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Catholic Dictionary


DESERT (in the Bible)


An uncultivated tract of land, generally uninhabited but not necessarily without water or impossible as a place to live. The chief desert mentioned in the Bible is that in which the Israelites traveled, once they crossed the Red Sea and until they reached the Promised Land. Other deserts of biblical importance are those of Judah, west of the Jordan and the Dead Sea; of Arabia, Moab, and Idumea, east of Palestine, near the Dead Sea; of Ziph, to which King David fled from Saul, south of the Dead Sea and Hebron. John the Baptist lived and taught in the desert of Judaea, near Jericho. And Christ's temptation is believed to have taken place in the desert west of the Jordan.