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Judean Desert

The Judean Desert (Midbar Jehuda or Wilderness of Judah) has historically been uninhabited, dry and inhospitable terrain. The small desert lies between the Judea Mountains in the west and the Dead Sea in the east.  The Bible mentions the desert as a “wilderness” where King David hid from King Saul and where Jesus was tempted by the devil. In the 6th century the desert was a popular retreat for monks and many sought out the solitude that the Judean Desert offered. Today the Mar Saba Monastery survives, carved into the side of a mountain. The desert terrain has mountains, canyons, chalk hills, riverbeds and unique flora and fauna.