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The desert, too, was looked upon as the abode of wild beasts — lions (Ecclus., xiii, 23), wild asses ( Job 24:5 ), jackals ( Malachi 1:3 ), etc.It was not fertilized by streams of water, but springs were to be found there ( Genesis 16:7 ), and in places cisterns to collect the rainfall.
Very frequently the word 'arabah has a mere geographical sense.
Deut., xxxii, 10; Ps., lxxviii, 40 (Heb.): "How often did ye provoke him in the wilderness [ midbar ], and grieve him in the desert [ jeshimon ]?
" Frequently it is used of the wilderness of the Exodus.
So, too, the desert was not necessarily uninhabited.
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".