the Roof
Led by George DeJong