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(See FOUNTAIN.) As ''Ayin, "fount," literally, "eye", refers to the water springing up to us, so beer, "well," from a root "to bore," refers to our finding our way down to it. The Bir-and the En-are always distinct. The rarity of wells in the Sinaitic region explains the national rejoicings over Beer or the well, afterward Beer-Elim, "well of heroes" (Numbers 21:16-17-18,22). God commanded Moses to cause the well to be dug; princes, nobles, and people, all heartily, believingly, and joyfully cooperated in the work. Naming a well marked right of property in it. To destroy it denoted conquest or denial of right of property (Genesis 21:30-31; Genesis 26:15-33; 2 Kings 3:19; Deuteronomy 6:11; Numbers 20:17; Numbers 20:19; Proverbs 5:15). "Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well," i.e. enjoy the love of thine own wife alone.
        Wells and cisterns are the two sources of oriental supply, each house had its own cistern (2 Kings 18:31); to thirst for filthy waters is suicidal. Song of Solomon 4:12; in Israel wells are excavated in the limestone, with steps descending to them (Genesis 24:16). A low stone wall for protection (Exodus 21:33) surrounds the brim; on it sat our Lord in conversing with the Samaritan woman (John 4:6; John 4:11). A stone cover was above; this the woman placed on the well at Bahurim (2 Samuel 17:19), translated "the woman spread the covering over the well's mouth." A rope and bucket or water skin raised the water; the marks of the rope are still visible in the furrows worn in the low wall. See Numbers 24:7, "he shall stream with water out of his two buckets," namely, suspended from the two ends of a pole, the usual way of fetching water from the Euphrates in Balaam's neighbourhood.
        Wells are often contended for and are places of Bedouin attacks on those drawing water (Exodus 2:16-17; Judges 5:11; 2 Samuel 23:15-16). Oboth (Numbers 21:10-11) means holes dug in the ground for water. Beerlahairoi is the first well mentioned (Genesis 16:14). Beersheba, Rehoboth, and Jacob's well are leading instances of wells (Genesis 21:19; Genesis 26:22). They are sunk much deeper than ours, to prevent drying up. Jacob's well is 75 ft. deep, seven feet six inches in diameter, and lined with rough masonry; a pitcher unbroken at the bottom evidenced that there was water at some seasons, otherwise the fall would have broken the pitcher.

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'well' Fausset's Bible Dictionary". - Fausset's; 1878.

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