I have learnt that in ancient greek and Celtic thought, the wilderness was highly undesirable, an unpredictable terrain where one could abut the domain of terrifying gods or demons, and come to harm. The idea is that no one but the gods would be bold enough to inhabit the wilderness.
It sparked my curiosity about the ancient Jewish perceptions of the wilderness. Clearly in this day and age, in western thought which is historically heavily influenced by Judaeistic ideas, the wilderness is exciting and a place of bravery and discovery. Where we face the elements and prove ourselves.
What did the Jewish people perceive the wilderness to be? And how did that affect their thoughts about the forty years of the wilderness? It seems that the God of Abraham actively led His people to confront the wilderness, in contrast to the avoidance of the Greek people.