Genesis 21:31

31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba;[a] because there they sware both of them.

Genesis 21:31 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 21:31

Wherefore he called that place Beersheba
Either Abraham or Abimelech, or both, called it so; or it may be read impersonally, "therefore the place was called Beersheba" F20, for two reasons, one implied, the other expressed; one was, because of the seven lambs before mentioned; so the Targum of Jonathan,

``and therefore he called the well the well of seven lambs;''
"Beer" signifying a well, and "sheba" seven; the other, and which is more certain, being expressed, is as follows; because there they sware both of them;
by the living God, to keep the covenant inviolably they had made between them.

F20 (arqy) "vocatus", V. L. Calvin, Piscator.

Genesis 21:31 In-Context

29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?
30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.
31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.
32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Beersheba: that is, The well of the oath
The King James Version is in the public domain.