LoveIsrael: The Negev a place to Trust in the LORD
The first mention of the Negev in the Bible is in Genesis 12:9 as God calls Abraham away from his country, his relatives and his father’s house. “Then Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the Negev (the South country of Judah).”
An ancient road in the Negev named “Way of the Patriarchs” was a road traveled by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and whose path laid completely within the territory of ancient Israel. Also known as, “Hill Road” or “Ridge Route” this road follows along the ridgeline of the Judean Mountains North to South.
The Negev in Biblical times was a land of forests (Ezekiel 20:46). Since 1966 the planting of the Yatir Forest, now the largest forest in Israel, has helped to roll back the desert and is changing the arid landscape of the Northern Negev and bringing the desert to life.
The Negev is home to educational facilities of Ben Gurion University who study and research environmental physics, solar energy, water resources, agriculture, biotechnology and desert ecology. It is where kibbutz Sde Boker is located, the home of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion after he retired. The Negev’s most northern city is Beersheba and the city of Eilat is located in the South on the Gulf of Eilat.
Ziglag is a Biblical city in the Negev, found in 1 Samuel 30 and was home to David and his 600 men and their wives and families: “Now it happened when David and his men came [home] to Ziklag on the third day, [they found] that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev (the South country) and on Ziklag, and had overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire…their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive…. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they were too exhausted to weep [any longer]. Now David’s two wives had been captured, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. Further, David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all of them were embittered, each man for his sons and daughters. But David felt strengthened and encouraged in the Lord his God. David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought him the ephod. David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this band [of raiders]? Will I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you will certainly overtake them, and you will certainly rescue [the captives]….” And “So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and rescued his two wives. Nothing of theirs was missing whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken; David recovered it all. So David captured all the flocks and herds [which the enemy had], and [the people] drove those animals before him and said, “This is David’s spoil….” “For as is the share of him who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the provisions and supplies; they shall share alike.” So from that day forward he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day…” (1 Samuel 30)
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