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The Well

Wells, or places of water, particularly in the driest parts of Israel, have always been vital to the lives of man and beast. The Hebrew of the Old Testament uses the word be-ayr (or beer) most commonly, while the Greek of the New Testament uses pay-gay and freh-ar. Wells are mentioned throughout Bible History.

The Well A number of Bible Places take part of their name from the Hebrew word for well e.g. Beer (Numbers 21:16), Beer-elim (Isaiah 15:8), Beeroth (Deuteronomy 10:6), Beer-lahai-roi (Genesis 16:14), and Beer-sheba (Genesis 21:31)

Due to the scarcity of water in some areas, wells were often the focus of conflict between competing people (e.g. Genesis 21:25-26, 26:15-22), including a famous incident with Moses:
"When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. Now a priest of Midian [see Jethro] had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father's flock [see The Shepherd]. Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock." Exodus 2:15-17)

Jesus Christ taught an important lesson about salvation while at a well -

"So He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob [see Children of Jacob] had given to his son Joseph [Coat Of Many Colors]. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as He was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give Me a drink?" His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.

The Samaritan woman said to Him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.

Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and Who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water."

"Sir," the woman said, "You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can You get this living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."

"I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."

"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem." Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship The Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews [see The Chosen People]. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship The Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

The woman said, "I know that Messiah," called Christ, "is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us." Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am He."
(John 4:5-26)

Fact Finder: Does Prophecy describe "living waters" that will one day flow from Jerusalem?
Ezekiel 47:1-12


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