A square locality
surrounded by a wall, obviously a camp. A portico runs along
the inner side of the wall. Inside is a big public building (not
a church) possibly the residence of the commanding officer.
Beersheba, in the tribe of Judah
and Sim-eon, is to this day a large village at the 20th milestone
from Hebron to the south, where a garrison of Roman soldiers
is posted. Here the boundaries of the land of Judaea began, ending
up at Dan near Paneas. Beersheba means 'well of the oath', for
here Abraham and Isaac swore a pact of alliance with Abimelech.
One must not be surprised at finding cities said to belong to
Judah in the lot of Simeon or of Benjamin, for the tribe of Judah,
which was rich in the most warlike men and often conquered its
enemies, held the leadership of all the tribes, and therefore
also the lots of other tribes are sometimes ascribed to its possessions.
In another passage the Scripture explains very clearly that Simeon
dwelt in the midst of the tribe of Judah. (Eusebius, Onomasticon
50:1-12; Jerome 51:1-12)
Well of the oath (Gen 21: 30-31),
which Abraham dug in the place where he swore. Today it is Beersheba
in the Geraritica. We spoke of it above. (Eusebius,
Onomasticon 166:20-21; Jerome 167:21-22)