Beersheba gate, well and tamarisk tree



Beersheba gate, well and tamarisk tree

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Genesis 21:14 Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder; and gave her the child, and sent her away. She departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. Exodus

Genesis 21:31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because they both swore there.

Genesis 21:32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Abimelech rose up with Phicol, the captain of his army, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.

Genesis 21:33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and called there on the name of Yahweh, the Everlasting God.

Genesis 22:19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba. Abraham lived at Beersheba.

Genesis 26:23 He went up from there to Beersheba.

Genesis 26:26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath his friend, and Phicol the captain of his army.

Genesis 26:33 He called it Shibah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.

Genesis 28:10 Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

Genesis 46:1 Israel traveled with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac.

Genesis 46:3 He said, "I am God, the God of your father. Don't be afraid to go down into Egypt, for there I will make of you a great nation.

Genesis 46:4 I will go down with you into Egypt. I will also surely bring you up again. Joseph will close your eyes."

Genesis 46:5 Jacob rose up from Beersheba, and the sons of Israel carried Jacob, their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.

Joshua 15:28 Hazar Shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah,

Joshua 19:2 They had for their inheritance Beersheba (or Sheba), Moladah,

Judges 20:1 Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was assembled as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, to Yahweh at Mizpah.

1 Samuel 3:20 All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of Yahweh.

1 Samuel 8:2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abijah: they were judges in Beersheba.

2 Samuel 3:10 to transfer 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."

2 Samuel 17:11 But I counsel that all Israel be gathered together to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that you go to battle in your own person.

2 Samuel 24:2 The king said to Joab the captain of the army, who was with him, "Now go back and forth through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the sum of the people."

2 Samuel 24:7 and came to the stronghold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites; and they went out to the south of Judah, at Beersheba.

2 Samuel 24:15 So Yahweh sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning even to the appointed time; and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.

1 Kings 4:25 Judah and Israel lived safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

1 Kings 19:3 When he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

2 Kings 12:1 In the seventh year of Jehu began Jehoash to reign; and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba.

2 Kings 23:8 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 he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man's left hand at the gate of the city.

1 Chronicles 4:28 They lived at Beersheba, and Moladah, and Hazarshual,

1 Chronicles 21:2 David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring me word, that I may know the sum of them.

2 Chronicles 19:4 Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem: and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to Yahweh, the God of their fathers.

2 Chronicles 24:1 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign; and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Zibiah, of Beersheba.

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 to Yahweh, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem: for they had not kept it in great numbers in such sort as it is written.

Nehemiah 11:27 and in Hazar Shual, and in Beersheba and its towns,

Nehemiah 11:30 Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, Azekah and its towns. So they encamped from Beersheba to the valley of Hinnom.

Amos 5:5 but don't seek Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and don't pass to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nothing.

BEERSHEBA

be-er-she'-ba (be'er shebha`; Bersabee): Allotted originally to Simeon (Joshua 19:2), one of "the uttermost cities of the tribe of the children of Judah" (Joshua 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 Genesis 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 (Genesis 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 this day."

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" Genesis (Genesis 21:33). Theophanies occurred there to Hagar (Genesis 21:17), to Isaac (Genesis 26:24), to Jacob (Genesis 46:2), and to Elijah (1 Kings 19:5). By Amos (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 (Amos 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 Samuel 8:2) and Zibiah, mother of King Jehoash, was born there (2 Kings 12:1 2 Chronicles 24:1).

3. Its Position:

Geographically Beersheba marked the southern limit of Judah, though theoretically this extended to the "river of Egypt" (Genesis 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 Samuel 17:11, etc.) or from Beersheba to Dan (1 Chronicles 21:2 2 Chronicles 30:5) were the proverbial expressions, though necessarily altered through the changed conditions in later years to "from Geba to Beer-sheba" (2 Kings 23:8) or "from Beer-sheba to the hill-country of Ephraim" (2 Chronicles 19:4).

4. Modern Beersheba:

Today Beersheba is Bir es-Seba` in the Wady es Seba`, 28 miles Southwest of Hebron on "the southern border of a vast rolling plain broken by the torrent beds of Wady Khalil and Wady Seba" (Robinson). The plain is treeless but is covered by verdure in the spring; it is dry and monotonous most of the year. Within the last few years this long-deserted spot-a wide stretch of shapeless ruins, the haunt of the lawless Bedouin-has been re-occupied; the Turks have stationed there an enlightened Kaimerkhan (subgovernor); government offices and shops have been built; wells have been cleared, and there is now an abundant water supply pumped even to the separate houses. Robinson (BW, XVII, 247) has described how he found seven ancient wells there-probably still more will yet be found. The whole neighborhood is strewn with the ruins of the Byzantine city which once flourished there; it was an episcopal see. It is probable that the city of Old Testament times stood where Tell es Seba' now is, some 2 1/2 miles to the East; from the summit a commanding view can be obtained (PEF, III, 394, Sheet XXIV).

E. W. G. Masterman


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