Springs in the Bible
There are 45 direct references to springs in the Old and New Testaments*,
from Creation to Revelation. As the sampling of quotes below suggests,
springs are more than just one of God's many creations. They are
a critical source of life sustenance, particularly in the arid regions
of the Holy Lands: "Then God said to me . . . To the thirsty I will give
water as a gift from the spring of the water of life" (Rev 21:6).
The faithful and the chosen are led to springs, and the springs' clear
and unceasing flow is a sign of God's favor. Conversely, the unfaithful
and false are punished by the stopping up or destruction of their springs.
When such events occur, they spell the end of a community. In Revelation,
one sign of the end of the world is the fouling of springs.
Metaphorically, springs serve other purposes in the Bible. In
Proverbs, giving in to sin is likened to becoming a muddied spring.
In James, reverent and blasphemous speech from the same mouth is like a
spring that flows both fresh and brackish water. Most profoundly,
the pure and constant flow of springs is a symbol of God, eternity, and
the promise/blessing of salvation. Spring water is thus linked with everlasting
as well as earthly life. As noted in John 4:14, "Those who drink
of the waters that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water
that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal
Selected Biblical Citations Relating to Springs, in order, by chapter
Deuteronomy 8:7 "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good
land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground
waters welling up in valleys and hills."
Joshua 15:19-20 Springs are included in the "inheritance of
the tribe of the people of Judah."
2Kings 2:21 Eli'sha makes a spring pure so the local inhabitants
drinking its waters will no longer suffer death or miscarriage.
2Kings 3:19, & 2Chronicles 31:3-4 In both passages, the stopping
up of springs spells catastrophe.
2Kings 4:25 The Israelites stopped up a spring as part the
general destruction they visited on their vanquished enemy.
Job 38:16 Among God's questions/demands of Job is, "Have you entered
into the springs of the sea?" (The earliest written reference to
Psalms 84:4-6 Text declares that happy are those whom God has chosen
to live in "a place of springs."
Psalms 85:11 "Faithfulness will spring up from the ground."
Psalms 104:10 As a sign of God's favor, He makes "springs
gush forth in the valleys."
Psalms 107:33-35 Turning "springs into desert" and "parched
land into springs" are ways in which God punishes the wicked and
favors the faithful, respectively.
Psalms 114:8 God has the power to turn "the flint into a spring
Hosea 13:15 Springs shall be parched as a sign of God's anger.
Proverbs 4:23 "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows
springs of life."
Proverbs 25:26 The righteous who give way before the wicked are "like
a muddied spring."
Isaiah 49:10 God will guide the chosen "by springs of water."
Isaiah 58:11 "The Lord will guide you continuously, and satisfy your
needs in parched places, and . . . you shall be . . . like a spring
of water whose waters never fail."
Jeremiah 9:11 "Oh that my head were a spring of water . .
. so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people."
John 4:14 Those who drink of the waters that I will give them will
never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring
of water gushing up to eternal life."
James 3:10-11 "From the same mouth come cursing and blessing. My
brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour
forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water?"
Revelation 7:10 "The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star
fell from heaven, and it fell . . . on the springs of water . .
. and many died from the water, because it was made bitter."
Revelation 21:6 "Then God said to me, 'it is done! I am the Alpha
and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water
as a gift from the spring of the water of life."
*Based on a CD-ROM word search of the Revised Standard