Christians seeking to meet Father Abraham on his “home turf” should head south to Beersheba, just an hour and a half from Jerusalem.
There, under a tamarisk tree reminiscent of the one Abraham planted (Gen. 21:33) impressive remains of the ancient biblical city await. Abraham and his descendents frequently came to Beersheba via the north-south “Patriarch’s Highway” along which there are many other scriptural landmarks – Shechem, Bethel, Jerusalem, and Hebron.
Perhaps from here, or from Mamre to the north, Abraham sent his servant to Aram Naharayim (Gen. 24:1) to seek a bride for Isaac, one of many stories that come alive against this biblical backdrop.
Later, Beersheba became the southern border of Solomon’s kingdom (I Kings 4:25). Its inhabitants dug an impressive 210-foot well; this and the other amazing water system within Beersheba’s First Temple period walls is clearly one reason Beersheba has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Genesis Chapter 21
22 Now it came about at that time, that Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do; 23 now therefore, swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me, or with my offspring, or with my posterity; but according to the kindness that I have shown to you, you shall show to me, and to the land in which you have sojourned.” 24 And Abraham said, “I swear it.” 25 But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the well of water which the servants of Abimelech had seized. 26 And Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; neither did you tell me, nor did I hear of it until today.” 27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them to Abimelech; and the two of them made a covenant. 28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe lambs mean, which you have set by themselves?” 30 And he said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand in order that it may be a witness to me, that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba; because there the two of them took an oath. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba; and Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, arose and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 And Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines for many days.
The New American Standard Bible, (La Habra, California: The Lockman Foundation) 1977.