A dry area in the south of Judah through which were several roads of strategic importance; many villages were built there as defences. At the time of the Exodus Amalekites dwelt in the Negeb (Num. 13: 29). From the time of the Exile (586 BCE) it was occupied by Edomites, and later known to Greekā€speakers as Idumaea (Mark 3: 8).