Q: #588. How many wells were given names in the Bible?
A: Wells are mentioned all through the Old Testament. Because of the hot and dry conditions of many lands mentioned in the Bible, and a lack of water, finding a consistent water supply was crucial. Digging deep into the earth, water could often be found, and when it was, these water supplies were called “wells.”
At times, these “wells” were given names. It is somewhat difficult to determine the difference between wells, and cisterns, and natural springs in the Old Testament, because the same Hebrew words used for “wells” (primarily “beer” and “bowr“), are also used at times for cisterns and natural springs as well.
However, in addressing our question, I looked up every Hebrew and Greek word I could find for “well,” and I found 8 wells that were given a name. So, following are those names, and where they are mentioned in the Bible:
Beerlahairoi – (Gen 16:14)(Gen 25:11)
Beersheba – (Gen 21:30-33)(Gen 26:32-33)
Esek – (Gen 26:20)
Sitnah – (Gen 26:21)
Rehoboth – (Gen 26:22)
Beer – (Num 21:16-18)
Dragon Well – (Neh 2:13)
Jacob’s Well – (Jn 4:6)
***Note: It is possible that some of these “may” be the same well.
In addition to these, a few wells are closely associated with a city: i.e. “the well of Bethlehem” (2 Sam 23:15-16)(1 Chr 11:17-18), “the great well at Sechu” (1 Sam 19:22), “the well of Sirah” (2 Sam 3:26), and “the 12 wells of water at Elim” (Ex 15:27).
A few interesting “wells” facts (for the trivia lovers out there like me).
Perhaps the most famous well in the Bible is “Jacob’s Well,” where Jesus met the “Woman at the Well” (Jn 4:6-26). It was here that Jesus spoke of being “living water.”
Wives for Isaac (Gen 24:11-67), Jacob (Gen 29:1-29), and Moses (Ex 2:15-22) were found at wells.
King Uzziah (2 Chr 26:9-10), and Isaac (verses above) are shown to have dug “many” wells.