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Beersheba in Smith's Bible Dictionary. (well of the oath), the name of one of
the old places in Israel which formed the southern limit of the country. There
are two accounts of the origin of the name. According to the first, the well was
dug by Abraham, and the name given to Judah, Jos 15:28 and then to Simeon, Jos
19:2; 1Ch 4:28 In the often-quoted "from Dan even unto Beersheba," Jud 20:1 it
represents the southern boundary of Canaan, as Dan the northern. In the time of
Jerome it was still a considerable place, and still retains its ancient name
--Bir es-Seba. There are at present on the spot two principal wells and five
smaller ones. The two principal wells are on or close to the northern bank of
the Wady es-Seba. The larger of the two, which lies to the east, is, according
to Dr. Robinson, 12 1/2 feet in diameter, and at the time of his visit (April
12) was 44 1/2 feet to the surface of the water. The masonry which encloses the
well extends downward 28 1/2 feet. The other well is 5 feet in diameter, and was
42 feet to the water. The curb-stones around the mouth of both wells are worn
into deep grooves by the action of the ropes of so many centures. These wells
are in constant use today. The five lesser wells are in a group in the bed of
the wady. On some low hills north of the large wells are scattered the
foundations and ruins of a town of moderate size.
Bersabe (Bir es-Saba) in Idumea. Graeco-Roman period town corresponding to
Beer-sheba. Beersheba in Hebrew means "well of the oath," or "of seven". A city
in the southern part of Palestine, between the Mediterranean Sea and the
southern end of the Dead Sea. It received its name because of the digging of the
well and making of a covenant between Abraham and Abimelech (Gen 21:31). It was
a favorite residence of Abraham and Isaac (Gen 26:33). Isaac was living there
when Esau sold his birthright to Jacob, and from there Jacob started on his
journey to Mesopotamia. He stopped there to offer a sacrifice to "the God of his
father" on his way to Egypt (Gen 46:1). Beersheba was allotted to Simeon (1
Chron 4:28), and Samuel's sons were appointed judges for the S districts in
Beersheba (1 Sam 8:2). Elijah fled to Beersheba.
The expression "from Dan to Beersheba" was in essence indicating the whole land.
After the Exile, Beersheba was again populated by Jews, and the new saying ran
"from Beersheba as far as the valley of Hinnom" (Neh 11:30).
The biblical town of Beersheba has been located at Tel es-Saba (Tell Beersheba),
about 2 miles NE of the modern city. Discoveries have revealed that the town had
a Hebrew foundation, built in the 12-11th centuries B.C. Apparently unwalled,
and probably was the place where the sons of Samuel judged the people (1 Sam
8:2). Archaeologists found nothing at Tell Beersheba dating to the patriarchal
period, and conclude that the patriarchal Beersheba was located near the valley
and the wells, probably at Bir es-Saba, within the area of modern Beersheba.
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Beersheba in Bible Cities
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Israel in the First Century
Maps are essential for any serious Bible study, they help students of the Scriptures understand the geographical locations and historical backgrounds of the places mentioned in the Bible.
2 Kings 23:8 -
And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high
places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba,
and brake down the high places of the gates that [were] in the entering in of
the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which [were] on a man's left hand
at the gate of the city.
2 Samuel 24:2 -
For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which [was] with him, Go now
through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba,
and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.
Amos 5:5 -
But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba:
for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
Nehemiah 11:30 -
Zanoah, Adullam, and [in] their villages, at Lachish, and the fields thereof, at
Azekah, and [in] the villages thereof. And they dwelt from
the valley of Hinnom.
2 Chronicles 30:5 -
So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even
to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel
at Jerusalem: for they had not done [it] of a long [time in such sort] as it was
Genesis 46:5 -
And Jacob rose up from Beersheba:
and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and
their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
2 Chronicles 24:1 -
Joash [was] seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years
in Jerusalem. His mother's name also [was] Zibiah of
Amos 8:14 -
They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The
manner of Beersheba liveth;
even they shall fall, and never rise up again.
1 Chronicles 21:2 -
And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even
to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know [it].
Genesis 21:14 -
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water,
and gave [it] unto Hagar, putting [it] on her shoulder, and the child, and sent
her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
2 Kings 12:1 -
In the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign; and forty years reigned he
in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Zibiah of Beersheba.
Genesis 21:32 -
Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba:
then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they
returned into the land of the Philistines.
2 Samuel 17:11 -
Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan
even to Beersheba,
as the sand that [is] by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in
thine own person.
2 Samuel 24:15 -
So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time
appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to
2 Chronicles 19:4 -
And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people
from Beersheba to
mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers.
Judges 20:1 -
Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered
together as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba,
with the land of Gilead, unto the LORD in Mizpeh.
2 Samuel 3:10 -
To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of
David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba.
2 Samuel 24:7 -
And came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and
of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, [even] toBeersheba.
1 Kings 4:25 -
And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig
tree, from Dan even to Beersheba,
all the days of Solomon.
Genesis 21:33 -
And [Abraham] planted a grove in Beersheba,
and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.
Genesis 46:1 -
And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba,
and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.
1 Samuel 3:20 -
And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew
that Samuel [was] established [to be] a prophet of the LORD.
1 Kings 19:3 -
And when he saw [that], he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba,
which [belongeth] to Judah, and left his servant there.
Genesis 21:31 -
Wherefore he called that place Beersheba;
because there they sware both of them.
1 Samuel 8:2 -
Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: [they
were] judges in Beersheba.
Genesis 26:33 -
And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city [is] Beersheba unto
Joshua 19:2 -
And they had in their inheritance Beersheba,
or Sheba, and Moladah,
1 Chronicles 4:28 -
And they dwelt at Beersheba,
and Moladah, and Hazarshual,
Nehemiah 11:27 -
And at Hazarshual, and at Beersheba,
and [in] the villages thereof,
Genesis 28:10 -
And Jacob went out from Beersheba,
and went toward Haran.
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