Genesis 26:33—Was Beersheba named by Abraham or later by Isaac?

Problem: In Genesis 21:31 Abraham named this city Beersheba (“Well of the Oath”). But later (in Gen. 26:33), Isaac gave it the same name. But it is highly unlikely that two different people at two different times would call the same place by the same name.

Solution: This is not unlikely at all for two reasons. First, the second person was the son of the first person and may have been familiar with his father’s experience there. Second, Isaac’s similar experience may have occasioned the memory of the name his father gave to this same place. So it is not at all uncommon that Isaac would have later renewed the name his father had earlier given to this important place in their lives.

See All Problems

This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.