Fountain the rendering in the A.V. of the following Hebrew terms:
1. Properly and usually עִיַן, a'yin (lit. the eye), so called from flowing (Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 1017), a natural source of living water. SEE EN-.
2. Likewise מִעיָן, mayan' (from the same root), a well-watered place (Ps 84:6, "well"); also a single spring (as rendered in Ps 87:7; Ps 104:10) of running water (Le 11:36; Jos 15:9; 1Ki 18:5; 2Ch 32:4; Ps 74:15; Ps 114:8; Pr 5:16; Pr 8:24; Pr 25:26; Song 4:12,15; Isa 12:6; Ho 13:15; Joe 3:18); spoken of the tide or influx of the sea (Ge 7:11; Ge 8:2). Its force and meaning are unfortunately sometimes obscured by the rendering in the A.V., "well," as in Ex 15:27; in Elim "were twelve wells of water;" that is, not artificial wells, but natural fountains, as still seen in wady Ghurundel (Bartlett's Forty Days in the Desert, page 43). — These two words, on the contrary, like the corresponding Greek πηγή, always denote a stream of "living" or constantly running water, in opposition to standing or stagnant pools, whether it issues immediately from the ground or from thee bottom of a well. SEE AIN.
3. מִבּוּעִ, mabbu'a (so called from gushing or bubbling forth), a native rill (fig. of the vital flow Ec 12:6; elsewhere literally a "spring" in general, Isa 35:7; Isa 49:10). 4. מָקוֹר, makor' (so called from having been opened by digging), an artificial source of flowing water, used both literally and figuratively, but mostly in such phrases as fountains of life" (Pr 13:14), "fountain of wisdom" (Pr 18:4), etc.; occasionally rendered "spring," "well, etc.
5. Improperly בּוֹר, bor, or בִּיַר, ba'yir (Jer 6:7), which designates only a pit or standing water. SEE WELL. The idea of a fountain is also implied in the phrase מוֹצָא מִיַם, motsa' ma'yim, or going forth of waters ("spring," 2Ki 2:21; Ps 107:33,35; Isa 12:6; Isa 58:11; "course," 2Ch 32:30); as likewise in גִּל, gal (from its rolling down the water), or גֻּלָּה, gullah', a purling stream or overflowing fountain ("spring," Song 4:12; Jos 15:19; Jg 1:15). SEE TOPOGRAPHICAL TERMS.
Among the attractive features presented by the Land of Promise to the nation migrating from Egypt by way of the desert, none would be more striking, than the natural gush of waters from the ground. Instead of watering his field or garden, as ins Egypt, "with his foot" (Shaw, Travels, page 408), the Hebrew cultivator was taught to look forward to a land "drinking water of the rain of heaven, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths springing from valleys and hills" (De 8:7; De 11:11). In the desert of Sinai, "the few living, perhaps perennial springs," by the fact of their rarity, assume an importance hardly to be understood in moister climates, and more than justify a poetical expression of national rejoicing over the discovery of one (Nu 21:17). But the springs. of Palestine, though short-lived, are remarkable for their abundance and beauty, especially those which fall into the Jordan and its lakes throughout its whole course (Stanley. Palest. pages 17, 122, 123, 295, 373, 509; Burckhardt, Syria, page 344). The spring or fountain of living water, the "eye" of the landscape (see No. 1), is distinguished in all Oriental languages from the artificially sunk and enclosed well (Stanley, page 509). Its. importance is implied, by the number of topographical names compounded with En or (Arab.) Ain: En-gedi, Ain-jidy, "spring of the gazelle, " may serve as a striking instance (1Sa 23:29; see Reland, 7: 763;. Robinson, 1:504; Stanley, App. § 50). Fountains are much more rare on the eastern side of the Jordan than on the western. There are a few among the mountains of Gilead; but in the great plateaus of Moab on the south and Bashan on the north, they are almost. unknown. This arises in part from the physical structure of the country, and in part from the dryness of the climate. Huge cisterns and tanks were constructed to supply the want of fountains. SEE CISTERN. Some of the fountains of Palestine are of great size. All the perennial rivers and streams in the country have their sources in fountains, and draw comparatively little strength from surface water. 'Such are the fountains of the Jordan at Dan and Banias;' of the Abana at Fijeh and Zebedany; of the Leontes at Chalcis and Baalbek of the Orontes at Ain and Lebaweh; of the Adonis at Afka, etc. Palestine is a country of mountains and hills, and it abounds in fountains of lesser note. The murmur of their waters is heard in many dell, and the luxuriant foliage which surrounds them is seen on every plain. For a good classification of these natural springs, see. Robinson's Physical Geog. of Palestine, page 238 sq.; and for descriptions of many of them, see Taristram's Land of Israel, and Sepp's Heilige Land.
Advantage was taken of these fountains to supply some of the great cities of Palestine with water. Hence, in Oriental cities generally, public fountains are-frequent (Poole, Englishw. in Eg. 1:180). Perhaps thee most remarkable works of this kind are at Tyre, where several copious springs were surrounded with massive walls, so as to raise the water to a sufficient height. Aqueducts, supported on arches, then conveyed it to the city (Porter, Handb for Syria and Pal. pages 142, 555, 390). One of less extent conveyed an abundant supply to Damascus from the great fountain at Fijeh. Hence no Eastern city is so well supplied with water as Damascus (Early Trav. page 294). At Beyrut there is an ancient aqueduct that brings water from a source at last twenty miles distant, and two thousand feet above the level of the sea (Thomson, Land and Book, 1:48). An aqueduct some ten miles in length brought water to Jerusalem from a fountain near Solomon's Pools by subterranean channels. In these may perhaps be found the "sealed fountain" of Song 4:12 (Hasselquist, page 145; Maundrell, Early Trav. page 457). Traces of fountains at Jerusalem may probably be found in the names En-Rogel (2Sa 17:17), the " Dragon-well" or fountain, and the "gate of the fountain" (Ne 2:3,14): But Jerusalem, though mainly dependent for its supply of water upon its rain- water cisterns, appears from recent inquiries to have possessed either more than one perennial spring, or one issuing by more than one outlet (see Robinson, 1:343, 345; Williams, Holy City, 2:458, 468; comp. Eze 47:1,12). With this agree the "fons perennis aquae" of Tacitus (Hist. 5:12), and the ὑδάτων ἀνέκλειπτος σύστασις of Aristeas (Josephus, 2:112, edit. Havercamp; compare Raumer, page 298; Kitto, Physical Geogr. pages 412, 415). SEE JERUSALEM. In the towers built by Herod, Josephus says there were cisterns with χαλκουργήματα through which water was poured forth (War, 5:4, 4): these may Slave been statues or figures containing spouts for water after Roman models (Plin. Epist. 5:6; Hist. Nat. 36:15, 121). The fountain of Nazareth bears a traditional antiquity, to which it has probably good derivative, if not actual claim (Roberts, Views in Palestine, 1:21, 29, 33; Fisher, Views in Syria, 1:31; 3:44). SEE NAZARETH.
The volcanic agency which has operated so powerfully in Palestine has from very early times given tokens of its working in the warm springs which are found near the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. These have been famous from time immemorial for their medicinal properties (Pliny, Hist. Nat. 5:15; Lightfoot, Opp. 2:224). They are confined to the volcanic valley of the Jordan, and all are strongly impregnated with sulphur. The temperature of that of Tiberias is 1440 Fahr. (Porter, Handbook for Syr. and Pal. pages 311, 320, 423). One of the most celebrated of these was Callirrhoe, mentioned by Josephus as a place resorted to by Herod in his last illness (War, 1:33, 5; Kitto, Phys. Geogr. of Pal. pages 120, 121; Stanley, page 285). His son Philip built the town, which he named Tiberias (the Hamath of Jos 19:35), at the sulphurous hot springs on the south of the Sea Of Galilee (Joseph, Ant. 18:2, 3; Hasselquist, Travels, App. page 283; Kit. to, page 114; Burckhardt, Syria, pages 28, 330). Other he springs are found at seven miles distance from Tiberias, and at Omkeis or Amathe, near Gadara (Reland, page 775; Burckhardt, pages 276, 277; Kitto, pages 116, 118). SEE CALLIRRHOE.
From the value of such supplies of water in and countries, fountains figure much in the poetry of the East as the natural images of perennial blessings of various kinds. In the Scriptures fountains are made the symbols of refreshment to the weary, and also denote the perpetuity and inexhaustible nature of the spiritual comforts which God imparts to his people, whether by the influences of the Spirit, or through the ordinances of public worship. There are also various texts in which children, or an extended posterity, are, by a beautifully apt image, described as a fountain, and the father or progenitor as the source, of spring from which that fountain flows (De 33:28; Ps 68:26; Pr 5:16,18; Pr 13:14, etc.). SEE WATER.