Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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water Summary and Overview

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water in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

WA'TER . The scarcity of water is one of the calamities of the Eastern world, and the distress which is often experienced by man and beast for want of it, is indescribable. Thus the gathering of water in cisterns and reservoirs and its distribution through canals, form a conspicuous feature of Eastern life. In Prov 21:1 the original term, rendered "rivers," signifies "divisions," "partitions," "sections," and refers to the ancient Oriental methods of conveying water to orchards and gardens. This was by means of canals or rivulets flowing in artificial channels, called in Hebrew "divisions" - i.e., "cuts" or "trenches" - which distributed the water in every direction, to irrigate abundantly the otherwise parched and barren soil. With a similar allusion, the Psalmist (Ps 1:3) says of the godly man, the lover of the divine law, that "he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water" (divisions or sections of water), "that bringeth forth his fruit in his season, his leaf also shall not wither." The reference is doubtless to trees nourished by artificial irrigation, and the manner of this irrigation has been elaborately described by several modern travellers. Generally, gardens contain a large quadrangular plat of ground, divided into lesser squares, with walks between them. The walks are shaded with orange trees of a large spreading size. Every one of these lesser squares is bordered with stone, and in the stone-work are troughs, very artificially contrived, for conveying the water all over the garden, there being little outlets cut at every tree for the stream, as it passes by, to flow out and water it. In Deut 11:10 it is said of the Land of Promise, "The land whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs." The phrase "watering with the foot" may refer to the construction or opening of the channels and watercourses like those above mentioned, which was accomplished by the action of the foot. So also in 2 Kgs 19:24, "I have digged and drunk strange waters and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places" - i.e., "I have digged new channels by the labors of the spade, have turned the rivers out of their ancient courses" - which consequently were dried up - "and thus have made my army to drink of strange waters, flowing in channels to which they had never before been accustomed." Another, and some think much more natural, opinion is that allusion is made to the machinery for drawing up water by means of a rope or string of buckets attached to a wheel, which was turned like a modern tread-wheel. Besides its ordinary use, water was employed symbolically, as in the Tabernacles, Feast of, which see, and once at least on a fast-day. 1 Sam 7:6. Water indicates cleansing, and therefore is used in baptism and also of spiritual blessings. John 3:5; John 7:37-39; Rev 22:17.

water in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

The heat of summer and many mouths of drought necessitated also appliances for storing and conveying water; and remains still exist of the frontPOOLS of Solomon situated near Bethlehem, and of the aqueduct near Jericho which was constructed by the Romans.