The Judean Desert is an area with a special morphological structure along the east of the Judean mountains. It stretches from the northeastern Negev to the east of Beit El, and is marked by terraces with escarpments. It ends in a steep escarpment dropping to the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. The Judean Desert is crossed by numerous wadis from northeast to southeast, and has many deep canyons. Elevation ranges from 1,200 feet in the west to 600 feet in the east.

Nahal Darga in the Judean desert

The Judean desert lies east of Jerusalem and descends to the Dead Sea. Rainfall in the Judea region varies from 400–500 millimetres (16–20 in) in the western hills, rising to 600 millimetres (24 in) around western Jerusalem (in central Judea), falling back to 400 millimetres (16 in) in eastern Jerusalem and dropping to around 100mm in the eastern parts, due to a rainshadow effect. The climate ranges from Mediterranean in the west and desert climate in the east, with a strip of steppe climate in the middle. Major urban areas in the region include Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, Jericho and Hebron.

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The Temptation of Jesus

4Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ 4But he answered, ‘It is written,
“One does not live by bread alone,
   but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you”,
   and “On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’