Beersheba, Home of the Patriarchs

May 6, 2010

In our previous post we mentioned how Jacob fled from his home in Beersheba to Haran, of Mesopotamia.  For the short term he was running for his life; for the long term he married (four wives as it turned out) and had children, including twelve sons who would become the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel.

See map below to locate Beersheba.

Beersheba in Southern Israel. Courtesy of http://bibleatlas.org/

Beersheba was the home of the patriarch Abraham as well as at times that of Isaac, and later Jacob as we have indicated.  There was a well there which Abraham dug.  The Philistine king Abimelech received seven ewe lambs from Abraham as confirming that the well was indeed Abraham’s (Gen. 21:22-30).  “Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because the two of them swore an oath there” (v.31).  The text goes on to say, “Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God” (v.33).

Our photo of Beersheba depicts both a well as well as a tamarisk tree.

Beersheba, with well and tamarisk tree. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

A good deal of excavation has been done at Beersheba.  See photo below.

Excavations at Beersheba. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Click on image for higher resolution.