Bible Cities: Beersheba
Ancient Beersheba - Map of New Testament Israel
BE`ER-SHE`BA (well of an oath, or seventh well). One of the
oldest places in the southern part of Israel. The spot
still identified as Bir es Seba, well of the Lion or seven.
The well was dug by Abraham, and his compact with Abimelech
celebrated there with an oath ratified by the gift of seven
ewe lambs. Hence the name. Gen 21:31-33.
Beersheba in Easton's Bible Dictionary
well of the oath, or well of seven, a well dug by Abraham,
so named because he and Abimelech here entered into
(Gen. 21:31). On re-opening it, Isaac gave it the
(Gen. 26:31-33). It was a favourite place of abode
of both of
these patriarchs (21:33-22:1, 19; 26:33; 28:10). It
among the "cities" given to the tribe of Simeon
(Josh. 19:2; 1
Chr. 4:28). From Dan to Beersheba, a distance of
about 144 miles
(Judg. 20:1; 1 Chr. 21:2; 2 Sam. 24:2), became the
usual way of
designating the whole Promised Land, and passed into
After the return from the Captivity the phrase is
"from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom" (Neh.
kingdom of the ten tribes extended from Beersheba to
Ephraim (2 Chr. 19:4). The name is not found in the
Testament. It is still called by the Arabs Bir es-
"well of the seven", where there are to the present
principal wells and five smaller ones. It is nearly
between the southern end of the Dead Sea and the
Beersheba in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Beersheba means "well of the oath". The southern limit of
the Holy Land, as Dan in the N.: "from Dan to Beersheba"
(compare in David's census, 1 Chronicles 21:2; 2 Samuel
24:2-7) comprehends the whole. Called so from the oath of
peace between Abraham and Abimelech, king of the Philistines
(Genesis 21:31), else from the seven (sheba' ) ewe lambs
slain there: indeed sheba', an oath, is from the custom of
binding one's self by seven things, as Abraham made the
seven ewe lambs a pledge of his covenant with Abimelech.
Again, from the like oath between Abimelech (with Phichol,
his captain) and Isaac, it being not uncommon for an event
to be recorded as occurring apparently for the first time,
which has been recorded as occurring earlier before: so
Bethel (Genesis 26:31-33).
The well dug by Abraham and secured to him by oath
had been covered and lost. It is found by Isaac's servants
just after the covenant made between him and Abimelech. The
series of events recalls to Isaac's mind the original name
and that which gave rise to the name; so he restores both
the well itself and the name. Seven (sheba' which also may
explain the name) wells are at the place, so that a
different one may have been named by Isaac from that named
by Abraham. They all pour their streams into the wady es
Seba, and are called Bir es seba, the largest 12 ft.
diameter, and masonry round reaching 28 ft. down, and 44
from bottom to surface of the water. The second, at a
hundred yards distance, 5 in diameter, 42 in depth. The
other five further off. The stones around the mouth are worn
into grooves by the action of ropes for so many ages. Around
the large are nine stone troughs; around the smaller, five.
The water is excellent, and grass with crocuses and
lilies abounds. Abraham planted here a" grove" ('eshel)
(distinct from the idol grove, Asheerah, or Astarte Baal),
or tree, the tamarisk, long living, of hard wood, with long,
Beersheba in Hitchcock's Bible Names
the well of an oath; the seventh well
Beersheba in Naves Topical Bible
1. The most southern city of Israel
Named by Abraham, who lived there
Ge 21:31-33; 22:19
The place where Isaac lived
Jacob went out from, toward Haran
Sacrifices offered at, by Jacob; when journeying to
In the inheritance of Judah
Jos 15:20,28; 2Sa 24:7
Afterward assigned to Simeon
Jos 19:2,9; 1Ch 4:28
Two sons of Samuel were judges at
Became a seat of idolatrous worship
Am 5:5; 8:14
-2. The well of, belonged to Abraham and Isaac
-3. Wilderness of, Hagar miraculously sees a well in
An angel fed Elijah in
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.
Beersheba in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
be-er-she'-ba (be'er shebha`; Bersabee): Allotted originally
to Simeon (Josh 19:2), one of "the uttermost cities of the
tribe of the children of Judah" (Josh 15:28).
1. The Meaning of the Name:
The most probable meaning of Beersheba is the "well of
seven." "Seven wells" is improbable on etymological grounds;
the numeral should in that case be first. In Gen 21:31
Abraham and Abimelech took an oath of witness that the
former had dug the well and seven ewe lambs were offered in
sacrifice, "Wherefore he called that place Beer-sheba;
because there they sware both of them." Here the name is
ascribed to the Hebrew root shabha`, "to swear," but this
same root is connected with the idea of seven, seven victims
being offered and to take an oath, meaning "to come under
the influence of seven."
Another account is given (Gen 26:23-33), where Isaac takes
an oath and just afterward, "the same day Isaac's servants
came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged
(dug), and said unto him, We have found water. And he called
it Shibah: therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto
2. A Sacred Shrine:
Beersheba was a sacred shrine. "Abraham planted a tamarisk
tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of Yahweh,
the Everlasting God" Gen (21:33). Theophanies occurred there
to Hagar (21:17), to Isaac (26:24), to Jacob (46:2), and to
Elijah (1 Ki 19:5). By Amos (5:5) it is classed with Bethel
and Gilgal as one of the rival shrines to the pure worship
of Yahweh, and in another place (8:14) he writes "They shall
fall, and never rise up again," who sware, "As the way (i.e.
cult) of Beersheba liveth." The two unworthy sons of Samuel
were Judges in Beersheba (1 Sam 8:2) and Zibiah, mother of
King Jehoash, was born there (2 Ki 12:1; 2 Ch 24:1).
3. Its Position:
Geographically Beersheba marked the southern limit of Judah,
though theoretically this extended to the "river of Egypt"
(Gen 15:18)--the modern Wady el`Avish--60 miles farther
south. It was the extreme border of the cultivated land.
From Dan to Beersheba (2 Sam 17:11, etc.) or from Beersheba
Beersheba Scripture - 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].
Beersheba Scripture - 1 Chronicles 4:28
And they dwelt at Beersheba, and Moladah, and Hazarshual,
Beersheba Scripture - 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
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - 1 Samuel 3:20
And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel
[was] established [to be] a prophet of the LORD.
Beersheba Scripture - 1 Samuel 8:2
Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his
second, Abiah: [they were] judges in Beersheba.
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - 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 Beersheba.
Beersheba Scripture - 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
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - 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
Beersheba Scripture - 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 Beersheba seventy thousand men.
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - 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] to Beersheba.
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - 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
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - Genesis 21:31
Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they
sware both of them.
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - Genesis 21:33
And [Abraham] planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there
on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.
Beersheba Scripture - Genesis 26:33
And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city [is]
Beersheba unto this day.
Beersheba Scripture - Genesis 28:10
And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
Beersheba Scripture - 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
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - Joshua 19:2
And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, or Sheba, and
Beersheba Scripture - 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.
Beersheba Scripture - Nehemiah 11:27
And at Hazarshual, and at Beersheba, and [in] the villages
Beersheba Scripture - 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 Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom.
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