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Meaning: well of the oath, or well of seven
On re-opening it, 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. It is still called by the Arabs Bir es-Seba, i.e., “well of the seven,” where there are to the present day two principal wells and five smaller ones. It is nearly midway between the southern end of the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.