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Beer Sheba: Gateway to the Negev

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Known as the Gateway to the Negev (desert) in southern Israel, Tel Beer Sheba was declared a “World Heritage Site” in 2005 by UNESCO.  Visitors traveling here will see that the entire ancient Israelite city has been rediscovered; it has been reconstructed to resemble life in biblical days.


Modern-day Beer Sheba was founded in 1900 by the Ottoman Empire (Turks). Their only city ever built in Israel; it was their strategic move to control the near-surface aquifer. Remains of the buildings from this period can be seen in the south of the city.


Hagar and her son Ismael wandered in the desert of Beer Sheba when Abraham sent them away. (Gen 21: 14)


Abraham named this place after making a peace treaty with Abimelech, King of Gerar (Philistines). Abraham bought back a well after Abimelech’s servants had seized it. Seven ewe lambs was Abraham’s self-imposed payment. (Gen. 21:27-32) Abraham most likely gave it this name for the seven (shiv’a) lambs used to make the oath (shvu’a), giving the most literal meaning “to come under the influence of seven.”  It is more commonly translated as the “well of seven.”


After killing Jezebel’s prophets on Mt. Carmel, Elijah took refuge here where an Angel of the Lord gave him food and water. (II Kings 19:3-8)


Learning Joseph was not only alive, but adviser to pharaoh, Jacob stopped here on his journey to Egypt and offered sacrifices to the Lord.


While here, make sure to also visit the famous Bedouin Market on Thursdays, the Israel Air Force Museum, the Negev Museum, and the beautiful Zoological Gardens.


Come visit, you will never be the same!


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