- First Reference: Exodus 3:1
- Last Reference: Acts 8:26
- Included in Eastons: Yes
- Included in Hitchcocks: No
- Included in Naves: Yes
- Included in Smiths: Yes
- Included in Websters: Yes
- Included in Strongs: Yes
- Included in Thayers: Yes
- Included in BDB: Yes
- H1576 Used 1 time
- H2723 Used 1 time
- H3452 Used 4 times
- H4057 Used 10 times
- H4480 Used 3 times
- H6160 Used 8 times
- H6728 Used 3 times
- G2048 Used 12 times
1. Heb. midbar, "pasture-ground;" an open tract for pasturage; a common (Joel 2:22). The "backside of the desert" (Exodus 3:1) is the west of the desert, the region behind a man, as the east is the region in front. The same Hebrew word is rendered "wildernes," and is used of the country lying between Egypt and Palestine (Genesis 21:14, 21; Exodus 4:27; 19:2; Joshua 1:4), the wilderness of the wanderings. It was a grazing tract, where the flocks and herds of the Israelites found pasturage during the whole of their journey to the Promised Land.
The same Hebrew word is used also to denote the wilderness of Arabia, which in winter and early spring supplies good pasturage to the flocks of the nomad tribes than roam over it (1 Kings 9:18).
The wilderness of Judah is the mountainous region along the western shore of the Dead Sea, where David fed his father's flocks (1 Samuel 17:28; 26:2). Thus in both of these instances the word denotes a country without settled inhabitants and without streams of water, but having good pasturage for cattle; a country of wandering tribes, as distinguished from that of a settled people (Isaiah 35:1; 50:2; Jeremiah 4:11). Such, also, is the meaning of the word "wilderness" in Matthew 3:3; 15:33; Luke 15:4.
2. The translation of the Hebrew Aribah', "an arid tract" (Isaiah 35:1, 6; 40:3; 41:19; 51:3, etc.). The name Arabah is specially applied to the deep valley of the Jordan (the Ghor of the Arabs), which extends from the lake of Tiberias to the Elanitic gulf. While midbar denotes properly a pastoral region, arabah denotes a wilderness. It is also translated "plains;" as "the plains of Jericho" (Joshua 5:10; 2 Kings 25:5), "the plains of Moab" (Numbers 22:1; Deuteronomy 34:1, 8), "the plains of the wilderness" (2 Samuel 17:16).
3. In the Revised Version of Numbers 21:20 the Hebrew word jeshimon is properly rendered "desert," meaning the waste tracts on both shores of the Dead Sea. This word is also rendered "desert" in Psalms 78:40; 106:14; Isaiah 43:19, 20. It denotes a greater extent of uncultivated country than the other words so rendered. It is especially applied to the desert of the peninsula of Arabia (Numbers 21:20; 23:28), the most terrible of all the deserts with which the Israelites were acquainted. It is called "the desert" in Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 11:24. (See JESHIMON.)
4. A dry place; hence a desolation (Psalms 9:6), desolate (Leviticus 26:34); the rendering of the Hebrew word horbah'. It is rendered "desert" only in Psalms 102:6, Isaiah 48:21, and Ezekiel 13:4, where it means the wilderness of Sinai.
5. This word is the symbol of the Jewish church when they had forsaken God (Isaiah 40:3). Nations destitute of the knowledge of God are called a "wilderness" (32:15, midbar). It is a symbol of temptation, solitude, and persecution (Isaiah 27:10, midbar_; 33:9, _arabah).
An arid region bearing only a sparse vegetation
Leviticus 16:22; Deuteronomy 8:15; Jeremiah 2:2; Jeremiah 2:6; Jeremiah 17:6
Not a stretch of sand, an utterly barren waste, but a wild, uninhabited region. The words rendered in the Authorized Version by "desert," when used in the historical books denote definite localities.
- ARABAH. This word means that very depressed and enclosed region
the deepest and the hottest chasm in the world
the sunken valley north and south of the Dead Sea, but more particularly the former. [ARABAH] Arabah in the sense of the Jordan valley is translated by the word "desert" only in (Ezekiel 47:8)
- MIDBAR. This word, which our translators have most frequently rendered by "desert," is accurately "the pasture ground." It is most frequently used for those tracts of waste land which lie beyond the cultivated ground in the immediate neighborhood of the towns and villages of Palestine, and which are a very familiar feature to the traveller in that country. (Exodus 3:1; 6:3; 19:2)
- CHARBAH appears to have the force of dryness, and thence of desolation. It is rendered "desert" in Psalms 102:6; Isaiah 48:21; Ezekiel 13:4 The term commonly employed for it in the Authorized Version is "waste places" or "desolation."
- JESHIMON, with the definite article, apparently denotes the waste tracts on both sides of the Dead Sea. In all these cases it is treated as a proper name in the Authorized Version. Without the article it occurs in a few passages of poetry in the following of which it is rendered; "desert-" (Psalms 78:40; 106:14; Isaiah 43:19,20)
DESERT, adjective S as z [Latin To sow, plant or scatter.]
1. Literally, forsaken; hence, uninhabited; as a desert isle. Hence, wild; untilled; waste; uncultivated; as a desert land or country.
2. Void; emprty; unoccupied.
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air.
DESERT, noun An uninhabited tract of land; a region in its natural state; a wilderness; a solitude; particularly, a vast sandy plain, as the deserts of Arabia and Africa. But the word may be applied to an uninhabited country covered with wood.
DESERT, verb transitive [Latin To forsake.]
1. To forsake; to leave utterly; to abandon; to quit with a view not to return to; as, to desert a friend; to desert our country; to desert a cause.
2. To leave, without permission, a military band, or a ship, in which one is enlisted; to forsake the service in which one is engaged, in violation of duty; as, to desert the army; to desert ones colors; to desert a ship.
DESERT, verb intransitive To run away; to quit a service without permission; as, to desert from the army.
1. A deserving; that which gives a right to reward or demands, or which renders liable to punishment; merit or demerit; that which entitles to a recompense of equal to the offense; good conferred, or evil done, which merits an equivalent return. A wise legislature will reward or punish men according to their deserts.
2. That which is deserved; reward or punishment merited. In a future life, every man will receive his desert
DESERTED, participle passive Wholly forsaken; abandoned; left.
DESERTER, noun A person who forsakes his cause, his post, or his party or friend; particularly, a soldier or seaman who quits the service without permission, and in violation of his engagement.
DESERTFUL, adjective High in desert; meritorious.
DESERTING, participle present tense Forsaking utterly; abandoning.
1. The act of forsaking or abandoning, as a party, a friend, a country, an army or military band, or a ship; the act of quitting, with an intention not to return.
2. The state of being forsaken by God; spiritual despondency.
The agonies of a soul under desertion
DESERTLESS, adjective Without merit or claim to favor or reward.
DESERTLESSLY, adverb Undeservedly.
DESERTRIX, noun A female who deserts.