“Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered” (Genesis 16:14).
This unusual name for a well means “well of the living one who sees me.” The chapter deals with Hagar when she fled from Sarai’s presence (v.6). The “angel of the LORD,” like a shepherd, found Hagar by a well in the wilderness (v.7). This is the first explicit reference in Scripture to Jehovah’s messenger—the “angel of the LORD.”
The whole scene is not unlike another one in the New Testament when the Great Shepherd encountered another woman at a different well (John 4). Like Jesus, the “angel” in Genesis 16 is somehow both God and distinct from God. We see that He is God from verses 10 and 13. In the first reference, the “angel,” speaking for Himself, said, “I will multiply thy seed exceedingly.” Only God can multiply seed (cf. Genesis 22:17). The one speaking to Hagar was none other than the LORD (Jehovah) Himself.
Correspondingly, Jesus claimed divine prerogatives. In the Old Testament, Jehovah God is “the fountain of living waters” (Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13), but Jesus in John 4 claimed to be the source of living waters (vv.10,14). He could say this because He was and is Jehovah God, the Son.
He is also the one referred to in the naming of the well. He lives. Speaking of Jesus, the apostle John wrote, “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:17,18).
Jesus, then, is the living one who sees, finds wandering sheep, and hears. May we obey Him as did Hagar, believe Him as did the woman at the other well, and bow before Him as did John. PGH