The “well” or “fountain” where Jesus Christ, while resting, conversed with a Samaritan woman. (Joh 4:5-30) It is considered to be Bir Yaʽqub (Beʼer Yaʽaqov), situated about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) SE of modern-day Nablus, not far from Tell Balata, the site of Shechem. Jacob’s fountain is a deep well, the water level of which never rises to the top. Measurements made in the 19th century indicate the well’s depth to be about 23 m (75 ft). It is approximately 2.5 m (8 ft) wide, although narrowing at the top. Because the well is usually dry from about the end of May until the autumn rains, some reason that its water is derived from rain and percolation. But others believe that the well is also spring fed and therefore could also be called a fountain.
The Bible does not directly state that Jacob dug the well. However, it does indicate that Jacob had property in this vicinity. (Ge 33:18-20; Jos 24:32; Joh 4:5) And the Samaritan woman told Jesus that “Jacob . . . gave us the well and [he] . . . together with his sons and his cattle drank out of it.” (Joh 4:12) So Jacob likely dug it or had it dug, perhaps to provide water for his large household and flocks, thereby preventing trouble with his neighbors, who doubtless already owned the other water sources in the region. Or, he may have needed a better and more permanent supply of water when other wells in the area dried up.