Wells of water

Without water it is impossible for men to survive. Many disputes throughout history have been about water and water rights. The importance of water during the time of the the biblical patriarchs is prominent in several Bible accounts.

  • Abraham made a covenant with Abimelech. He said, “I dug this well” (Genesis 21:30). This covenant was made at Beersheba (well of seven).
  • Isaac had to dig again the wells of water dug by Abraham because the Philistines had filled them with debris (Genesis 26:15-18).
  • The scene around the well where the servant of Abraham selected the bride for Isaac is especially impressive (Genesis 24).
  • The meeting of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (John 4).

The well was so important that the wise man used it as a euphemism to teach sexual purity.

Drink water from your own cistern And fresh water from your own well. (Proverbs 5:15)

At Petra in Jordan, men dressed in antique costumes demonstrate life among the Bedouin. Here we have a man at the well. This may seem ancient to younger people, but I drew water from a well when I was a youngster (and it was not in the patriarchal period!).

A Bedouin at Petra, Jordan, illustrates the importance of the well. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

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