Wilderness: 1. Heb. midhbar, denoting not a barren desert but a district or
region suitable for pasturing sheep and cattle
(Isaiah 42:11; Jeremiah 23:10; Joel 1:19; 2:22) an uncultivated place.
This word is used of the wilderness of
(Genesis 21:14) on the southern border of Palestine;
b. the Red Sea
c. of Shur
d. a portion of the Sinaitic peninsula; of Sin
h. Ziph, Maon, En-gedi
(1 Samuel 23:14,24; 24:1)
i. Jeruel and Tekoa
(2 Chronicles 20:16,20)
k. "The wilderness of the sea"
(Isaiah 21:1) Principal Douglas,
referring to this expression, says: "A mysterious name, which
must be meant to describe Babylon (see especially)
perhaps because it became the place of discipline to God's
people, as the wilderness of the Red Sea had been (comp.)
(Ezekiel 20:35) Otherwise it is in contrast with the symbolic
(Isaiah 22:1) Jerusalem is the "valley of vision,"
rich in spiritual husbandry; whereas Babylon, the rival centre
of influence, is spiritually barren and as restless as the sea
(Isaiah 57:20) " A Short Analysis of the O.T.
2. Jeshimon, a desert waste
(Deuteronomy 32:10; Psalms 68:7)
3. 'Arabah, the name given to the valley from the Dead Sea to the
eastern branch of the Red Sea. In
(Deuteronomy 1:1; 2:8) it is rendered
"plain" (R.V., "Arabah").
4. Tziyyah, a "dry place"
(Psalms 78:17; 105:41)
5. Tohu, a "desolate" place, a place "waste" or "unoccupied"
(Deuteronomy 32:10; Job 12:24) comp.
(Genesis 1:2) "without form". The
wilderness region in the Sinaitic peninsula through which for
forty years the Hebrews wandered is generally styled "the
wilderness of the wanderings." This entire region is in the form
of a triangle, having its base toward the north and its apex
toward the south. Its extent from north to south is about 250
miles, and at its widest point it is about 150 miles broad.
Throughout this vast region of some 1,500 square miles there is
not a single river. The northern part of this triangular
peninsula is properly the "wilderness of the wanderings"
(et-Tih). The western portion of it is called the "wilderness of
(Exodus 15:22) and the eastern the "wilderness of Paran."
The "wilderness of Judea"
(Matthew 3:1) is a wild, barren region,
lying between the Dead Sea and the Hebron Mountains. It is the
"Jeshimon" mentioned in
(1 Samuel 23:19)