|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:22-34 Abimelech felt sure that the promises of God would be fulfilled to Abraham. It is wise to connect ourselves with those who are blessed of God; and we ought to requite kindness to those who have been kind to us. Wells of water are scarce and valuable in eastern countries. Abraham took care to have his title to the well allowed, to prevent disputes in future. No more can be expected from an honest man than that he be ready to do right, as soon as he knows he has done wrong. Abraham, being now in a good neighbourhood, stayed a great while there. There he made, not only a constant practice, but an open profession of his religion. There he called on the name of the Lord, as the everlasting God; probably in the grove he planted, which was his place of prayer. Abraham kept up public worship, in which his neighbours might join. Good men should do all they can to make others so. Wherever we sojourn, we must neither neglect nor be ashamed of the worship of Jehovah.
Verse 31. - Wherefore he called that place Beersheba. I.e. "the well of the oath," φρέαρ ὁρκισμοῦ (LXX., Gesenius, Furst, Rosenmüller), or the well of the seven (Keil), rather than the seven wells (Lange); discovered by Robinson in Bir-es-seba, in the Wady-es-seba, twelve miles to the south of Hebron, with two deep wells of excellent water. "The great well has an internal diameter at the mouth of twelve feet six inches, or a circumference of nearly forty feet. The shaft is formed of excellent masonry to a great depth until it reaches the rock, and at this juncture a spring trickles perpetually. Around the mouth of the well is a circular course of masonry, topped by a circular parapet of about a foot high; and at a distance of ten or twelve feet are stone troughs placed in a concentric circle with the well, the sides of which have deep indentions made by the wear of ropes on the upper edges The second well, about 200 yards farther south, is not more than five feet in diameter, but is formed of equally good masonry, and furnishes equally good water" (vide 'Byeways in Palestine,' by James Finn, M.R.A.S., p. 190). Because there they aware both of them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
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" (t), 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.
(t) "vocatus", V. L. Calvin, Piscator.
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