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EBD: South
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South [EBD]

Heb. Negeb, that arid district to the south of Palestine through which lay the caravan route from Central Palestine to Egypt (Gen. 12:9; 13:1, 3; 46:1-6). "The Negeb comprised a considerable but irregularly-shaped tract of country, its main portion stretching from the mountains and lowlands of Judah in the north to the mountains of Azazemeh in the south, and from the Dead Sea and southern Ghoron the east to the Mediterranean on the west." In Ezek. 20:46 (21:1 in Heb.) three different Hebrew words are all rendered "south." (1) "Set thy face toward the south" (Teman, the region on the right, 1 Sam. 33:24); (2) "Drop thy word toward the south" (Negeb, the region of dryness, Josh. 15:4); (3) "Prophesy against the forest of the south field" (Darom, the region of brightness, Deut. 33:23). In Job 37:9 the word "south" is literally "chamber," used here in the sense of treasury (comp. 38:22; Ps. 135:7). This verse is rendered in the Revised Version "out of the chamber of the south."


SOUTH - south: (1) neghebh, according BDB from [?] naghabh, meaning "to be dry," the word most often used, in the Revised Version (British and American) capitalized (South) in those places where it seems to denote a particular region, i.e. to the South of Judah. (2) yamin, "right hand," "right." The derived meaning, "south," seems to imply an eastern posture in prayer in which the right hand is toward the South; compare Arabic yamin, "right," and yemen, "Yemen," a region in Southwestern Arabia. (3) teman, from the same root as (2) is often used for the south; also for the south wind (Ps 78:26; Song 4:16). (4) yam, literally, "sea" (Ps 107:3). (5) darom, etymology doubtful (Dt 33:23; Ezek 40:24). (6) midhbar, literally, "desert" (Ps 75:6, reading doubtful).

(7) lips, "south west wind" (Acts 27:12). (8) mesembria, literally, "mid-day"; "south" (Acts 8:26); "noon" (Acts 22:6). (9) notos, "south wind" (Lk 12:55; Acts 27:13; 28:13); "south" (1 Macc 3:57; Mt 12:42; Lk 11:31; 13:29; Rev 21:13).

The south wind is often referred to: see Song 4:16; Job 37:9 (compare 9:9); Zec 9:14 (of Isa 21:1); Lk 12:55.

Of the passages where South (neghebh) clearly refers to a particular region between Palestine and Sinai see: "And Abraham journeyed, going on still toward the South" (neghbah) (Gen 12:9; 13:1; Dt 1:7). We read of "the South of the Jerahmeelites," "the South of the Kenites" (1 Sam 27:10); "the South of the Cherethites," "the South of Caleb" (1 Sam 30:14); "the South of Judah" (2 Ch 28:18); "Ramoth of the South" (1 Sam 30:27).

In Ps 126:4, "Turn again our captivity, O Yahweh, as the streams in the South," we have a figurative reference to the fact that, after a long period of drought, the dry watercourses are finally filled with rushing streams. The reference in Ezek 20:46 f to "the forest of the South" is to a condition of things very different from that which exists today, though the region is not incapable of supporting trees if they are only planted and protected.

Alfred Ely Day

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