The Negev: it’s climate and features (Genesis 20)

Genesis 20

For thousands of years people have grazed their flocks and herds seaonally in the Negev, the southern region of Israel sandiched between the hill country of Judah to the north and the deserts of Zin, Shur and Paran to the south. In fact, the semi-nomadic patrirachs (AbrahaM, Isaac and Jacob/Israel) grazed their livestock in the desert-like Negev during the winter and migrated north to Judah’s hill country, around Bethel and Shechem, for the summer months. During the New Testament period the Negev was known as Idumea (Mark 3:8).

In biblical times the Negev was mostly southwest of of the Dead Sea, some 30 miles (48 km) from east to west and centered around Beersheeba. Open, rugged and sparsely populated, the region supports scrub brush but no forests. It has two seasons: a milder winter with periodic rains and a hot, dry summer. Because less than 8 inches (200 ml) of rain falls annually in the Negev, the area is unsuitable for farming.

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