Beersheba is the southernmost city in the territiories settled by the Israelites. It was mentioned throughout the Old Testament, most often as various people traveled through the region. Abraham made a treaty with Abimelech there (Genesis 21:22-234) and dug a well. That is how the city got it’s name, meaning “well of the oath.” Issac built an altar there (Genesis 26:23-33). Jacob had his dream about a stairway to heaven after leaving Beersheba (Genesis 28:0-15 and Genesis 46:1-7). When the land was divided by tribe, Beersheba was part of Simeon’s inheritance (Joshua 19:1-2). Elijah the prophet took refuge from the evil queen, Jezebel, there (1 Kings 19:3). Samuel’s sons served as judges in Beersheba and caused the Israelites to demand their first king. (1 Samuel 8:1 – 9:17). During the Babylonian captivity the town was abandoned. It was resettled when the Israelites returned.
The modern city of Beersheba is the largest city in the Negev and the 7th largest city in the country. It’s population in 2011 was 205,588.