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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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des´ō̇ -lā̇t (very frequently in the Old Testament for שׁמם , shāmēm , and its derivatives; less frequently, חרב , ḥārēbh , and its derivatives, and other words. In the New Testament it stands for ἔρημος , érēmos (Matthew 23:38 ; Acts 1:20 ; Galatians 4:27 ) erēmóō (Revelation 17:16 ), and monóō (1 Timothy 5:5 )): From Latin de , intens., solus , alone. Several shades of meaning can be distinguished: (1) Its primary sense is "left lonely," "forlorn," e.g. Psalm 25:16 , "Have mercy upon me; for I am desolate" (Hebrew yāḥı̄dh , "alone"); 1 Timothy 5:5 , "she that is a widow indeed, and desolate" (Greek memonōménē , "left alone"). (2) In the sense of "laid waste," "destitute of inhabitants," e.g. Jeremiah 4:7 , "to make thy land desolate, that thy cities be laid waste, without inhabitant." (3) With the meaning "comfortless," "afflicted," e.g. Psalm 143:4 , "My heart within me is desolate." (4) In the sense of "barren," "childless," "unfruitful," e.g. Job 15:34 ; Isaiah 49:21 (Hebrew galmūdh ).

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Desolate'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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