Dictionary of Bible Names

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Bible Meaning: Well of an oath, well of sevenfold oath
Strong's Concordance #H884

In Scripture Beersheba is also referred to as Shebah (Genesis 26:33), a name which means "seven" or "an oath" (Strong's #H7656).

The patriarch Abraham, after Abimelech agreed to protect his water rights in the area, called the location of the agreement Beersheba. The name was likely derived from the fact that he gave Abimelech seven lambs as a token of their covenant (Genesis 21:28 - 31).

God would also confirm to Isaac, in the same location, the same promises he gave to his father Abraham (Genesis 26:23 - 25). The city would eventually become the possession of the tribe of Simeon when the Israelites received their land inheritance from God (Joshua 19:2).

During most of Israel's history, the phrase "Dan to Beersheba" was commonly used to designate the northern and southern limits of the nation's territory (Judges 20:1, 1Samuel 3:20, 1Kings 4:25, 2Chronicles 30:5).

Location of Beersheba in Ancient Israel Map

Important Verses

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

Genesis 21:29 - 31
And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.

Wherefore he called that place Beersheba: because there they sware both of them.

Genesis 26:22 - 24
And he (Isaac) removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.

And he went up from thence to Beersheba. And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake.

Joshua 19:1 - 2
And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.

And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, or Sheba, and Moladah.

Judges 20:1
Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the Lord in Mizpeh.

1Samuel 3:20
And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.

And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.

2Chronicles 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 unto the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written.

Additional Studies

Dictionary of Biblical Names
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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).