2 Samuel 23:15

And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!

And David longed, and said,.... It being harvest time, the summer season, and hot weather, and he thirsty:

oh, that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem,

which is by the gate! which he was well acquainted with, being his native place; and which might make it the more desirable, as well as its waters might be peculiarly cool and refreshing, and very excellent, as Kimchi suggests. This well was about a mile from Bethlehem, now called David's well, as some travellers say {y}. It is said to be a very large well, with three mouths, and lies a little out of the road {z}; and that there is now near Rachel's grave a good rich cistern, which is deep and wide; wherefore the people that go to dip water are provided with small leathern buckets, and a line, as usual in those countries {a}; but Mr. Maundrell {b} says it is a well, or rather a cistern, supplied only with rain, without any excellency in its waters to make them desirable; but it seems, he adds, David's spirit had a further aim. Some think he meant by this to get Bethlehem out of the hands of the Philistines, and obtain the possession of it; others, as Jarchi, that he intended to ask some question of the sanhedrim that sat there; and others, that his desire was after the law of God, called waters, as in Isaiah 55:1; and some Christian writers, both ancient and modern {c}, are of opinion, that not literal but spiritual water was desired by him, and that he thirsted after the coming of the Messiah, to be born at Bethlehem, and the living water which he only can give, John 4:10.

{y} Egmont and Heyman's Travels, vol. 1. p. 363.
{z} Le Bruyn's Voyage to the Levant, ch. 52. p. 204.
{a} Rauwolff's Travels, part 3. p. 317, 318.
{b} Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 90.
{c} Ambros. Apolog. David l. 1. c. 7. gloss. ordinar. & Schmidt in loc. Pfeiffer. Difficil. Loc. Script. cent. 2. loc. 91. Horn. Dissert. de desiderio David. sect. 10.