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November 19    Scripture



Bible Cities: Jacob's Well
Jacob's Well in the Bible

Map of Ancient Jacob's Well


Jacob's Well in Easton's Bible Dictionary (John 4:5, 6). This is one of the few sites in Israel about which there is no dispute. It was dug by Jacob, and hence its name, in the "parcel of ground" which he purchased from the sons of Hamor (Gen. 33:19). It still exists, but although after copious rains it contains a little water, it is now usually quite dry. It is at the entrance to the valley between Ebal and Gerizim, about 2 miles south-east of Shechem. It is about 9 feet in diameter and about 75 feet in depth, though in ancient times it was no doubt much deeper, probably twice as deep. The digging of such a well must have been a very laborious and costly undertaking. "Unfortunately, the well of Jacob has not escaped that misplaced religious veneration which cannot be satisfied with leaving the object of it as it is, but must build over it a shrine to protect and make it sacred. A series of buildings of various styles, and of different ages, have cumbered the ground, choked up the well, and disfigured the natural beauty and simplicity of the spot. At present the rubbish in the well has been cleared out; but there is still a domed structure over it, and you gaze down the shaft cut in the living rock and see at a depth of 70 feet the surface of the water glimmering with a pale blue light in the darkness, while you notice how the limestone blocks that form its curb have been worn smooth, or else furrowed by the ropes of centuries" (Hugh Macmillan). At the entrance of the enclosure round the well is planted in the ground one of the wooden poles that hold the telegraph wires between Jerusalem and Haifa.

Jacob's Well in Smiths Bible Dictionary a deep spring in the vicinity of Shechem (called Sychar in Christ's time and Nablus at the present day). It was probably dug by Jacob whose name it bears. On the curb of the well Jesus sat and discoursed with the Samaritan woman. Joh 4:5-26 It is situated about half a mile southeast of Nablus, at the foot of Mount Gerizim. It is about nine feet in diameter and 75 feet deep. At some seasons it is dry; at others it contains a few feet of water.

Jacob's Well in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE (pege tou Iakob): 1. Position of Well: In Jn 4:3 ff we read that our Lord "left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs pass through Samaria. So he cometh to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph: and Jacob's well was there." When Jacob came to Shechem on his return from Paddanaram he encamped "before," i.e. East of the city, and bought the land on which he had spread his tent (Gen 33:18 f). This is doubtless the "portion" (Hebrew shekhem) spoken of in Gen 48:22; although there it is said to have been taken with sword and bow from the Amorites. Where the pass of Shechem opens to the East, near the northern edge of the valley, lies the traditional tomb of Joseph. On the other side of the vale, close to the base of Gerizim, is the well universally known as Bir Ya`qub, "the well of Jacob." The position meets perfectly the requirements of the narrative. The main road from the South splits a little to the East, one arm leading westward through the pass, the other going more directly to the North. It is probable that these paths follow pretty closely the ancient tracks; and both would be frequented in Jesus' day. Which of them He took we cannot tell; but, in any case, this well lay in the fork between them, and could be approached with equal ease from either. See SYCHAR. 2. Why Dug: In the chapter quoted, it is said that Jacob dug the well (Gen 48:12). The Old Testament says nothing of this. With the copious springs at `Ain `Askar and BalaTa, one might ask why a well should have been dug here at all. We must remember that in the East, very strict laws have always governed the use of water, especially when there were large herds to be considered. The purchase of land here may not have secured for Jacob such supplies as he required. There was danger of strife between rival herdsmen. The patriarch, therefore, may have dug the well in the interests of peace, and also to preserve his own independence. 3. Consensus of Tradition: Jew, Samaritan, Moslem and Christian agree in associating this well with the patriarch Jacob. This creates a strong presumption in favor of the tradition: and there is no good reason to doubt its truth. Standing at the brink of the well, over-shadowed by the giant bulk of Gerizim, one feels how naturally it would be spoken of as "this mountain." 4. Description: For long the well was unprotected, opening...

Jacob's Well Scripture - John 4:6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with [his] journey, sat thus on the well: [and] it was about the sixth hour.

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