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    Cistern in Easton's Bible Dictionary the rendering of a Hebrew word _bor_, which means a receptacle for water conveyed to it; distinguished from _beer_, which denotes a place where water rises on the spot (Jer. 2:13; Prov. 5:15; Isa. 36:16), a fountain. Cisterns are frequently mentioned in Scripture. The scarcity of springs in Israel made it necessary to collect rain-water in reservoirs and cisterns (Num. 21:22). (See WELL -T0003803.) Empty cisterns were sometimes used as prisons (Jer. 38:6; Lam. 3:53; Ps. 40:2; 69:15). The "pit" into which Joseph was cast (Gen. 37:24) was a _beer_ or dry well. There are numerous remains of ancient cisterns in all parts of Israel.

    Cistern in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Bor, a dug pit for receiving water conducted from a spring or the rainfall. (See CONDUIT.) The dryness between May and September in Israel makes reservoirs necessary; of which the larger are called "pools," the smaller "cisterns." The rocky soil facilitates their construction. The top, with stonework and a round opening, has often a wheel for the bucket; an image of the aorta or great artery circulating the blood from the ventricle of the heart, or the wheel expresses life in its rapid motion (James 3:6; Ecclesiastes 12:6). The rain is conducted to them from the roofs of the houses, most of which are furnished with them; from whence is derived the metaphor, Proverbs 5:15, "drink waters out of thine own cistern," i.e. draw thy enjoyments only from the sources that are legitimately thine. Hezekiah stopped the water supply outside Jerusalem at the invasion of Sennacherib, while within there was abundant water (2 Chronicles 32:3-4). So it has been in all the great sieges of Jerusalem, scarcity of water outside, abundance within. Empty cisterns were used as prisons. So Joseph was cast into a "pit" (Genesis 37:22); Jeremiah into one miry at the bottom, and so deep that he was let down by cords (Jeremiah 38:6), said to be near "Herod's gate." Cisterns yield only a limited supply of water, not an everflowing spring; representing creature comforts soon exhausted, and therefore never worth forsaking the never failing, ever fresh supplies of God. for (Jeremiah 2:13). The stonework of tanks often becomes broken, and the water leaks into the earth; and, at best, the water is not fresh long. Compare Isaiah 55:1-2; Luke 12:33.

    Cistern in Naves Topical Bible General scriptures concerning Isa 36:16 -Broken Jer 2:13 -FIGURATIVE 2Ki 18:31; Pr 5:15; Ec 12:6

    Cistern in Smiths Bible Dictionary a receptacle for water, either conducted from an external spring or proceeding from rain-fall. The dryness of the summer months and the scarcity of springs in Judea made cisterns a necessity, and they are frequent throughout the whole of Syria and Israel. On the long-forgotten way from Jericho to Bethel, "broken cisterns" of high antiquity are found at regular intervals. Jerusalem depends mainly for water upon its cisterns, of which almost every private house possesses one or more, excavated in the rock on which the city is built. The cisterns have usually a round opening at the top, sometimes built up with stonework above and furnished with a curb and a wheel for a bucket. Ec 12:6 Empty cisterns were sometimes used as prisons and places of confinement. Joseph was cast into a "pit," Ge 37:22 as was Jeremiah. Jer 38:6

    Cistern in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE sis'-tern: Use of Terms 1. General 2. Wells or Cylindrical Cisterns 3. Private Cisterns 4. Public Cisterns 5. Pools and Aqueducts 6. Figurative Uses LITERATURE Several words are rendered by "cistern," "well," "pool," the relations of which in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) are as follows: Use of Terms: "Cistern," bo'r (Jer 2:13, etc.), or bor (2 Ki 18:31). The latter word is frequently in the King James Version translated "well." the Revised Version (British and American) in these cases changes to "cistern" in text (Dt 6:11; 2 Ch 26:10; Neh 9:25) margin (Jer 14:3), rendered "pit" in the King James Version are changed to "cistern" the Revised Version (British and American) (the latter in the American Standard Revised Version only). The proper Hebrew word for "well" is be'er (seen in Beer- sheba, "well of the oath," Gen 21:31), but other terms are thus rendered in the King James Version, as `ayin (Gen 24:13,16, etc., and frequently), ma`yan (Josh 18:15), maqor (Prov 10:11). ally changes to "fountain"; in Ex 15:27, however, it renders `ayin by "springs," and in Ps 84:6, ma`yan by, "place of springs." "Pool," 'agham (Isa 14:23, etc.; in the King James Version, Ex 7:19; 8:5, rendered "ponds"); more frequently berekhah (2 Sam 2:13; 4:12, etc.). In Ps 84:6 the cognate berakhah, is changed to "blessing." In the New Testament "well" represents the two words: pege (Jn 4:6,14; in the Revised Version, margin "spring"; 2 Pet 2:17; the Revised Version (British and American) renders "springs"), and phrear (Jn 4:11,12). "Pool" is kolumbethra, in Jn 5:2,4,7; 9:7,11. 1. General: The efforts made to supplement the natural water supply, both in agricultural and in populated areas, before as well as after the Conquest, are clearly seen in the innumerable cisterns, wells and pools which abound throughout Israel The rainy season, upon which the various storage systems depend, commences at the end of October and ends in the beginning of May. In Jerusalem, the mean rainfall in 41 years up to 1901 was 25,81 inches, falling in a mean number of 56 days (see Glaisher, Meteorological Observations, 24). Toward the end of summer, springs and wells, where they have not actually dried up, diminish very considerably, and cisterns and open reservoirs become at times the only sources of supply. Cisterns are fed from surface and roof drainage. Except in the rare instances where springs occur, wells depend upon percolation. The' great open reservoirs or pools are fed from surface drainage and, in some cases, by aqueducts from springs or from more distant collecting pools. In the case of private cisterns, it is the custom...

    Cistern Scripture - 2 Kings 18:31 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make [an agreement] with me by a present, and come out to me, and [then] eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern:

    Cistern Scripture - Ecclesiastes 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

    Cistern Scripture - Isaiah 36:16 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make [an agreement] with me [by] a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern;

    Cistern Scripture - Proverbs 5:15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

    Cisterns CISTERNS The word "well" to the average native of Israel has meant "spring" or "fountain," but in the Bible account it often means "cistern." Actually the cistern has been a more common source of Israel's water supply than has the well. To drink water out of the family cistern was the proverbial wish of every Jew, and such was the promise that King Sennacherib of Assyria used to try and tempt the Jews into making peace with him. He said to them: "Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me, and then eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern" (II Kings 18:31; cf. Isaiah 36:16). These family cisterns were often dug in the open courtyard of houses as was the case of "the man which had a well [cistern] in his court." At the time of year referred to this cistern was dry and so two men could easily be hidden therein (II Samuel 17:18-19). During the rainy season the rain water is conducted from the houseroofs to these cisterns by means of troughs. Usually the water is drawn up by means of a rope that runs over a wheel, and a bucket made of animal skins is fastened to the rope. Jeremiah used the picture of a cistern that leaked water, to illustrate one of his sermons: "For my people have committed two evils"; the prophet said of the LORD, "They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Cisterns Scripture - Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, [and] hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

    Jerusalem's Water Supply THE SOURCE OF JERUSALEM'S WATER Pools of water in and around the city. Throughout most of its history, the Holy City has depended largely upon private cisterns which its inhabitants have maintained to catch rain water. The city itself has had through the years no living fountain or spring within its walls. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Modern Jerusalem Water Supply Water for modern Jerusalem. The portion of Israel now included in the new nation of Israel has undergone a marvelous transformation in regard to the supply of water for irrigation purposes as well as for household use. Primitive customs are fast disappearing and modern customs are taking their place in the Jewish sections of the land. The Jewish part of Jerusalem has had a new supply of water coming thirty miles from ancient Antipatris or Bas el Ein) located in the Plain of Sharon. Water coming from copious springs located there is pumped by relay pumping stations through a large pipeline up to the crest of the hills where the Holy City stands. The Jerusalem under the control of Israel has become very much westernized, with water piped to the houses. But in much of the ancient or Arab portion of Jerusalem, (1953) one still sees women carrying water pitchers on their head or shoulder) and men carrying goatskin "bottles" of water very much like it was done by the ancient Hebrews. And numerous cisterns still conserve rain water. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Temple Area Water Even today water from this source is brought up to the surface at a point between the Dome of the Rock and the Mosque el-Aksa, by an animal skin bucket attached to a rope and running over a wheel. Water carriers using goatskin "bottles" come here to get their water and carry it to many parts of the old city of Jerusalem. During six months of the year, when there is no rain, water becomes scarce in many parts of Israel, especially during the latter part of that season when one after another cistern has dried up, and permanent wells and ever-flowing sources must be depended upon for water. In such times the water carrier will go to a well, or reservoir, and then peddle his supply of water to those who need it. He may go down the streets of the city, or he may go into the marketplace. He will call out: "Ho, ye thirsty ones, come ye and drink." There have been times when a philanthropic person has paid the water carrier for all his supply of water and thus let him offer if free of charge to those who need it. Then he will call forth: "Ho, ye thirsty ones, come and drink today for nothing, for nothing!" Such words remind us of the prophetic invitation of Isaiah: "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy. . . without money and without price" (Isaiah 55:1). Water for modern Jerusalem. The portion of Israel now included in the new nation of Israel has undergone a marvelous transformation in regard to the supply of water for irrigation purposes as well as for household use. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Women Going For Water GOING OF THE WOMEN FOR WATER It is the task of the women to go for the household water to the well or spring. And they do it today in many places in the East just like it was done when the Genesis account speaks of it being "the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water" (Genesis 24:11). The women are trained to do this from girlhood, for Saul and his servant "found young maidens going out to draw water" (I Samuel 9:11). The chief time for doing this is in the late afternoon or evening, although it is often done early in the morning. Earthenware pitchers (Lamentations 4:2) are used for the purpose, and they have one and sometimes two handles. It has been customary for Syrian women to carry the pitcher of water on their shoulder, although sometimes it is carried on the hip. Most Arabs of Israel carry it upon their head. Scripture says that Rebekah carried her pitcher on her shoulder (Genesis 24:15). Carrying a pitcher of water was all but universally done by women. It must have been a picturesque sight to see them going and coming with the pitcher poised gracefully upon the head or shoulder. When JESUS instructed two of his disciples, "Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him" (Mark 14:13), that would be an easy way of identifying the person, for it is exceedingly uncommon to see a man carrying a pitcher of water, which is a woman's task. When larger supplies of water are needed, men use large skins of sheep or goats for carrying the supply. The pitchers are reserved for the use of the women.25 There is nothing left at the well that may be used for drawing water from a depth. Each woman who comes for water brings with her, in addition to the pitcher in which to carry the water, a hard leather portable bucket with a rope, in order to let it down to the level of the water.26 The Samaritan woman whom JESUS met at Jacob's well had brought all this with her, but JESUS did not have such equipment with him. Hence she said to him: "Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep" (John 4:11). In response to his request for a drink, she drew from the well and gave to Him. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]