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In Deut., xxxii, 10, it is used in parallelism with midbar , and in Ps. Such also is çiyyah , which means, literally, dryness, but refers at times to the desert: so, 'areç çiyyah , "a land of drought", or "a desert" ( Hosea 2:5 ).
In poetic passages it is used in parallelism with the word midbar .When we speak of the desert our thoughts are naturally borne to such places as the Sahara, a great sandy waste, incapable of vegetation, impossible as a dwelling-place for men, and where no human being is found except when hurrying through as quickly as he can.No such ideas are attached to the Hebrew words for desert.Books have been written to discuss the geography of this region.Suffice it to say that it comprises the ground over which the Israelites travelled from their crossing of the Red Sea till their arrival in the Promised Land.
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 .