Make a Donation
About The Author
Holy Day Calendar
Free Online Bibles
Bible Reading Plan
|Get Daily Bible Study on Facebook||Get Daily Bible Study on Twitter Follow @WayneBlank|
Monday, December 19 2011
The Negev Of Israel
The Negev, or Negeb, as rendered into English, is from the Hebrew word pronounced neh-gheb, which although from a root word which means dry, is used for south. The apparent reason is that the south of the land of Israel is composed of a large desert - hence the reason that the dry, southern desert is called the "Negev."
The King James Version uses the word "south" (or "southern") for the Negev Desert, while some other translations render it as "Negev" or "Negeb." An example, from Genesis 12:9, in three translations:
"12:9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south." (King James Version)
The Negev extends over half of the land of Israel (depending on what your definition of the borders of Israel are, whether as declared by the LORD, or present-day borders as shown on the map). The Negev is roughly triangular in shape, with the Sinai on its western side (see also Paul's Geography Lesson) and the Arabah valley to the east. As shown in the photographs below, the Negev is not merely a flat-sand desert; it has a wide range of geological features, from canyons to plains.
When Abraham arrived (see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees) in the land that he was to establish as the homeland for the descendants of his Messianic line, he journeyed the entire length of what would become the land of Israel (named after Abraham's grandson Jacob, who the LORD renamed as "Israel"), from Galilee in the north, right to the extremity of the south, or the "Negev."
"12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram [see Abraham The Christian], Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:
"And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south"
Hagar and Ishmael lived in, and then beyond the Negev, where the LORD appeared to Hagar and promised that, because he was also of the seed of Abraham, "I will make him a great nation" (see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates).
"21:14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
Abraham's son Isaac was living in the Negev when his new wife Rebekah arrived from Syria (see Who Chose Rebekah?).
"24:62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country. 24:63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. 24:64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel [see also Camel Trains]. 24:65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us?
When the Israelites came out of Egypt in the Exodus (see Why Did They Go To Goshen? and Moses Of Midian), they first went south to Mount Sinai (see Paul's Geography Lesson), and then northward through the Sinai to the Negev. They were to have entered the Promised Land through the Negev, but when they rebelled (just as they had done at Mount Sinai; see The Mount Sinai Riot), the LORD turned them around and had them needlessly wander in the Sinai for the next forty years, until the original generation of the Exodus had all died off (see A Journey Without A Destination). It was their children who later entered the Promised Land, not through the south, but from the east, across the Jordan River - when the river had to be stopped to provide for them the dry ground that the Negev had naturally provided earlier.
"13:17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: 13:18 And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; 13:19 And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; 13:20 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes." (Numbers 13:17-20 KJV)
When the Israelites later entered the Promised Land, the Negev was first allotted to the tribe of Judah (see Who Were The First Jews?).
"15:1 This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast.
Part of the Negev was however allotted to the tribe of Simeon, "for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them" (see also Are Levites 'Jews'?).
"19:1 And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.
Fact Finder: What does the land of "milk and honey" mean? Was (and is) it merely a place?
This Day In History, December 19
211: Publius Septimius Geta, then co-emperor of Rome, was assassinated by his own Praetorian Guard (see The Politics Of Rome and Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire; also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).
1154: Henry II was crowned king of England.
1562: The French Wars of Religion between the Huguenots (French Protestants) and the Catholics began at the Battle of Dreux.
1741: Vitus Bering, Danish navigator and explorer, died at age 60. The Bering Strait and the Bering Sea (located between Russia and Alaska - Alaska was then Russian territory) are named after him.
1793: French forces recaptured Toulon from the British.
1915: German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer died at age 51 of rheumatic fever and kidney failure brought on by a common cold or influenza infection. "Alzheimer's disease" was named after Alzheimer, from his professional studies of "presenile dementia" (i.e. dementia with onset before the age of 65).
1917: The first National Hockey League game was played on artificial ice, in Toronto.
1932: The BBC began transmitting overseas.
1941: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Japanese forces invaded British-held Hong Kong.
1946: War broke out in Indochina when Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh attacked French colonial forces in Hanoi. The French left in the 1960s (after dividing Vietnam into North and South, which resulted in the Vietnam civil war) and were replaced by the U.S. who remained until the 1970s.
1972: Apollo 17, the last manned lunar flight returned to Earth.
1986: Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, considered the father of the Soviet atomic bomb, was released from exile. He had been seized in January 1980 and sent to the closed city of Gorky, 400 kilometers east of Moscow where he was kept in isolation.
1998: During the Lewinsky scandal, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached ("Charge with a crime or misdemeanor") President Bill Clinton on 2 counts - perjury and obstruction of justice.