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Wilderness

The Bible

Bible Usage:

Dictionaries:

  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: No
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Wilderness

1. Heb. midhbar, denoting not a barren desert but a district or region suitable for pasturing sheep and cattle (Psalms 65:12; Isaiah 42:11; Jeremiah 23:10; Joel 1:19; 2:22); an uncultivated place. This word is used of the wilderness of Beersheba (Genesis 21:14), on the southern border of Palestine; the wilderness of the Red Sea (Exodus 13:18); of Shur (15:22), a portion of the Sinaitic peninsula; of Sin (17:1), Sinai (Leviticus 7:38), Moab (Deuteronomy 2:8), Judah (Judges 1:16), Ziph, Maon, En-gedi (1 Samuel 23:14, 24; 24:1), Jeruel and Tekoa (2 Chronicles 20:16, 20), Kadesh (Psalms 29:8).

"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 ver. 9), 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 title in 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 (comp. 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 Shur" (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.


Naves Topical Index
Wilderness

Wandering of the Israelites in
Israel

Typical of the sinner's state
Deuteronomy 32:10

Jesus' temptation in
Matthew 4:1; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1
Desert


Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Wilderness

WILDERNESS, noun [from wild.]

1. A desert; a tract of land or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings, whether a forest or a wide barren plain. In the United States, it is applied only to a forest. In Scripture, it is applied frequently to the deserts of Arabia. The Israelites wandered int he wilderness forty years.

2. The ocean.

The watry wilderness yields no supply.

3. A state of disorder. [Not in use.]

4. A wood in a garden, resembling a forest.


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Wilderness of the Wandering

(The region in which the Isr'lites spent nearly 38 years of their existence after they had left Egypt, and spent a year before Mount Sinai. They went as far as Kadesh, on the southernmost border of Palestine, from which place spies were sent up into the promised land. These returned with such a report of the inhabitants and their walled cities that the people were discouraged, and began to murmur and rebel. For their sin they were compelled to remain 38 years longer in the wilderness, because it showed that they were not yet prepared and trained to conquer and to hold their promised possessions. The wilderness of the wandering was the great central limestone plateau of the sinaitic peninsula. It was bordered on the east by the valley of the Arabah, which runs from the Dead Sea to the head of the eastern branch of the Red Sea. On the south and south west were the granite mountains of Sinai and on the north the Mediterranean Sea and the mountainous region south of Judea. It is called the Desert of Paran , and Badiet et-Tih , which means "Desert of the Wandering." The children of Isr'l were not probably marching as a nation from place to place in this wilder new during these 38 years, but they probably had a kind of headquarters at Kadesh, and were "compelled to linger on as do the Bedouin Arabs of the present day, in a half-savage, homeless state, moving about from place to place, and pitching their tents wherever they could find pasture for their flocks and herds."

E.H. Palmer. Toward the close of the forty years from Egypt they again assembled at Kadesh, and, once more under the leadership of the Shechinah, they marched down the Arabah on their way to the promised land.

ED.)