desert in the Bible

A large, uncultivated tract of land, not necessarily incapable of vegetation or without water or impossible as a human dwelling-place. The chief desert referred to in the Bible is that mentioned in Exodus, in which the Israelites travelled, from their crossing of the Red Sea till their arrival in the Promised Land. Others are the desert of Juda, west of the Jordan and the Dead Sea; the deserts of Arabia, Moab, and Idumea, east of Palestine, near the Dead Sea; the desert of Ziph, to which David fled from Saul (1 Kings), south of the Dead Sea and Hebron. John the Baptist lived and taught in the desert of Judea, near Jericho. It is thought that the scene of Our Lord's temptation (Matthew 4) was the desert west of the Jordan.

New Catholic Dictionary

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