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Smith's Bible Dictionary

Wells in Palestine are usually excavated from the solid limestone rock, sometimes with steps to descend into them. (Genesis 24:16) The brims are furnished with a curb or low wall of stone, bearing marks of high antiquity in the furrows worn by the ropes used in drawing water. It was on a curb of this sort that our Lord sat when he conversed with the woman of Samaria, (John 4:6) and it was this, the usual stone cover, which the woman placed on the mouth of the well at Bahurim, (2 Samuel 17:19) where the Authorized Version weakens the sense by omitting the article. The usual methods for raising water are the following:

  1. The rope and bucket, or waterskin. (Genesis 24:14-20; John 4:11)
  2. The sakiyeh , or Persian wheel. This consists of a vertical wheel furnished with a set of buckets or earthen jars attached to a cord passing over the wheel. which descend empty and return full as the wheel revolves.
  3. A modification of the last method, by which a man, sitting opposite to a wheel furnished with buckets, turns it by drawing with his hands one set of spokes prolonged beyond its circumference, and pushing another set from him with his feet.
  4. A method very common in both ancient and modern Egypt is the shadoof , a simple contrivance consisting of a lever moving on a pivot, which is loaded at one end with a lump of clay or some other weight, and has at the other a bowl or bucket. Wells are usually furnished with troughs of wood or stone into which the water is emptied for the use of persons or animals coming to the wells. Unless machinery is used, which is commonly worked by men, women are usually the water-carriers.
Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Hebrews beer), to be distinguished from a fountain (Hebrews `ain). A "beer" was a deep shaft, bored far under the rocky surface by the art of man, which contained water which percolated through the strata in its sides. Such wells were those of Jacob and Beersheba, etc. (see Genesis 21:19, 25, 30, 31; 24:11; 26:15, 18-25, 32, etc.). In the Pentateuch this word beer, so rendered, occurs twenty-five times.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) An issue of water from the earth; a spring; a fountain.

2. (n.) A pit or hole sunk into the earth to such a depth as to reach a supply of water, generally of a cylindrical form, and often walled with stone or bricks to prevent the earth from caving in.

3. (n.) A shaft made in the earth to obtain oil or brine.

4. (v. i.) Fig.: A source of supply; fountain; wellspring.

5. (n.) An enclosure in the middle of a vessel's hold, around the pumps, from the bottom to the lower deck, to preserve the pumps from damage and facilitate their inspection.

6. (n.) A compartment in the middle of the hold of a fishing vessel, made tight at the sides, but having holes perforated in the bottom to let in water for the preservation of fish alive while they are transported to market.

7. (n.) A vertical passage in the stern into which an auxiliary screw propeller may be drawn up out of water.

8. (n.) A depressed space in the after part of the deck; -- often called the cockpit.

9. (n.) A hole or excavation in the earth, in mining, from which run branches or galleries.

10. (n.) An opening through the floors of a building, as for a staircase or an elevator; a wellhole.

11. (n.) The lower part of a furnace, into which the metal falls.

12. (v. i.) To issue forth, as water from the earth; to flow; to spring.

13. (v. t.) To pour forth, as from a well.

14. (v. t.) In a good or proper manner; justly; rightly; not ill or wickedly.

15. (v. t.) Suitably to one's condition, to the occasion, or to a proposed end or use; suitably; abundantly; fully; adequately; thoroughly.

16. (v. t.) Fully or about; -- used with numbers.

17. (v. t.) In such manner as is desirable; so as one could wish; satisfactorily; favorably; advantageously; conveniently.

18. (v. t.) Considerably; not a little; far.

19. (a.) Good in condition or circumstances; desirable, either in a natural or moral sense; fortunate; convenient; advantageous; happy; as, it is well for the country that the crops did not fail; it is well that the mistake was discovered.

20. (a.) Being in health; sound in body; not ailing, diseased, or sick; healthy; as, a well man; the patient is perfectly well.

21. (a.) Being in favor; favored; fortunate.

22. (a.) Safe; as, a chip warranted well at a certain day and place.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


Use of Terms

1. General

2. Wells or Cylindrical Cisterns

3. Private Cisterns

4. Public Cisterns

5. Pools and Aqueducts

6. Figurative Uses


Several words are rendered by "cistern," "well," "pool," the relations of which in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) are as follows:

Use of Terms:

"Cistern," bo'r (Jeremiah 2:13, etc.), or bor (2 Kings 18:31). The latter word is frequently in the King James Version translated "well." the Revised Version (British and American) in these cases changes to "cistern" in text (Deuteronomy 6:11 2 Chronicles 26:10 Nehemiah 9:25) margin (Jeremiah 14:3), rendered "pit" in the King James Version are changed to "cistern" the Revised Version (British and American) (the latter in the American Standard Revised Version only).

The proper Hebrew word for "well" is be'er (seen in Beer-sheba, "well of the oath," Genesis 21:31), but other terms are thus rendered in the King James Version, as `ayin (Genesis 24:13, 16, etc., and frequently), ma`yan (Joshua 18:15), maqor (Proverbs 10:11). ally changes to "fountain"; in Exodus 15:27, however, it renders `ayin by "springs," and in Psalm 84:6, ma`yan by, "place of springs." "Pool," 'agham (Isaiah 14:23, etc.; in the King James Version, Exodus 7:19; Exodus 8:5, rendered "ponds"); more frequently berekhah (2 Samuel 2:13; 2 Samuel 4:12, etc.). In Psalm 84:6 the cognate berakhah, is changed to "blessing."

In the New Testament "well" represents the two words: pege (John 4:6, 14; in the Revised Version, margin "spring"; 2 Peter 2:17; the Revised Version (British and American) renders "springs"), and phrear (John 4:11, 12). "Pool" is kolumbethra, in John 5:2, 4, 7; John 9:7, 11.

1. General:

The efforts made to supplement the natural water supply, both in agricultural and in populated areas, before as well as after the Conquest, are clearly seen in the innumerable cisterns, wells and pools which abound throughout Palestine The rainy season, upon which the various storage systems depend, commences at the end of October and ends in the beginning of May. In Jerusalem, the mean rainfall in 41 years up to 1901 was 25, 81 inches, falling in a mean number of 56 days (see Glaisher, Meteorological Observations, 24). Toward the end of summer, springs and wells, where they have not actually dried up, diminish very considerably, and cisterns and open reservoirs become at times the only sources of supply. Cisterns are fed from surface and roof drainage. Except in the rare instances where springs occur, wells depend upon percolation. The' great open reservoirs or pools are fed from surface drainage and, in some cases, by aqueducts from springs or from more distant collecting pools. In the case of private cisterns, it is the custom of the country today to close up the inlets during the early days of the rain, so as to permit of a general wash down of gathering surfaces, before admitting the water. Cisterns, belonging to the common natives, are rarely cleansed, and the inevitable scum which collects is dispersed by plunging the pitcher several times before drawing water. When the water is considered to be bad, a somewhat primitive cure is applied by dropping earth into the cistern, so as to sink all impurities with it, to the bottom. The accumulation often found in ancient cisterns probably owes some of its presence to this same habit.

2. Wells or Cylindrical Cisterns:

It is necessary to include wells under the head of cisterns, as there appears to be some confusion in the use of the two terms. Wells, so called, were more often deep cylindrical reservoirs, the lower part of which was sunk in the rock and cemented, the upper part being built with open joints, to receive the surface percolation. They were often of great depth. Job's well at Jerusalem, which is certainly of great antiquity, is 125 ft. deep (see Palestine Exploration Fund, "Jerus," 371).

The discovery of "living water" when digging a well, recorded in Genesis 26:19 margin, appears to have been an unusual incident. Uzziah hewed out many cisterns in the valley for his cattle (2 Chronicles 26:9, 10 the Revised Version (British and American)), and he built towers, presumably to keep watch over both cattle and cisterns. Isaac "digged again the wells" which had been filled in by the Philistines (Genesis 26:18). Wells were frequently dug in the plain, far from villages, for flocks and herds, and rude stone troughs were provided nearby. The well was usually covered with a stone, through which a hole was pierced sufficiently large to allow of free access for the pitchers. A stone was placed over this hole (Genesis 29:10) when the well was not in use. The great amount of pottery found in ancient cisterns suggests that clay pots were used for drawing water (see Bible Sidelights, 88). Josephus (Ant., IV, viii, 37) elucidates the passage in Exodus 21:33 requiring the mouth of a "pit" or "well" to be covered with planks against accidents. This would seem to apply to wide-mouthed wells which had not been narrowed over to receive a stone cover. It may have been a well or cistern similar to these into which Joseph was cast (Genesis 37:24). In fact, dry-wells and cisterns formed such effective dungeons, that it is very probable they were often used for purposes of detention. From earliest times, wells have been the cause of much strife. The covenant between Abimelech and Abraham at Beersheba (Genesis 32) was a necessity, no less pressing then than it is now. The well, today, is a center of life in the East. Women gather around it in pursuit of their daily duties, and travelers, man and beast, divert their course thereto, if needs be, for refreshment; and news of the outer world is carried to and from the well. It is, in fact, an all-important center, and daily presents a series of characteristic Bible scenes. The scene between Rebekah and the servant of Abraham (Genesis 24:11) is one with frequent parallels. The well lies usually at some little distance from the village or city. Abraham's servant made his "camels to kneel down without the city by the well of water at the time of the evening, the time that women go out to draw water." Saul and his servant found young maidens going out of the city to draw water (1 Samuel 9:11). Moses helped the daughters of the priest of Midian at the well, which was evidently at some distance from habitation (Exodus 2:16).

3. Private Cisterns:

Private cisterns must be distinguished from public cisterns or wells. They were smaller and were sunk in the rocks within private boundaries, each owner having his own cistern (2 Kings 18:31 Proverbs 5:15). Ancient sites are honeycombed with these cisterns. A common type in Jerusalem seems to have been bottle-shaped in section, the extended bottom part being in the softer rock, and the narrow neck in the hard upper stratum. Many irregularly shaped cisterns occur with rock vaults supported by rock or masonry piers. Macalister tells of the discovery at Gezer of a small silt catchpit attached to a private cistern, and provided with an overflow channel leading to the cistern. It is an early instance of a now well-known method of purification. The universal use of cement rendering to the walls of the cisterns was most necessary to seal up the fissures of the rock. The "broken cisterns" (Jeremiah 2:13) probably refer to insufficiently sealed cisterns.

4. Public Cisterns:

Besides private cisterns there were huge public rock-cut cisterns within the city walls. The great water caverns under the Temple area at Jerusalem show a most extensive system of water storage (see Recovery of Jerusalem, chapter vii). There are 37 of these described in Palestine Exploration Fund, "Jerus," 217, and the greatest is an immense rock-cut cavern the roof of which is partly rock and partly stone, supported by rock piers (see Fig. 1, Palestine Exploration Fund). It is 43 ft. deep with a storage capacity of over two million gallons and there are numerous access manholes. This cistern is fed by an aqueduct from Solomon's Pools about 10 miles distant by road, and is locally known as Bahar el Kebir, the "Great Sea." One of the most recent and one of the most interesting rock-cut reservoirs yet discovered is that at Gezer. (SeePalestine Exploration Fund Statement, 1908, 96.) In this example, the pool of spring water is reached by a great rock-tunnel staircase which descends 94 ft. 6 inches from the surface. The staircase diminishes in size as it descends, and at its greatest, it is 23 ft. high and 12 ft. 10 inches wide. These proportions may seem unnecessarily large, but may be accounted for by the necessity for providing light at the water level. As a matter of fact, the brink of the pool receives the light from above. The work dates back to pre-Israelite times.

5. Pools and Aqueducts:

Open pools were common in every city. They were cut out of the rock and were built and cemented at points where occasion demanded. They were often of great size. The pool outside Jerusalem known as Birket es Sultan measures 555 ft. x 220 ft. x 36 ft. deep, and the so-called Hezekiah's Pool within the walls, is 240 ft. x 144 ft. x about 20 ft. deep. The latter probably owes its origin to the rock-cut fosse of early Jewish date. The Birket es Sultan, on the other hand, probably dates from the time of the Turkish occupation. They may, however, be taken as examples, which, if somewhat larger, are still in accord with the pool system of earlier history. Pools were usually fed by surface drainage, and in some cases by aqueducts from springs at some distance away. They seem to have been at the public service, freely accessible to both man and beast. Pools situated outside the city walls were sometimes connected by aqueducts with pools within the city, so that the water could be drawn within the walls in time of siege. The so-called Pools of Solomon, three in number (see Fig. 3), situated about 10 miles by road from Jerusalem, are of large proportions and are fed by surface water and by aqueducts from springs. The water from these pools is conveyed in a wonderfully engineered course, known as the lower-level aqueduct, which searches the winding contours of the Judean hills for a distance of about 15 miles, before reaching its destination in "the great sea" under the Temple area. This aqueduct is still in use, but its date is uncertain (see G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, 131, where the author finds reason for ascribing it to the period of Herod). The course and destination of another aqueduct known as the high-level aqueduct is less definite. These aqueducts are of varying dimensions. The low-level aqueduct at a point just before it enters the Temple area was found to measure 3 ft. high x 2 ft. 3 inches wide, partly rock-cut and partly built, and rendered in smooth-troweled cement, with well-squared stone covers (see Palestine Exploration Fund, Excavations at Jerusalem, 53). There are many remains of rock-cut aqueducts throughout Palestine (see Fig. 4) which seem to indicate their use in early Hebrew times, but the lack of Old Testament references to these works is difficult to account for, unless it is argued that in some cases they date back to pre-Israelite times. The great tunnel and pool at Gezer lends a measure of support to this hypothesis. On the other hand, a plea for a Hebrew origin is also in a measure strengthened by the very slight reference in the Old Testament to such a great engineering feat as the cutting of the Siloam tunnel, which is doubtless the work of Hezekiah. The pool of Siloam was originally a simple rock-cut reservoir within the walls, and was constructed by Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:30). It measures 75 ft. x 71 ft. It is the upper pool of Isaiah 7:3. A lower overflow pool existed immediately beyond, contained by the city wall across the Tyropoeon valley. The aqueduct which supplies the upper pool takes a tortuous course of about 1,700 ft. through the solid rock from the Virgin's fountain, an intermittent spring on the East slope of the hill. The water reaches the pool on the Southwest of the spur of Ophel, and it was in the rock walls of this aqueduct that the famous Siloam inscription recording the completion of the work was discovered.

Herod embellished the upper pool, lining it with stone and building arches around its four sides (see Palestine Exploration Fund, Excavations at Jerusalem, 154), and the pool was most likely in this condition in the time of Christ (John 9:6, 7). There are numerous other pools, cisterns and aqueducts in and around Jerusalem, which provide abundant evidence of the continual struggle after water, made by its occupants of all times (see G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, chapter v, volume I).

See also PIT; WELL, etc.

6. Figurative Uses:

Good wives are described as cisterns (Proverbs 5:15). "The left ventricle of the heart, which retains the blood till it be redispersed through the body, is called a cistern" (Ecclesiastes 12:6). Idols, armies and material objects in which Israel trusted were "broken cisterns" (Jeremiah 2:13, see above) "soon emptied of all the aid and comfort which they possess, and cannot fill themselves again."


G. A. Smith, Jerusalem; Palestine Exploration Fund Memoirs, Jerusalem vol; Wilson, The Recovery of Jerusalem; Macalister, Bible Sidelights; Palestine Exploration Fund Statement; Bliss and Dickie, Excavations at Jerusalem; Josephus.

Arch. C. Dickie


(Nehemiah 2:13 the King James Version). See JACKAL'S WELL.


ha'-rod (`en charodh, "fountain of trembling"): The fountain beside which (probably above it) Gideon and his army were encamped (Judges 7:1). Moore (Judges, in the place cited.) argues, inconclusively, that the hill Moreh must be sought near Shechem, and that the well of Harod must be some spring in the neighborhood of that city. There is no good reason to question the accuracy of the common view which places this spring at `Ain Jalud, on the edge of the vale of Jezreel, about 2 miles East of Zer`in, and just under the northern cliffs of Gilboa. A copious spring of clear cold water rises in a rocky cave and flows out into a large pool, whence it drains off, in Nahr Jalud, down the vale past Beisan to the Jordan. This is probably also to be identified with the spring "which is in Jezreel," i.e. in the district, near which Saul encamped before the battle of Gilboa (1 Samuel 29:1). `Ain el-Meiyiteh, just below Zer`in on the North, is hardly of sufficient size and importance to be a rival to `Ain Jalud.


W. Ewing


(`en ha-tannin; Septuagint has pege ton sukon, "fountain of the figs"; the King James Version dragon well): A well or spring in the valley of Hinnom between the "Gate of the Gai" and the Dung Gate (Nehemiah 2:13). No such source exists in the Wady er Rababi (see HINNOM, VALLEY OF) today, although it is very probable that a well sunk to the rock in the lower parts of this valley might strike a certain amount of water trickling down the valley-bottom. G.A. Smith suggests (Jerusalem, I, chapter iv) that this source may have arisen as the result of an earthquake, hence, the name "dragon," and have subsequently disappeared; but it is at least as likely that it received its name from the jackals which haunted this valley, as the pariah dogs do today, to consume the dead bodies which were thrown there.


E. W. G. Masterman


(pege tou Iakob):

1. Position of Well:

In John 4:3 we read that our Lord "left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs pass through Samaria. So he cometh to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph: and Jacob's well was there." When Jacob came to Shechem on his return from Paddanaram he encamped "before," i.e. East of the city, and bought the land on which he had spread his tent (Genesis 33:18 f). This is doubtless the "portion" (Hebrew shekhem) spoken of in Genesis 48:22; although there it is said to have been taken with sword and bow from the Amorites. Where the pass of Shechem opens to the East, near the northern edge of the valley, lies the traditional tomb of Joseph. On the other side of the vale, close to the base of Gerizim, is the well universally known as Bir Ya`qub, "the well of Jacob." The position meets perfectly the requirements of the narrative. The main road from the South splits a little to the East, one arm leading westward through the pass, the other going more directly to the North. It is probable that these paths follow pretty closely the ancient tracks; and both would be frequented in Jesus' day. Which of them He took we cannot tell; but, in any case, this well lay in the fork between them, and could be approached with equal ease from either.


2. Why Dug:

In the chapter quoted, it is said that Jacob dug the well (Genesis 48:12). The Old Testament says nothing of this. With the copious springs at `Ain `Askar and BalaTa, one might ask why a well should have been dug here at all. We must remember that in the East, very strict laws have always governed the use of water, especially when there were large herds to be considered. The purchase of land here may not have secured for Jacob such supplies as he required. There was danger of strife between rival herdsmen. The patriarch, therefore, may have dug the well in the interests of peace, and also to preserve his own independence.

3. Consensus of Tradition:

Jew, Samaritan, Moslem and Christian agree in associating this well with the patriarch Jacob. This creates a strong presumption in favor of the tradition: and there is no good reason to doubt its truth. Standing at the brink of the well, over-shadowed by the giant bulk of Gerizim, one feels how naturally it would be spoken of as "this mountain."

4. Description:

For long the well was unprotected, opening among the ruins of a vaulted chamber some feet below the surface of the ground. Major Anderson describes it (Recovery of Jerusalem, 465) as having "a narrow opening, just wide enough to allow the body of a man to pass through with arms uplifted, and this narrow neck, which is about 4 ft. long, opens into the well itself, which is cylindrically shaped, and about 7 ft. 6 inches in diameter. The mouth and upper part of the well are built of masonry, and the well appears to have been sunk through a mixture of alluvial soil and limestone fragments, till a compact bed of mountain limestone was reached, having horizontal strata which could be easily worked; and the interior of the well presents the appearance of having been lined throughout with rough masonry." The depth was doubtless much greater in ancient times; but much rubbish has fallen into it, and now it is not more than 75 ft. deep. It is fed by no spring, nor is the water conducted to it along the surface, as to a cistern. Its supplies depend entirely upon rainfall and percolation. Possibly, therefore, the water may never have approached the brim. The woman says "the well is deep." Pege, "spring," does not, therefore, strictly apply to it, but rather "tank" or "reservoir," phrear, the word actually used in verses 11. The modern inhabitants of Nablus highly esteem the "light" water of the well as compared with the "heavy" or "hard" water of the neighboring springs. It usually lasts till about the end of May; then the well is dry till the return of the rain. Its contents, therefore, differ from the "living" water of the perennial spring.

From the narratives of the pilgrims we learn that at different times churches have been built over the well. The Moslems probably demolished the last of them after the overthrow of the Crusaders in 1187. A description of the ruins with drawings, as they were 30 years ago, is given in PEF, II, 174, etc. A stone found in 1881 may have been the original cover of the well. It measures 3 ft. 9 inches X 2 ft. 7 inches X 1 ft. 6 in. The aperture in the center is 13 in. in diameter; and in its sides are grooves worn by the ropes used in drawing up the water (PEFS, 1881, 212).

5. Present Condition:

Some years ago the plot of ground containing the well was purchased by the authorities of the Greek church, and it has been surrounded by a wall. A chapel has been built over the well, and a large church building has also been erected beside it.

W. Ewing


si'-ra (bor hacirah, "the pit," "well" or "cistern of Sarah"): The spot from which Abner was enticed back to Hebron to his death (2 Samuel 3:26). Josephus (Ant., VII, i, 5) calls it Be(r)sira, implying that it was a "well." It is possible that this spot is now `Ain Sarah, a spring which flows into a little tank near the west side of the road about a mile out of ancient Hebron, on the way to Jerusalem. There is, however, a curious cistern with steps known as Chamam Sarah ("Sarah's bath") near Ramet el-Khalil, which is also possibly the site (PEF, 314, Sh XXI).


(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" (Genesis 26:19); some times covered: "Jacob.... rolled the stone from the well's mouth" (Genesis 29:10). Be'er may also be a pit: "The vale of Siddim was full of slime pits" (Genesis 14:10); "the pit of destruction" (Psalm 55:23).

(2) (bor), usually "pit": "Let us slay him, and cast him into one of the pits" (Genesis 37:20); may be "well": "drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem" (2 Samuel 23:16).

(3) (pege), usually "running water," "fount," or "source": "Doth the fountain send forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter?" (James 3:11); may be "well"; compare "Jacob's well" (John 4:6).

(4) (phrear), usually "pit": "the pit of the abyss" (Revelation 9:1); but "well"; compare "Jacob's well" (John 4:11, 12): "Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a well" (the King James Version "pit") (Luke 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" (1 Samuel 29:1); "In Elim were twelve springs (the King James Version "fountains of water" (Numbers 33:9); "She (Rebekah) went down to the fountain" (the King James Version "well") (Genesis 24:16); "the jackal's well" (the English Revised Version "the dragon's well," the King James Version "the dragon well") (Nehemiah 2:13).

(7) (ma`yan), same root as (6); "the fountain (the King James Version "well") of the waters of Nephtoah" (Joshua 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") (Psalm 84:6); "Ye shall draw water out of the wells of salvation" (Isaiah 12:3).

(8) (maqor), usually figurative: "With thee is the fountain of life" (Psalm 36:9); "The mouth of the righteous is a fountain (the King James Version "well") of life" (Proverbs 10:11); "make her (Babylon's) fountain (the King James Version "spring") dry" (Jeremiah 51:36); "a corrupted spring" (Proverbs 25:26).

(9) (mabbu`), (nabha`, "to flow," "spring," "bubble up"; compare Arabic (nab`, manba`, yanbu`) "fountain": "or the pitcher is broken at the fountain" (Ecclesiastes 12:6); "the thirsty ground springs of water" (Isaiah 35:7).

(10) (motsa'), "spring," (yatsa'), "to go out," "the dry land springs of water" (Isaiah 41:18); "a dry land into watersprings" (Psalm 107:35); "the upper spring of the waters of Gihon" (2 Chronicles 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 Genesis 1:2; translated "springs," the King James Version "depths" (Deuteronomy 8:7).

(13) (gal), (galal), "to roll"; compare Gilgal (Joshua 5:9); "a spring shut up" (Songs 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" (Joshua 15:19); compare Arabic (kullat), pronounced gullat, "a marble," "a cannon-ball."

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 (Numbers 21:16); Beer-elim (Isaiah 15:8), etc.; `Ain

(a) on the northeast boundary of Palestine (Numbers 34:11),

(b) in the South of Judah, perhaps = En-rimmon (Joshua 15:32); Enaim (Genesis 38:14); Enam (Joshua 15:34), etc.

Modern Arabic names with `ain are very numerous, e.g. `Ainul-fashkhah, `Ain-ul-chajleh, `Ain-karim, etc.


Alfred Ely Day



2106. eudokeo -- to think well of, ie to be well-pleased
... to think well of, ie to be well-pleased. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: eudokeo
Phonetic Spelling: (yoo-dok-eh'-o) Short Definition: I am resolved, well ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2106.htm - 8k

2095. eu -- well
... well. Part of Speech: Adverb Transliteration: eu Phonetic Spelling: (yoo) Short
Definition: well, well done Definition: well, well done, good, rightly; also ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2095.htm - 6k

2573. kalos -- well
... well. Part of Speech: Adverb Transliteration: kalos Phonetic Spelling: (kal-oce')
Short Definition: well, nobly, rightly Definition: well, nobly, honorably ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2573.htm - 7k

5421. phrear -- a well
... a well. Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter Transliteration: phrear Phonetic Spelling:
(freh'-ar) Short Definition: a pit, well Definition: a pit, well, cistern. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5421.htm - 6k

2101. euarestos -- well-pleasing
... well-pleasing. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: euarestos Phonetic Spelling:
(yoo-ar'-es-tos) Short Definition: acceptable, well-pleasing Definition ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2101.htm - 7k

2569. kalopoieo -- to do well
... to do well. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: kalopoieo Phonetic Spelling:
(kal-op-oy-eh'-o) Short Definition: I act uprightly Definition: I do well, act ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2569.htm - 7k

2111. euthetos -- well-placed, ie ready for use
... well-placed, ie ready for use. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: euthetos
Phonetic Spelling: (yoo'-thet-os) Short Definition: suitable, fit, useful ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2111.htm - 7k

2566. kallion -- very well.
... very well. Part of Speech: Adverb, Comparative Transliteration: kallion Phonetic
Spelling: (kal-lee'-on) Short Definition: very well Definition: very well. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2566.htm - 6k

2164. euphoreo -- to bear well, ie to be fruitful
... to bear well, ie to be fruitful. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: euphoreo
Phonetic Spelling: (yoo-for-eh'-o) Short Definition: I bear well, bring a good ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2164.htm - 6k

2127. eulogeo -- to speak well of, praise
... to speak well of, praise. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: eulogeo Phonetic
Spelling: (yoo-log-eh'-o) Short Definition: I bless Definition: (lit: I speak ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2127.htm - 8k

Strong's Hebrew
3190. yatab -- to be good, well, glad, or pleasing
... 3189, 3190. yatab. 3191 . to be good, well, glad, or pleasing. Transliteration:
yatab Phonetic Spelling: (yaw-tab') Short Definition: well. Word Origin a prim ...
/hebrew/3190.htm - 7k

875. beer -- a well, pit
... 874, 875. beer. 876 . a well, pit. Transliteration: beer Phonetic Spelling:
(be-ayr') Short Definition: well. Word Origin from baar ...
/hebrew/875.htm - 6k

884. Beer Sheba -- "well of seven," a place in the Negev
... Beer Sheba. 885 . "well of seven," a place in the Negev. Transliteration: Beer
Sheba Phonetic Spelling: (be-ayr' sheh'-bah) Short Definition: Beersheba. ...
/hebrew/884.htm - 6k

883. Beer Lachay Roi -- "well of the living One that sees me," a ...
... "well of the ... Word Origin from beer, chay and roeh Definition "well of the living
One that sees me," a place in the desert NASB Word Usage Beer-lahai-roi (3). ...
/hebrew/883.htm - 6k

879. Beer Elim -- "well of heroes," a city of Moab
... 878, 879. Beer Elim. 880 . "well of heroes," a city of Moab. Transliteration:
Beer Elim Phonetic Spelling: (be-ayr' ay-leem') Short Definition: Beer-elim. ...
/hebrew/879.htm - 6k

1192. Baalath Beer -- "mistress of a well," a city in Simeon
... "mistress of a well," a city in Simeon. Transliteration: Baalath Beer Phonetic
Spelling: (bah-al-ath' beh-ayr') Short Definition: Baalath-beer. ...
/hebrew/1192.htm - 6k

877. bor -- a cistern, pit, well
... 876, 877. bor. 878 . a cistern, pit, well. Transliteration: bor Phonetic
Spelling: (bore) Short Definition: cisterns. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/877.htm - 6k

953. bowr -- a pit, cistern, well
... 952, 953. bowr. 953a . a pit, cistern, well. Transliteration: bowr Phonetic
Spelling: (bore) Short Definition: cistern. cistern, dungeon, fountain, pit, well ...
/hebrew/953.htm - 5k

7656. Shibah -- a well in Beersheba
... 7655, 7656. Shibah. 7657 . a well in Beersheba. Transliteration: Shibah
Phonetic Spelling: (shib-aw') Short Definition: Shibah. ...
/hebrew/7656.htm - 6k

878. Beera -- "well," an Asherite
... Beera. 879 . "well," an Asherite. Transliteration: Beera Phonetic Spelling:
(be-ay-raw') Short Definition: Beera. ... From 'er; a well; Beera, an Israelite -- Beera ...
/hebrew/878.htm - 6k


Trehill Well
... TREHILL WELL. There stood a low and ivied roof, As gazing rustics tell,
In times of chivalry and song 'Yclept the holy well. Above ...
//christianbookshelf.org/kingsley/andromeda and other poems/trehill well.htm

Jesus at the Well.
... Chapter IV. Jesus at the Well. After the Savior's Passover and the conversation
with Nicodemus, he tarried in the land of Judea, probably ...
/.../johnson/the new testament commentary vol iii john/jesus at the well.htm

The Well-Beloved.
lovely.""Song of Solomon v.16. THE WELL-BELOVED. THE ...
//christianbookshelf.org/spurgeon/till he come/the well-beloved.htm

The Secret of Well-Being
... THE PROVERBS THE SECRET OF WELL-BEING. 'My son, forget not ... or not. 'Peace'
is a wide word, including all well-being. Ease-loving ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture g/the secret of well-being.htm

At the Well
... CHAPTER XXXVII AT THE WELL. ... If he gazed through to the bottom he detected a convection
in the sand below. This was not a reservoir, but a well. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/miller/the yoke/chapter xxxvii at the well.htm

The Well-Spring of Salvation
... THE WELL-SPRING OF SALVATION. 'Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out
of the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:3. There are two events ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture h/the well-spring of salvation.htm

The Story of the Stranger at the Well
... THE STORY OF THE STRANGER AT THE WELL. ... This well had been dug by Jacob, the great
father or ancestor of the Israelites, many hundreds of years before. ...
/.../marshall/the wonder book of bible stories/the story of the stranger.htm

And what is Well to be Noted, Everyone, However High in Human ...
... Address 33: And what is well to be noted, everyone, however high in human
literature? And what is well to be noted, everyone, however ...
/.../address 33 0 0 and what is.htm

Whether {Euboulia} (Deliberating Well) is a virtue?
{euboulia} (deliberating well) is a virtue? Objection 1 ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether euboulia deliberating well is.htm

The Well-Beloved's vineyard.
Well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill.""Isaiah 5:1. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/spurgeon/till he come/the well-beloveds vineyard.htm

Well (2882 Occurrences)
... (vt) To pour forth, as from a well. ... (a.) Being in health; sound in body; not ailing,
diseased, or sick; healthy; as, a well man; the patient is perfectly well. ...
/w/well.htm - 39k

Well-pleasing (16 Occurrences)
Well-pleasing. Wellpleasing, Well-pleasing. Well-pleasingly .
Multi-Version Concordance Well-pleasing (16 Occurrences). ...
/w/well-pleasing.htm - 11k

Well-being (19 Occurrences)
Well-being. Well-armed, Well-being. Wellbeloved . Noah Webster's Dictionary
(n.) The state or condition of being well; welfare; happiness ...
/w/well-being.htm - 11k

Well-doing (9 Occurrences)
Well-doing. Well-doers, Well-doing. Well-dressed . Multi-Version
Concordance Well-doing (9 Occurrences). Romans 2:7 to those who ...
/w/well-doing.htm - 8k

Well-pleased (11 Occurrences)
Well-pleased. Well-ordered, Well-pleased. Wellpleasing . Multi-Version
Concordance Well-pleased (11 Occurrences). Matthew ...
/w/well-pleased.htm - 9k

Well-loved (8 Occurrences)
Well-loved. Well-living, Well-loved. Well-mixed . Multi-Version Concordance
Well-loved (8 Occurrences). Ephesians 5:1 Let it then ...
/w/well-loved.htm - 8k

Well's (5 Occurrences)
... Multi-Version Concordance Well's (5 Occurrences). Genesis 29:2 He looked, and behold,
a well in the field, and, behold, three flocks of sheep lying there by it. ...
/w/well's.htm - 8k

Well-favored (7 Occurrences)
Well-favored. Welleth, Well-favored. Wellfavoured . Noah Webster's Dictionary ...
Multi-Version Concordance Well-favored (7 Occurrences). ...
/w/well-favored.htm - 8k

Well-nigh (5 Occurrences)
Well-nigh. Well-mixed, Well-nigh. Well-nourished . Noah Webster's Dictionary
(adv.) Almost; nearly. Multi-Version Concordance Well-nigh (5 Occurrences). ...
/w/well-nigh.htm - 7k

Well-watered (6 Occurrences)
Well-watered. Well-tried, Well-watered. Well-wisher . Multi-Version
Concordance Well-watered (6 Occurrences). Genesis 13:10 Lot ...
/w/well-watered.htm - 8k

What is the significance of Jacob's well? | GotQuestions.org

What did Jesus mean when He told people, “Your faith has made you well”? | GotQuestions.org

What can we learn from the woman at the well? | GotQuestions.org

Well: Dictionary and Thesaurus | Clyx.com

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Well (2882 Occurrences)

Well is used 2882 times in 12 translations.

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Related Terms

Well-pleasing (16 Occurrences)

Well-being (19 Occurrences)

Well-doing (9 Occurrences)

Well-pleased (11 Occurrences)

Well-loved (8 Occurrences)

Well's (5 Occurrences)

Well-favored (7 Occurrences)

Well-nigh (5 Occurrences)

Well-watered (6 Occurrences)

Well-favoured (4 Occurrences)

Well-beloved (5 Occurrences)

Well-spring (3 Occurrences)

Well-set (1 Occurrence)

Well-accepted (2 Occurrences)

Well-off (1 Occurrence)

Well-built (1 Occurrence)

Well-wisher (1 Occurrence)

Well-nurtured (1 Occurrence)

Well-dressed (1 Occurrence)

Well-grounded (1 Occurrence)

Well-doers (1 Occurrence)

Well-fortified (1 Occurrence)

Well-advised (1 Occurrence)

Well-living (1 Occurrence)

Well-leading (1 Occurrence)

Well-tried (1 Occurrence)

Well-ordered (1 Occurrence)

Well-satisfied (1 Occurrence)

Well-mixed (2 Occurrences)

Well-driven (1 Occurrence)

Well-instructed (1 Occurrence)

Well-said (1 Occurrence)

Well-pleasingly (1 Occurrence)

Well-known (2 Occurrences)

Well-kneaded (1 Occurrence)

Well-fenced (1 Occurrence)

Well-wishers (1 Occurrence)

Well-armed (1 Occurrence)

Well-fed (2 Occurrences)

Well-to-do (1 Occurrence)

Well-conceived (1 Occurrence)

Well-trained (1 Occurrence)

Well-hewn (1 Occurrence)

Well-founded (1 Occurrence)

Well-nourished (1 Occurrence)

Dragon-well (1 Occurrence)

Sychar (1 Occurrence)

Advanced (32 Occurrences)

Cared (25 Occurrences)

Sirah (1 Occurrence)

Aqueduct (4 Occurrences)

Zoar (12 Occurrences)

Stricken (32 Occurrences)

Seeing (442 Occurrences)

Cistern (21 Occurrences)

Set (6715 Occurrences)

Hagar (15 Occurrences)


Voice (651 Occurrences)

Alike (67 Occurrences)

Home-born (14 Occurrences)

Acceptable (48 Occurrences)

Quarreled (8 Occurrences)

Kine (24 Occurrences)

Curb (5 Occurrences)

Camels (52 Occurrences)

Cheer (22 Occurrences)

Cormorant (4 Occurrences)

Ahasbai (1 Occurrence)

Antelope (2 Occurrences)

Serpent (40 Occurrences)

Shepherds (55 Occurrences)

So (23977 Occurrences)

Sit (216 Occurrences)

Strove (25 Occurrences)

Studied (2 Occurrences)


Kiriath-jearim (17 Occurrences)

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