Finding Abraham’s Well..
May 2, 2011 §
We visited the site of Abraham’s well today..it’s a sacred site to the Jewish people and unlike Canada or the United States where something like this might be given a national monument and historical park recognition, the site that marks Be’er Sheva’s origin is found with great difficulty [it’s located behind a wall] sitting unassumingly beside the local Dominos Pizza joint [ yes! Domino’s. We were surprised too~]
The site of an ancient well that has been preserved for hundreds of years. It’s said to be the well that was dug by Abraham.
Above you can see a replica of a water wheel that would have been used to pump the water.
Be’er Sheva was built on the bank of a wadi which was flooded by rain water in the winter. In the summer the water lay shallow under the ground level. According to archeologists, the site was occupied from the 4th millennium BCE. In 3000 BCE its first peoples moved away and it was only seasonally inhabited by nomads, among these were presumably the Biblical patriarchs – but no archeological traces have been found of them.
Some main stories in the Bible are about Be’er Sheva, beginning with Abraham. He was allowed to settle on the lands of king Avimelek, who ruled the land of Gerar. But they entered a dispute about a well which Abraham used but which had been taken by Avimelek’s servants. Abraham dug a new well at Be’er Sheva and gave Avimelek seven lambs to enforce the oath to be peaceful towards each other. The well was dubbed Be’er Sheva (be’er means ‘well’ and sheva can be interpreted as ‘seven’ or ‘oath.’ – see Genesis 21:22-34).
[So it seems that because of this ancient pact, the word for the number ‘seven’ and ‘oath’ mean one and the same in Israel..I love it.]
Inside we watched a small film that detailed some of Be’er Shevas history. You could purchase maps and small artifacts as well as Jewish kippahs, the skullcap traditionally worn by Jewish men and boys to show their acknowledgment that God watches over us all.
Most amazing..hope you all enjoyed your weekend too!