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Very frequently the word 'arabah has a mere geographical sense.Thus it refers to the strange depression extending from the base of Mount Hermon , through the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, to the Gulf of Akabah.These are the principal words used for desert in the Bible .
Numbers ), where the Israelites are said to have encamped at the end of the wanderings.
Thus ( Isaiah ) we read: "Let the desert ( midbar ) and the cities thereof be exalted: Cedar shall dwell in houses", or rather, "the villages that Cedar doth inhabit".
Not that there were towns in the desert occupied by a stable population. For the desert was not a place regularly cultivated like the fields and gardens of ordinary civilized districts.
So, too, there are the Arboth Moab ( Numbers 22:1 ), the Arboth Jericho ( Joshua ), etc., referring to the desolate districts connected with these places.
Horbah , derived from the root harab , "to lie waste", is translated in the Septuagint by the words eremos, eremosis, eremia . The word in the Greek is oikopedon and in the Vulgate domicilium; and the passage in which the word occurs is rendered in the Douay version : "I am like a night raven in the house ". Jerome , however, in his translation of the Psalm direct from the Hebrew employs the word solitudinum , which seems more correct: "I am like a night raven of the wastes".