Cistern [N] [S]

the rendering of a Hebrew word bor , which means a receptacle for water conveyed to it; distinguished from beer , which denotes a place where water rises on the spot ( Jeremiah 2:13 ; Proverbs 5:15 ; Isaiah 36:16 ), a fountain. Cisterns are frequently mentioned in Scripture. The scarcity of springs in Palestine made it necessary to collect rain-water in reservoirs and cisterns ( Numbers 21:22 ). (See WELL .)

Empty cisterns were sometimes used as prisons ( Jeremiah 38:6 ; Lamentations 3:53 ; Psalms 40:2 ; 69:15 ). The "pit" into which Joseph was cast ( Genesis 37:24 ) was a beer or dry well. There are numerous remains of ancient cisterns in all parts of Palestine.

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Cistern". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .