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The Negev

The Negev (or Negeb) takes its name from the Hebrew neghev, meaning dry. It's located south of Jerusalem and Judea, from which Negev has also taken on the meaning south. Both names are quite appropriate - the Negev is the southernmost area of Israel, and it is most definitely one of the most arid Bible Places.

The Negev Desert

The Negev stretches southward from the mountains and lowlands of Judah where the rolling hills terminate abruptly along the desert. The Dead Sea is located to the east, the Mediterranean Sea is to the west, the Sinai is to the southwest.

The Negev was the scene of many events of Bible History -

  • An early caravan route from Israel to Egypt went through the Negev (Genesis 12:9, 13:1-3, 46:1-6).

  • It was the territory of the Amalekites during the time of Abraham (Genesis 14:7)

  • Hagar and Ishmael were exiled out into the Negev by Sarah (Genesis 21:14)

  • Both Isaac and Jacob lived for some time in the Negev (Genesis 24:62, 37:1)

  • The Israelites wandered in the Negev during the Wilderness Journey after the Exodus (Numbers 14:44-45)

  • At the Division Of The Land, the Negev was allotted to the tribes of Simeon (Joshua 19:1-9) and Judah (Joshua 15:20-31)

  • David included the Negev in his kingdom, and when Solomon succeeded his father, he established fortresses in the area.

  • After Judah Fell To The Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C., Edom took over the Negev.

Fact Finder: What was the name of the town in the Negev that the Philistines gave to David?
1 Samuel 27:5-6

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