MembersBe’er-Sheva’s Protestant Church — The Beginnings

Part 1 in a look at American missionary efforts in the south of Israel, aimed primarily at local Muslims and non-Protestant Arab Christians

By Gershon Nerel | | Topics: Missionaries, CHRISTIANS
Illustration. A Christian missionary facility in Israel.
Illustration. A Christian missionary facility in Israel. Photo: Sebi Berens/Flash90

Biblical Be’er-Sheva (also known as Beersheba), located in the northern regions of the Negev wilderness, is first mentioned in the book of Genesis with regard to the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the Land divinely promised to them and to their descendants (1 Chronicles 16:15-18), they often had to look for scarce water to adequately care for their sheep and cattle. Therefore, watering places like wells, particularly in regions with little rainfall, were an essential source of livelihood.

Literally, the name Be’er-Sheva has two meanings: first, seven wells, and second ‘the well of the oath’ (Genesis 21:30-31; 26:32-33).

The eventful lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob took place about two millennia before the Lord Yeshua appeared in Bethlehem. Today Be’er-Sheva is called the Negev’s capital city, rapidly developing together with the Ben-Gurion University in its midst, as well as with leading hi-tech centers.

 

Protestant presence

The foundations of the modern...

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