Four words are chiefly used in Hebrew to express the idea : The more general word.
Very frequently the word 'arabah has a mere geographical sense.
Thus it refers to the strange depression extending from the base of Mount Hermon , through the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, to the Gulf of Akabah.
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 .
" Frequently it is used of the wilderness of the Exodus.
Besides such uses of the word, it seems when used with the article often to have assumed the force of a proper name.
Moreover, it is used of other districts, as in Western Palestine of the wilderness of Juda ( Judges ), and again in the east of the desert of Moab ( Deuteronomy 2:8 ).
`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.
The Hebrew words translated in the Douay Version of the Bible by "desert" or "wilderness", and usually rendered by the Vulgate desertum , "solitude", or occasionally eremus , have not the same shade of meaning as the English word desert.
The word wilderness , which is more frequently used than desert of the region of the Exodus, more nearly approaches the meaning of the Hebrew, though not quite expressing it.
In such cases it refers at times to the wilderness of the Exodus (cf. Parts of the waste region about the Dead Sea are called the jeshimon ; and to the north-east of the same sea there is a place called Beth-Jeshimoth (cf.