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Holman Bible Dictionary


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A spring of water flowing from a hole in the earth. The limestone rock of Palestine is especially suited for the formation of springs. In semi-arid country springs are highly prized as water sources and often determine the location of settlements. Thus the frequency of the Hebrew root En, meaning spring, in place names: En-dor (Joshua 17:11 ); En-eglaim (Ezekiel 47:10 ); En-gannim (Joshua 15:34 ); En-gedi (Joshua 15:62 ); En-haddah (Joshua 19:21 ); En-hakkore (Judges 15:19 ); En-hazor (Joshua 19:37 ); En-rimmon; (Nehemiah 11:29 ); En-rogel and En-shemesh (Joshua 15:7 ); and En-tappuah (Joshua 17:7 ). Enaim (Enam, Joshua 15:34 ) means “two springs.” The goodness of Canaan was seen in its abundant water supply, “a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills” (Deuteronomy 8:7 NRSV).

The Old Testament portrays the earth's dry land resting on foundations over the fountains of the deep (Genesis 7:11 ). The unleashing of these waters amounted to a return to the chaos before the creation (Genesis 1:1 ,Genesis 1:1,1:9 ).

Provisions of spring water is an expression of God's providential care (Psalm 104:10 ). God's special concern for the poor and needy is pictured in terms of providing fountains and springs (Isaiah 41:17-18 ). The blessedness of the endtime includes pictures of fountains flowing from the Temple (Ezekiel 47:1-12 ; Joel 3:18 ), Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:8 ), or the throne of God (Revelation 22:1-2 ) with amazing life-giving powers.

The metaphorical use of fountain for source is common. The teaching of the wise is a fountain (source) of life (Proverbs 13:14 ; contrast Proverbs 25:26 ).

Chris Church

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Fountain'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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Thursday, January 18th, 2018
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