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Holman Bible Dictionary
The Hebrew word most commonly translated “well” is beer ( Genesis 21:30-31; Numbers 21:16-18 ). Beer also occurs in several place names indicating the location of important wells: Beer ( Numbers 21:16 ); Beer-elim (Isaiah 15:8 ); Beeroth (Deuteronomy 10:6 ); Beer-lahai-roi (Genesis 16:14 ); Beer-sheba (Genesis 21:31 ).
The digging of a well could be a time for celebration (Numbers 21:17-18 ), but wells were also fought over as different people tried to control the precious resource (Genesis 21:25-26; Genesis 26:15-22; Exodus 2:16-17 ). Wells were located wherever a water source could be found. This included fields (Genesis 29:2 ), towns (2 Samuel 23:15 ), and the wilderness (Genesis 16:7 ,Genesis 16:7,16:14 ).
“Well” is also used figuratively of a harlot (Proverbs 23:27 NRSV) and of a wicked city ( Jeremiah 6:7 ). Elsewhere it is used as a metaphor for sexual pleasure (Proverbs 5:15; see Song of Song of Solomon 4:15 ).
John C. H. Laughlin
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Well'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/w/well.html. 1991.
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17