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People's Dictionary of the Bible
Wilderness, The, in which the Israelites spent 40 years, between Egypt and Canaan, is called sometimes the "great and terrible wilderness" by way of eminence. Deuteronomy 1:1; Deuteronomy 8:2; Joshua 5:6; Nehemiah 9:19; Nehemiah 9:21; Psalms 78:40; Psalms 78:52; Psalms 107:4; Jeremiah 2:2. In general it may be identified with the peninsula of Sinai, the triangular region between the Gulf of Akabah, on the east, and the Gulf of Suez and Egypt on the west. See Sinai. In this region there are several smaller wildernesses, as Etham, Paran, Shur, Zin. What is known distinctively as the "wilderness of the Wandering" is the great central limestone plateau between the granite region of Sinai on the south, the sandy desert on the north, and the valley of the Arabah on the east. The explorations of travellers and the British Ordnance Survey have made this region quite well known. The route of the Israelites from Egypt to Kadesh can be traced with reasonable accuracy. Instead of entering the Promised Land immediately from Kadesh, they were driven back into the wilderness for their disobedience, and there wandered for 40 years. They probably lived a nomad life as do the Bedouin Arabs of the present day.
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Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Wilderness'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/w/wilderness.html. 1893.