Visitors today can observe various remains, including:
a typical Israelite four-room house
a pillared building used as stables
a major underground water system
As significant as Tel Beersheba is, it seldom finds itself on the tour itinerary of pilgrims to the land of Israel—probably because the site seems too far south. Beersheba has several neighboring sites that even fewer see (or have even heard of).
Let’s take a peek at these 3 sites and see their significance.
“From Dan to . . . Where?”
Beersheba’s name means, “Well of the Seven,” or “Well of the Oath,” from Abraham and Isaac’s conflicts with the locals over the rights to water—the Negev’s most precious commodity (Genesis 21:25-34; 26:26-33).
The phrase “from Dan to Beersheba” delineated the practical north-south borders of ancient Israel (1 Kings 4:25).
An oasis of archaeology, Arad has two levels that represent two eras.
The lower city has ruins that pre-date Abraham to the Early Bronze period (3000-2300 BC).
The upper city dates from the late Iron Age (1000-586 BC), and includes one of the forbidden “high places” referred to in Scripture. Either King Hezekiah or King Josiah dismantled this temple (2 Kings 23:8).
Before he was king, David came to this area with his band of 600 men in pursuit of their stolen wives and children. The 200 men who were too weary to travel further remained “at the brook Besor” (1 Samuel 30:9-10; 21-22).