Beersheba in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Beersheba means "well of the oath". The southern limit of
the Holy Land, as Dan in the N.: "from Dan to Beersheba"
(compare in David's census, 1 Chronicles 21:2; 2 Samuel
24:2-7) comprehends the whole. Called so from the oath of
peace between Abraham and Abimelech, king of the Philistines
(Genesis 21:31), else from the seven (sheba' ) ewe lambs
slain there: indeed sheba', an oath, is from the custom of
binding one's self by seven things, as Abraham made the
seven ewe lambs a pledge of his covenant with Abimelech.
Again, from the like oath between Abimelech (with Phichol,
his captain) and Isaac, it being not uncommon for an event
to be recorded as occurring apparently for the first time,
which has been recorded as occurring earlier before: so
Bethel (Genesis 26:31-33).
The well dug by Abraham and secured to him by oath
had been covered and lost. It is found by Isaac's servants
just after the covenant made between him and Abimelech. The
series of events recalls to Isaac's mind the original name
and that which gave rise to the name; so he restores both
the well itself and the name. Seven (sheba' which also may
explain the name) wells are at the place, so that a
different one may have been named by Isaac from that named
by Abraham. They all pour their streams into the wady es
Seba, and are called Bir es seba, the largest 12 ft.
diameter, and masonry round reaching 28 ft. down, and 44
from bottom to surface of the water. The second, at a
hundred yards distance, 5 in diameter, 42 in depth. The
other five further off. The stones around the mouth are worn
into grooves by the action of ropes for so many ages. Around
the large are nine stone troughs; around the smaller, five.
The water is excellent, and grass with crocuses and
lilies abounds. Abraham planted here a" grove" ('eshel)
(distinct from the idol grove, Asheerah, or Astarte Baal),
or tree, the tamarisk, long living, of hard wood, with long,
Read More about Beersheba in Fausset's Bible Dictionary