the country or quarter of the heavens which the Shemite, standing with his face to the east, supposes to be on his right hand. It is denoted by seven Hebrew words, nearly all of which refer to some characteristic of the region to which they are respectively applied.
1. נֶגֶב, negeb (root נגב in Syr. and Chald. to be dry), probably derived its name from the hot drying winds which annually blow into Syria, over Africa and Arabia. "In March," says Volney, "appear in Syria the pernicious southerly winds with the same circumstances as in Egypt; that is to say, their heat, which is carried to a degree so excessive that it is difficult to form an idea of it without having felt it; but one can compare it to that of a great oven when the bread is drawn out" (Voyage en Syrie et. Aegypte, 1 297; comp. Lu 12:55. "When ye see the south wind blow, ye say there will be heat" and see Kitto, Physical Hist. of Palestine, month of March, p. 221, 222). The word is occasionally applied to a parched or dry tract of land. Caleb's daughter says to her father, "Thou hast given me a south," or rather "dry land;" אֶרֶוֹ הִנֶּגֶב (Vulg. terram arentem); "give me also springs of water" (Jg 1:15; comp. ver. 9). At other times the word refers to those arid regions, notwithstanding their occasional fertility, over which the south wind blows into Syria. So the Sept. and Vulg. understood the "whirlwinds from the south" (Isa 21:1 δἰ ἐρήμου, turbines ab Africo). "The burden of the beasts in the south" is rendered τῶν τετραπόδων τῶν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ (30:6). At other times the word is rendered by νότος and λίψ, which latter is the Hellenized form of Libs, ventus ex Libya,; the southwest wind, and, by metonymy, the quarter whence it blows. In several instances the Hebrew word is simply put into Greek letters, thus, τὸν Ναγέβ (Jos 10:40); τὴν γῆν Ναγέβ;. Alex. τὴν Ναγέβ, al. Νεγέβ (11:16); Ναγέβ v.r. Αγέβ (Ob 1:19-20); and once, probably by a corruption, it is ἀργάβ (1Sa 20:41), v.r. νεγήβ, νεγέβ, ἐργάβ. The Vulg. renders the word by "meridies," "australis plaga," "terra meridiana," "auster ab Aphrico," "terra australis." More than once the Sept. differs widely from the present Hebrew text; thus in Eze 21:4  it renders מַנֶּגֶב צָפוֹ by ἀπὸ ἀπηλιώτου ἕως βοῤῥᾶ; Vulg. "ab austro usque ad aquilonem;" so also in Ex 26:18 פּאִת נֶגבָּה is rendered πρὸς βοῤῥᾶν; Vulg. "ad austrum." It is also used in the geographical sense in Nu 34:3; Jos 15:2; 1Ch 9:24; 2Ch 4:4; Eze 40:2; Eze 46:9, etc. But a further and important use of the word is as the name or designation of the desert regions lying at the south of Judsea, consisting of the deserts of Shur, Zin, and Paran, the mountainous country of Edom or Idumrea, and part of Arabia Petrsea. (comp. Mal 1:3; Shaw, Travels, p. 438). Thus Abraham, at his first entrance into Canaan, is said to have "gone on towards the south" (Ge 12:9), Sept. ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, Aquila νότονδε, Symmachus εἰς νότον, and upon his return from Egypt into Canaan he is said to have gone "into the south" (13:1); Sept. εἰς τὴν ἔρημον; Vulg. "ad australem plagam," though he was in fact then travelling northward. Comp. ver. 3, "He went from the south to Bethel;" Sept. εἰς τὴν ἔρημον; Vulg. "a meridie in Bethel." In this region the Amalekites are said to have dwelt, "in the land of the south," when Moses sent the spies to view the land of Canaan (Nu 13:29), viz. the locality between Idumaea and Egypt, and to the east of the Dead Sea and Mount Seir. SEE AMALEKITE. The inhabitants of this region were included in the conquests of Joshua (Jos 10:40). Whenever the Sept. gives the Hebrew word in the Greek letters, Ναγέβ, it always relates to this particular district. To the same region belongs the passage "Turn our captivity as the streams in the south" (Ps 126:4); Sept. ώς χειμάῤῥους ἐν τῷ Νότῳ, "as winter torrents in the south" (Vulg. "sicut torrens in Austro"), which suddenly fill the wadys or valleys during the season of rain (comp. Eze 6:3; Eze 34:13; Eze 35:8; Eze 36:4,6). These are dry in summer (Job 6:15-18). The Jews had, by their captivity, left their country empty and desolate, but by their return would "flow again into it." Through part of this sterile region the Israelites must repass in their vain application to Egypt (Isa 30:6; comp. De 8:15). It is called the Wilderness of Judaea (Mt 3:1; Jos 15:61; comp. Ps 85:6, Heb. or margin; see also Jer 17:26; Jer 32:44; Jer 33:14; Ezra 20:46, 47; 21:4; comp. Ob 1:19-20; Zec 9:7). Through part of this region lay the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, "which is desert" (Ac 8:26). Thus as Drusius observes, the word often means not the whole southern hemisphere of the earth, but a desert tract of land to the south of Judaea. Sometimes it is used in a relative sense; thus the cities of Judah are called "the cities of the south" (Jer 13:19), relatively to Chaldaea, expressed by "the north" (1:14; comp. 4:6; 6:1). Jerusalem itself is called "the forest of the south field" or country, like the Latin ager (Eze 20:46; comp. Ge 14:7). SEE FOREST. Egypt is also called "the south" thus, "the king of the south" (Da 11:5) is Ptolemy Soter and his successors; comp. ver. 6, 9, 11, 15, 25, 29, 40; but in the last-named verse Mede understands the Saracens from Arabia Felix (Works, p. 674, 816). SEE SOUTH COUNTRY.
2. דָּרוֹ ם, darom, which, according to Gesenius, is a word of uncertain derivation. It is in the Sept. rendered by λίψ, De 33:23; by νότος, Ec 1:6; Ec 11:3; Eze 40:24,27-28,44-45; Eze 41:11; and by θάλασσα, Eze 43:18; Vulg. "meridies," "auster," "australis," "ventus australis." This word as a proper name is usually understood to be applied to the southernmost part of Judaea in Job 37:17; Ec 1:6; Eze 21:2; Eze 40:24. Hence the name of "Daroma" is given by Eusebius and Jerome to the region which they describe as extending about twenty miles from Elettheropolis on the way towards Arabia Petraea, and from east to west as far as from the Dead Sea to Gerara and Beersheba. A little to the south of Gaza there is now a spot called Bab ed-Daron, a name probably derived from the fortress Daron, celebrated in the time of the Crusades. That fortress was built on the ruins of a Greek convent of the same name which, being traced so far back, may well be identified with Darom as the ancient name of this territory. In De 33:23 the Hebrew word is applied to the sunny southern slope of Naphtali towards the Lake Huleh. SEE DAROM.
3. תֵּימָ, Teyman, and its adverb תֵּימָנָה, strictly what lies to the right; Sept. νότος, λίψ; and sometimes the word is simply put into Greek letters; thus, Θαιμάν (Hab 3:3). Indeed, all the three preceding words are so rendered (Eze 20:46 [21:2]), Υἱὲ ἀνθρώπου, στήρισον τὸ πρόσωπόν σου ἐπὶ θαιμάν, καὶ ἐπίβλεψον ἐπὶ δαρόμ, καὶ προφήτευσον ἐπὶ δρυμὸν ἡγούμενον ναγέβ, where perhaps the vocabulary of the translator did not afford him sufficient variety. The Vulg. here gives "viam austri," "ad aphricum," " ad saltum agri meridiani," and elsewhere renders the Hebrew word by "meridiana plaga," "ad meridiem." It occurs in Ex 26:35; Nu 2:10; Nu 3:29; Nu 10:6; Job 9:9; Job 39:26; Ps 78:26; Song 4:16; Isa 43:6; Hab 3:3; Zec 9:14; Zec 14:4. In Zec 6:6 it denotes Egypt. It is poetically used for the south wind, like Shakspeare's "sweet south;" Ps 77:20, νότον, africum, and Song 4:16, νότε; for the explanation of the latter SEE NORTH. Observe that תֵּימָנָה and נֶנֶב are interchanged in Ex 26:18; Ex 36:23; Eze 47:1. SEE TEMAN.
⇒See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
4. יָמַין, yamin, also meaning the right side and south. Thus, Ps 89:12, Thou hast made the north and the south;" Sept. θάλασσα; Vulg.
mare. The word is evidently here used in its widest sense, comprehending not only all the countries lying south, but also the Indian Ocean, etc., the whole hemisphere. Aquila has Βοῤῥᾶν καὶ δεξιάν; Theodotion, Βοῤῥᾶν καὶ Νότον. In some passages where our translation renders the word right, the meaning would have been clearer had it rendered it south (1Sa 23:19,24; 2Sa 24:5; Job 23:9).
5. חֵדֵר, cheder, "Out of the south cometh the whirlwind" (Job 37:9), literally "chamber" or "storehouse," ἐκ ταμιείων, ab interioribus. The full phrase occurs in Job 9:9, ]חִדרֵי תֵּמָ, ταμεῖα νότου, interiora austri, the remotest south; perhaps in both these passages the word means the chambers or storehouses of the south wind.
6. מַדבָּר, midbar, "Promotion cometh not from the south" (Ps 75:6), literally "wilderness," ἀπὸ ἐρήμον, desertis montibus. SEE DESERT.
7. מִיַ ם, mayim, water, "And gathered them out of the sands, and from the south" (Ps 107:3), θάλασσα, mare; where Gesenius contends that it ought to be translated "west," though it stands opposed to צָפוֹ, as it is indeed so translated under exactly the same circumstances in Isa 49:12. He refers to De 33:23, and Am 8:12. It is also thus rendered in our version of the first of these references, and on the latter we can only refer to archbishop Newcome's Version of the Minor Prophets (Pontefract, 1809), p. 51, 52.
In the New Test. we have νότος in the geographical sense, βασίλισσα νότου, regina:austri, Mt 12:42, SEE SHEBA and Lu 13:29; Re 21:13. The word μεσημβρία is also translated "south" in Ac 8:26, κατὰ μεσημβρίαν, contra meridianum. It is used in the same sense by Josephus (Ant. 4, 5, 2). In Symmachus (1Sa 20:41) for נגֶב. Hesychius defines Μεσημβρία τὰ τοῦ Νότου μέρη καὶ τὸ τῆς ἡμέρας μέσον. The southwest λίψ occurs in Paul's dangerous voyage (Ac 27:12), "a haven of Crete," βλέποντα κατὰ λίβα, respicienten ad africum, by metonymy the wind for the quarter whence it blows. The south wind is mentioned ver. 13, νότος, auster, and 28:13. SEE WIND.
Egypt and Arabia lay south in respect of Canaan, and were therefore frequently mentioned by that designation. But from the Egyptians they may have learned the existence of nations living still farther to the southward, for representations of victories over the negroes, and of negro captives, are not uncommon on the tombs in the valley of the Nile. One which is here copied represents the triumph of one of the Pharaohs over a negro chief, probably designed to be the type of his nation. It is evident that the figure exhibits the usual characteristics of the negro features as strongly as they are found at the present day. SEE ETHIOPIA.