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The Hebrew words translated in the Douay Version of the Bible by "desert" or "wilderness", and usually rendered by the Vulgate desertum , "solitude", or occasionally eremus , have not the same shade of meaning as the English word desert.

The word wilderness , which is more frequently used than desert of the region of the Exodus, more nearly approaches the meaning of the Hebrew, though not quite expressing it.

Moreover, it is used of other districts, as in Western Palestine of the wilderness of Juda ( Judges ), and again in the east of the desert of Moab ( Deuteronomy 2:8 ).

The translation, although competent, exhibited a taste for Latinisms that was not uncommon in English writing of the time but seemed excessive in the eyes of later generations.

The New Testament influenced the Authorized Version.

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.

Midbar is the word generally used in the Pentateuch for the desert of the Exodus; but of the regions of the Exodus various districts are distinguished as the desert of Sin ( Exodus 16:1 ), the desert of Sinai ( Exodus 19:1 ), the desert of Sur ( Exodus ), the desert of Sin ( zin ) ( Numbers ), etc.

Four words are chiefly used in Hebrew to express the idea : The more general word.