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Monday, October 22 2012
The Wells Of Beersheba
Beersheba is an ancient town in the southernmost area of the land of Israel. The town is perhaps most famous from the "Dan to Beersheba" saying (e.g. "3:20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD." 1 Samuel 3:20 KJV), referring to the southern border of Israel (see also The Boundary Law).
Beersheba is first recorded in the Scriptures as the "wilderness of Beersheba" (i.e. "she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba") at the time when Hagar was permanently sent away by Abraham, with their son Ishmael, after the birth of Isaac, Abraham's son with Sarah. While the place would be more famous for a well that Abraham dug there, the LORD appeared to dying-of-thirst Hagar and directed her to a well of water i.e. "God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink."
"21:1 And the LORD [see Who Is The LORD?] visited Sarah [see A Biography Of Abraham: Sarah] as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac [see A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac]. 21:4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. 21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
The most-famous incident of the namings (plural) of Beersheba occurred later, when Abraham "called that place Beersheba" after an agreement with the Philistine king Abimelech about the ownership of a well.
"21:22 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: 21:23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
Abraham returned with Isaac to Beersheba after Isaac's near-sacrifice at Moriah (see A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac to understand why Abraham expected the LORD would resurrect Isaac from that sacrifice).
"22:9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 22:10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 22:11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
Isaac remained in the area of Beersheba as his father Abraham had done. Isaac also experienced conflicts over wells in the area ("the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, the water is ours"). After arriving in Beersheba itself, "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." Once again, the name Beersheba was applied when "Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water. And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day."
"26:17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.
Fact Finder: What desert is located from Beersheba?
This Day In History, October 22
741: Charles Martel died at age 53. The rulership of Gaul was divided between his two sons Pepin III and Carloman.
794: Emperor Kanmu relocated the capital of Japan to Heiankyo (now known as Kyoto).
1721: Peter the Great became czar (czar is the Russian form of "Caesar," as is the German kaiser) of all Russia.
1764: The Battle of Baksar, fought between the East India Company's forces and those of the Mughals. The decisive battle confirmed the British control of Bengal.
1784: Russia founded a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska (Russia sold Alaska to the U.S.A. in 1867).
1797: The first successful parachute jump was made by Andre-Jacques Garnerin, from a balloon over Paris, France.
1836: Sam Houston became the first "President of the Republic of Texas" (unlike the "New England" States, Texas, which remained part of Mexico in 1776, rebelled against Mexico about 50 years later).
1844: The date predicted by religious leader William Miller (Ellen White's "Seventh Day Adventist" organization, Herbert Armstrong's "Worldwide Church of God" and the present-day "Sacred Name" movement were among a number of early 20th Century offshoots of the Miller movement) when the Return of Jesus Christ would occur. Among the many thousands of his followers, the day became known as the "Great Disappointment." Miller and his followers chose to ignore the only Biblically-stated proof that Christ's return would soon happen - the beginning of the 42 month miraculous ministry of the "two witnesses," immediately after which Christ's return will happen (see The Two Signs Of Christ's Return; also Could Christ Return Tonight?).
1859: Spain declared war on the Moors in Morocco.
1952: The complete Jewish Torah was published in English for the first time.
1954: West Germany joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
1954: After Geneva accords conceded Communist control over North Vietnam (Vietnam was divided into North and South by France in its failed effort to make Vietnam a French colony), U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower authorized U.S. training of the South Vietnamese Army (the U.S. replaced the colonial involvement of France in Vietnam). The U.S. "advisors" soon became the primary combatants in that Vietnamese civil war; it ended in the 1970s with North and South Vietnam re-unified into a single nation that had existed for centuries before French and U.S. interference.
1966: The Soviet Union launched Luna 12 to orbit the moon.
1975: The Soviet unmanned spacecraft Venera 9 landed on Venus.
1979: The exiled Shah of Iran (a brutal, undemocratic dictator who had been supported by the U.S. for decades because he was "pro-western") arrived in the U.S. for medical treatment. In response, Iranian revolutionaries invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran, thereby beginning the Iranian Hostage Crisis, demanding the return of the Shah in exchange for the U.S. diplomats/CIA agents.
2008: India launched its first unmanned lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1.