|PARAN, OR EL-PARAN |
Genesis 14:6, a large tract of desert country lying south of Palestine, and west of the valley El Arabah, which runs from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Akaba. It was in and near this desert region that the Israelites wandered thirty-eight years. See EXODUS. It extended on the south to within three daysí journey of Sinai, Numbers 10:12,33 12:16, if not to Sinai itself, Deuteronomy 33:2 Hebrews 3:3. On the north, it included the deserts of Kadesh and Zin, Numbers 13:3,21,27.
Here Hagar and Ishmael dwelt, Genesis 21:14,21; and hither David, and afterwards Hadad, retired for a time, 1 Samuel 25:1 1 Kings 11:18. Burckhardt found it a dreary expanse of calcareous soil, covered with black flints. Some cities and cultivated grounds, however, and considerable patches of pasturelands, were anciently found in this region. The northeast part is traversed from east to west by ranges of hills.