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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Beer-sheba (bç'er-shç'bah, or be-er'she-bah) well of the oath. An old place in Palestine 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, Genesis 21:31; the other narrative ascribes the origin of the name to Isaac instead of Abraham. Genesis 25:31-33. Beersheba was given to Judah, Joshua 15:28, and then to Simeon, Joshua 19:2; 1 Chronicles 4:28. In the often-quoted "from Dan even to Beersheba," Judges 2:1, it represents the southern boundary of Canaan, as San the northern. In the time of Jerome it was still a considerable place. There are at present on the spot two principal wells and five smaller ones. One well is twelve feet in diameter and 44 feet deep to the water; the other well is five feet in diameter, and was 42 feet to the water. The curbstones around the mouths of both wells are worn into deep grooves by the action of the ropes used in drawing the water for many centuries. These wells are in constant use today.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Beer-Sheba'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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