Although in English both “Negev” and “Negeb” come from the same Hebrew root, NGB, it is customary to use the b ending to refer to the biblical region and to use the v ending in other instances. In Hebrew, b (bet) and v (vet) are different pronunciations of the same letter, depending on the position in the word. We shall follow modern practice by using “Negev,” except in biblical quotes. (Similar transformations occur with two other words appearing in this article: Araba/Arava and Beersheba/Beer-Sheva. As with “Negeb,” the b spelling is biblical usage.)

Besides its regional meaning in the Bible, “Negev” also has the additional meaning of “south” (Genesis 13:14 and others).