Tel Beer Sheva
Gen 21:12-34 Abraham names the site Beer Sheva; Jewish and Arab people; Arab nations vs Israel; God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob vs all other gods. YHVH spoke prophetically to the fathers and mothers of the Jewish and Arab peoples here in Beer Sheva.
Tel Beer Sheva is located just outside the modern city of Beer Sheva. The archeological site dates back at least to the time of the Kings of Judah before the Babylonian exile, and could possibly be the site which Abraham named close to 4000 years ago. The well here is about 70m deep, and on a hot August day we can appreciate the importance of available and drinkable clean water in the Negev desert!
Tel Beer Sheva is surrounded by the Hebron Stream bed and the Beer Sheva Stream bed, which can flow with water during a good rainy season.
The name of Beer Sheva comes from the oath with seven ewe lambs between Abraham and the Philistine king Avimelech. The name means “Well of the Oath/Seven”. The dispute then, and now, is the need for water sources and access. Perhaps from here Abraham too his son Isaac to Moriah as a willing sacrifice, and then returned to Beer Sheva.
On Oct 31, 1917, during WW1, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles – a component of the ANZAC, Australia and New Zealand Army Corps – captured Tel Beer Sheva from the Turks around mid-afternoon, after the British forces had captured a major junction up the road earlier in the morning. These victories made possible the now famous Light Horse Charge of the Australians across the plains here near the Tel, to capture the wells filled with precious water that the Turks held in the ‘city’. Between 500-800 valiant horsemen and horses galloped into the firing Turks, and made a break-through victory for the whole War, and for the capture of Palestine and Jerusalem from the Islamic Ottoman Empire after 400 years of rule in the land.
The God of Israel went beyond the immediate objective of the Battle for Beer Sheva. This victory by the ANZAC combined forces paved the way for the Balfour Declaration and the beginning of the international Gentile world powers legally sanctioned return of the Jewish people back to their homeland after nearly 1900 years of exile. This, in order for the Scriptures to be fulfilled, which God is still going about doing until His people are no longer in spiritual or physical exile, but have returned to Him through repentance and great remorse, and finally place their faith and hope in the Messiah Yeshua/Jesus as their Savior and King.
That repentance and remorse will come through much travail.
British WW1 War Cemetery
The price of redemption comes at the high price of suffering and death, often times, as in this case, the sacrifice of one’s life for the freedom of others. Yeshua/Jesus, the Son of God, paid the ultimate price for us all from sin and death, so that all who repent and believe in Him may inherit not only a promised land, but the promised eternal life and the Kingdom of God! Only after Jesus returns to restore God’s Kingdom to Israel and over the nations will wars cease. Come, Lord Jesus!
Most of the men buried here in this war memorial probably did not understand why they were fighting thousands of miles away from their own homes and countries. But, looking at the epitaphs on the grave stones, it does appear that some did, or that their families did.
The ANZAC Museum here highlights the adventure and the heroic bravery and contribution of these men’s sacrifice – a Gentile sacrifice – towards the final redemption of God’s chosen people and land for His glory.
Negev Brigade Monument
This monument remembers Israel’s capture of Beer Sheva from Egypt during the War of Independence in 1948-49. The battle for Beer Sheva did not end on that date of destiny, Oct 31, 1917, but continues even until today as the dispute over the ownership and possession of the promised inheritance heats up against the sovereignty of YHVH, the one true everlasting God of Abraham, and of His Anointed One (Messiah/Christ), Yeshua/Jesus – and against God’s declared firstborn son among the nations, His chosen people Israel. The reestablishment of the State of Israel for the Jewish people more than 72 years ago now did not happen in a vacuum, but was made humanly possible through Bible-believing Christians, Jewish Zionist aspirations for a safe haven from antisemitism, and Gentile super-powers vying for geopolitical advantage. The God of Israel used all of this to accomplish what He wanted, even through the enormous catastrophe of the Holocaust.
From the vantage point of the monument, we overlook the ancient Tel Beer Sheva – the City of the Patriarchs – and the modern city filled with Jewish people and Arabs who will only be reconciled and know peace when they both accept the Father’s will for the children of Abraham, which is to believe in the Son of God Jesus Christ, whom they now both deny and reject.
The “Old House” – Home to Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua/Yeshua’s Inheritance Cong
This house was built by a Turkish official in 1903, and its stones “witnessed” the Australian Light Horse Charge on Oct 31, 1917, and the successful capture of Beer Sheva with its precious wells of water. For some “God-reason”, the Muslim Turkish owner in 1911 rented, and then in 1913 sold, his house and property to the Christian and Missionary Alliance, an American evangelical church and mission! It is located on HaAvot St, The Fathers’ St – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel!
This house and property have been serving as the home of Yeshua’s Inheritance Congregation since 1995. We are the first evangelical Messianic congregation here in modern times, established officially in 1972, as an independent indigenous local congregation. We are a community of Jewish and Gentile believers, including Arabs, Jews from many countries and continents who have returned to their ancestral home on Earth, and many Gentiles as well who have made Israel their home, or a place of study and work. We all believe in the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel through our faith in the King of the Jews and Savior of the world.
We have living water to offer dry and thirsty souls, and are some of the first fruits of the faith of the Fathers, and of the ANZAC legacy which God is still unfolding here in Beer Sheva, where it all began. (Is 41:17-20; Jn 7:37-39a)
On your trip to Israel it is worthwhile to put Beer Sheva on the itinerary, and see for yourselves the faithful flowing stream of redemptive history – from the ancient map to the map of these end-times.
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, October 25, 2020, and reposted with permission.