🔼The name Bethesda in the Bible
The name Bethesda occurs only once in the Bible. It was the name of a pool near the Sheep Gate of Jerusalem, upon which an angel of the Lord periodically descended and stirred the water (John 5:2). When that happened, the first person to plunge into the pool would be healed of whatever affliction this person had. There were quite a few sick people laying around the pool waiting for the event.
One Sabbath, Jesus found a man there who had been suffering from a debilitating disease for thirty-eight years, and had trouble rushing to the pool because of his affliction. Jesus famously told him to take up his mat and walk away, and as he did he got yelled at by the Pharisees for carrying a mat on the Sabbath (John 5:10).
After some investigating it was established that it had been Jesus who had healed the man, upon which the Pharisees decided to persecute Jesus. When Jesus informed them that He was working because His Father was working, the Jews intensified their effort to have Jesus killed (John 5:18).
It may be that the stories of Jesus miraculously healing people at the pools of Bethesda and Siloam, and the subsequent disputes with the Pharisees, were also designed to serve as commentaries on the situation in Hierapolis.
🔼Etymology of the name Bethesda
The second part of our name is thought to derive from the Hebrew noun חסד (hesed), meaning kindness or fidelity:
For a meaning of the name Bethesda, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Spiros Zodhiates (The Complete Wordstudy Dictionary) read House Of Mercy.