the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Fausset's Bible Dictionary
The designation of a large district of Judah; the Νegeb . (See ; PALESTINE.) Palmer (Desert of Exodus) notices how accurately Jeremiah 13:19 has been fulfilled, "the cities of the South shall be shut up, and none shall open them." Walls of solid masonry remain; fields and gardens surrounded with goodly walls, every sign of human industry, remains of wells, aqueducts, reservoirs; mountain forts to resist forays of the sons of the desert; desolated gardens, terraced hill sides, and wadies dammed to resist the torrent; ancient towns still called by their names, but no living being, except the lizard and screech owl, amidst the crumbling walls. In Judges 1:16 it is called "the wilderness of Judah South of Arad"; a strip of hilly country, running from the Dead Sea westward across Palestine, obliquely to the S.W. This tract is separated from the hills of Judaea or the mountains of Hebron by the broad plain of Beersheba (wady el Μalih , "the valley of Salt") extending from the Dead Sea westward or S.W. to the land of Gerar.
The cities were 29 (Joshua 15:21-32); some of the names are not of distinct cities, but compound names. The land is now at rest, enjoying its Sabbath, because it did not rest in the Jews' Sabbaths (Leviticus 26:34-35; Leviticus 26:43). Besides the application of "the Negeb" to the whole district there are ethnological and geographical subdivisions; the Negeb of the Cherethites, the Negeb of the Kenites, the Negeb of Judah the Negeb of Arad, the Negeb of Jerahmeel. The Negeb of Caleb was a subdivision of, or identical with, the Negeb of Judah, as appears from 1 Samuel 30:14; 1 Samuel 30:16; 1 Samuel 25:2-3; compare with Joshua 21:11-12).
The low country N. and W. of Beersheba was the Negeb of the Cherethites. The Negeb of Judah was South of Hebron in the outposts of Judah's hills; Tel Zif, Main, and Kurmul (Carmel), ruined cities, mark the Negeb of Caleb. Tel Arad marks the Negeb of the Kenites reaching to the S.W. of the Dead Sea. The Negeb of Jerahmeel lay between wady Rukhmeh (corruption of Jerahmeel) in the N., and wadies el Abaydh, Marreh, and Madarah, in the South. The Amalekites (in Numbers 14:25) dwelt in the valley and yet "in the hill," for their land was a plateau, the sense of sadeh "country" in Genesis 14:7; compare 1 Samuel 27:8. Some lived in the hills, others in the fertile lower level to which the wadies debouch; so now the Azazimeh.
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Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'South'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​fbd/​s/south.html. 1949.