William Andrew Dillard
DRINKING FROM MY BEER
Wait! Please read the story before calling for the tar and feathers! It is indeed interesting to note the aurora of meanings surrounding words whose basic definition is unknown to us. A typical example are the words “beer” and “Beersheba.” “Beersheba” has a sort of romantic ring to it, and one may imagine some great and noble thing is alluded to by the compound word.
However, the word “beer” is actually a Hebrew word, hijacked by breweries, and inserted into the English language bodily (transliteration)> The Hebrew Word actually translates as “well” as in a well of water. Places which sell brewed drinks may be referenced as “watering holes.” Of course, such perverted usage of terms is clearly understood in that context as having nothing to do with plain and simple water.
The word “Sheba” is the Hebrew word for the cardinal number “seven.” So, one may wonder just how the cardinal number seven came to be joined to the word for “well” to create “Beersheba” (well of seven). Here is an interesting story. There was controversy over the ownership of a well of water that Abraham laid claim to as having actually dug. In a covenant of peace with the inhabitants of that country Abraham gave their prince seven ewe lambs as the token of a covenant made between them that the well belonged to Abraham. Hence it is the well that was redeemed by a “gift of seven” lambs., Out of that context, Abraham called the place “Beersheba.”
Now read the story in Genesis 21, and you will never forget the history of Beersheba. That place still exists to this day, It is controlled by descendants of Ishmael, and is a town called Hebron. Here is Beersheba, and also the cave of Machpelah which was the burying place of Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.,
Far from being boring, aloof, and uninteresting, the Bible abounds with mountains of fascinating information to bless the lives of all who invest a little time and energy into it. The Old Testament truly is a treasure house of “Hebrew Honey.”