3466. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba. That this signifies the quality of the doctrine thence derived, is evident from the signification of "name," as being the quality (see above, n. 3465); and from the signification of "city" as being doctrine (see n. 402, 2449, 2712, 2943, 3216); hence comes "Beersheba," which in the original tongue means "the well of the oath," thus the doctrine of confirmed truth. (That "Beersheba" is doctrine may be seen above, n. 2723, 2858-2859.) In chapter 21, verses 30-31, it is said:
Because these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take from my hand, that it may be a witness unto me that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place Beersheba, because there they sware both of them (Gen. 21:30-31);
where by "Beersheba" was signified the state and quality of doctrine, that it was from the Divine, and that by means of it there was conjunction; and because the interiors of that church are there treated of, it is said that "that place" was called Beersheba; whereas here, because the exteriors of that church are treated of, it is said that "the city" was so called; for of interior things is predicated state, which is signified by "place" (n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387); but of exterior things is predicated doctrine, which is signified by "city;" for all doctrine has its state and its quality from its interiors.