Relatively level land, in contrast to hilly or mountainous country. The Hebrew Scriptures are quite explicit in their use of different words to identify or describe various types of land.
The Hebrew term ʽara·vahʹ is used both as a name for a specific area and as a word descriptive of a certain type of land. (See ARABAH.) When used without the definite article, ʽara·vahʹ indicates a desert plain or steppe, such as those of Moab and Jericho. (Nu 22:1; 35:1; Jos 5:10; 13:32; Jer 52:8) Though there might be rivers to provide some water for the area, ʽara·vahʹ generally emphasizes that the plain is an arid one. Thus it would be quite a reversal for the fertile, watered Plain of Sharon to become like the desert plain (Isa 33:9), or for torrents of water to come to the desert plain.—Isa 35:1, 6; 51:3.
The word biq·ʽahʹ indicated a wide plain bounded by mountains. It comes from a verb meaning “split” and can be accurately rendered “valley plain.” Even today the broad valley plain between the Anti-Lebanon Range and the Lebanon Mountains is known as the Beqaʽ. (Jos 11:17) Often in the Scriptures biq·ʽahʹ, or “valley plain,” is set in contrast to mountains or hills (De 8:7; 11:11; Ps 104:8; Isa 41:18) or to rugged or rough ground. (Isa 40:4) The related Aramaic word appearing at Daniel 3:1 is frequently translated just “plain,” referring to the place where Nebuchadnezzar erected the gold image.
A long low plain, or valley, was designated in Hebrew ʽeʹmeq. The word signifies “a long broad sweep between parallel ranges of hills of less extent than the preceding term [biq·ʽahʹ], . . . [ʽeʹmeq] having the idea of lowness and breadth rather than precipitateness or confinement.” (M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopædia, 1881, Vol. X, p. 703) The Hebrew word is applied to many different localities, such as “the low plain of Achor,” “the low plain of Aijalon,” and “the low plain of Rephaim.”—Jos 7:24; 10:12; 1Ch 11:15.