ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia


Hebrew: באר שבע

also known as: Beer-Sheva, Be'er Sheva, Bir es-Seba, Tell Be'er Sheva

Meaning: well of the oath, or well of seven

a well dug by Abraham, and so named because he and Abimelech here entered into a compact (Genesis 21:31)

A satellite view of the well’s location is provided below.

On re-opening the well, Isaac gave it the same name (Genesis 26:31-33). It was a favorite place of abode of both of these patriarchs (21:33-22:1, 19; 26:33; 28:10).

It is mentioned among the “cities” given to the tribe of Simeon (Joshua 19:2; 1 Chronicles 4:28). From Dan to Beersheba, a distance of about 144 miles (Judges 20:1; 1 Chronicles 21:2; 2 Samuel 24:2), became the usual way of designating the whole Promised Land, and passed into a proverb.

After the return from the Captivity the phrase is narrowed into “from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom” (Neh. 11:30).

The kingdom of the ten tribes extended from Beersheba to Mount Ephraim (2 Chronicles 19:4). The name is not found in the New Testament.


The ancient city appears to have been located to the east of modern Be'er Sheva (Beersheba, also called by the Arabs Bir es-Seba, i.e., “Well of the Seven,” where there are to the present day 2 principal wells and 5 smaller ones). It is nearly midway between the southern end of the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.

Tel Be-er Sheva, east of modern Be'er Sheva, Israel—satellite view
Note Abraham’s Well Visitor’s Center

Abraham’s Well Visitor’s Center