Biblical wilderness--midbar, arabah and eremos
Words translated as "wilderness" occur nearly 300 times in the Bible. A formative Hebrew memory is the years of "wandering in the wilderness," mixing experience of wild landscape, of searching for a promised land, and of encounter with God. There is a psychology as well as a geography of wilderness, a theology gained in the wilderness. Jesus is baptized by John and then is driven by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days. The Devil is there, but so is the Spirit. This records a search for solitude, for self-discovery, for divine presence, but the natural environment is the needed ambiance.
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