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Thus Is., xxxv, 1: "The land that was desolate [ midbar ] and impassable shall be glad, and the wilderness [ 'arabah ] shall rejoice"; cf. Although the Septuagint frequently renders the word by eremos , it often uses other translations, as ge dipsosa and elos .The Vulgate employs the words solitudo , desertum .In the Vulgate are found the renderings ruinœ, solitudo, desolatio . The lexicon of Gesenius gives as the first meaning of horbah , "dryness"; then as a second meaning, "a desolation", "ruins".A combination of these senses seems to have been the reason why in the poetical books the word is used of the wilderness.
`Arabah , derived from the root 'arab , "to be arid", is another word for desert, which seems to express more than one of its natural characteristics.These are the principal words used for desert in the Bible .There are, however, others less frequently used, only one or two of which can be mentioned here: such as tohu , used in Gen., i, 2: "the earth was void ".Rather, it was a region in which was to be found pasturage, not rich, but sufficient for sheep and goats, and more abundant after the rainy season.The desert, too, was looked upon as the abode of wild beasts — lions (Ecclus., xiii, 23), wild asses ( Job 24:5 ), jackals ( Malachi 1:3 ), etc.