Well

(1) (be'er; compare Arabic bi'r, "well" or "cistern"; usually artificial: "And Isaac's servants digged (dug) in the valley, and found there a well of springing (margin "living") water" (Ge 26:19); some times covered: "Jacob .... rolled the stone from the well's mouth" (Ge 29:10). Be'er may also be a pit: "The vale of Siddim was full of slime pits" (Ge 14:10); "the pit of destruction" (Ps 55:23). (2) (bor), usually "pit": "Let us slay him, and cast him into one of the pits" (Ge 37:20); may be "well": "drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem" (2Sa 23:16).

Topical Bible outline for "Wells."

(3) (pege), usually "running water," "fount," or "source": "Doth the fountain send forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter?" (Jas 3:11); may be "well"; compare "Jacob's well" (Joh 4:6). (4) (phrear), usually "pit": "the pit of the abyss" (Re 9:1); but "well"; compare "Jacob's well" (Joh 4:11-12): "Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a well" (the King James Version "pit") (Lu 14:5). (5) (krene), "wells" (Sirach 48:17), Latin, fons, "spring" (2 Esdras 2:32).

(6) ayin), compare Arabic `ain "fountain," "spring": "the fountain (English Versions of the Bible) which is in Jezreel" (1Sa 29:1); "In Elim were twelve springs (the King James Version "fountains"] of water" (Nu 33:9); "She (Rebekah) went down to the fountain" (the King James Version "well") (Ge 24:16); "the jackal's well" (the English Revised Version "the dragon's well," the King James Version "the dragon well") (Ne 2:13). (7) (ma`yan), same root as (6); "the fountain (the King James Version "well") of the waters of Nephtoah" (Jos 18:15); "Passing through the valley of Weeping (the King James Version "Baca") they make it a place of springs" (the King James Version "well") (Ps 84:6); "Ye shall draw water out of the wells of salvation" (Isa 12:3). (8) (maqor), usually figurative: "With thee is the fountain of life" (Ps 36:9); "The mouth of the righteous is a fountain (the King James Version "well") of life" (Pr 10:11); "make her (Babylon's) fountain (the King James Version "spring") dry" (Jer 51:36); "a corrupted spring" (Pr 25:26). (9) (mabbu`), (nabha`, "to flow," "spring," "bubble up"; compare Arabic (nab`, manba`, yanbu`) "fountain": "or the pitcher is broken at the fountain" (Ec 12:6); "the thirsty ground springs of water" (Isa 35:7). (10) (motsa'), "spring," (yatsa'), "to go out," "the dry land springs of water" (Isa 41:18); "a dry land into watersprings" (Ps 107:35); "the upper spring of the waters of Gihon" (2Ch 32:30). (11) (nebhekh), root uncertain, reading doubtful; only in Job 38:16, "Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea?" (12) (tehom), "deep," "abyss"; compare Ge 1:2; translated "springs," the King James Version "depths" (De 8:7). (13) (gal), (galal), "to roll"; compare Gilgal (Jos 5:9); "a spring shut up" (Song 4:12). (14) (gullah), "bowl," "basin," "pool," same root: "Give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper sprigs and the nether springs" (Jos 15:19); compare Arabic (kullat), pronounced gullat, "a marble," "a cannon-ball."

See a list of verses on WELLS in the Bible.

As is clear from references cited above, wells and springs were not sharply distinguished in name, though be'er, and phrear are used mainly of wells, and `ayin, ma`yan, motsa', mabbua` and (poetically) maqor are chiefly used of fountains. The Arabic bi'r, the equivalent of the Hebrew be'er, usually denotes a cistern for rain-water, though it may be qualified as bi'r jam`, "well of gathering," i.e. for rain-water, or as bi'r nab`, "well of springing water." A spring or natural fountain is called in Arabic `ain or nab` (compare Hebrew `ayin and mabbua`). These Arabic and Hebrew words for "well" and "spring" figure largely in place-names, modern and ancient: Beer (Nu 21:16); Beer-elim (Isa 15:8), etc.; `Ain (a) on the northeast boundary of Palestine (Nu 34:11), (b) in the South of Judah, perhaps = En-rimmon (Jos 15:32); Enaim (Ge 38:14); Enam (Jos 15:34), etc. Modern Arabic names with `ain are very numerous, e.g. `Ainul-fashkhah, `Ain-ul-chajleh, `Ain-karim, etc.

See CISTERN; FOUNTAIN; PIT; POOL.

See the definition of well in the KJV Dictionary

Alfred Ely Day

See also the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia.

 
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