The province of Judea, as distinguished from Galilee and Samaria, included the territories of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Dan, Simeon, and part of Ephraim. What is known as the wilderness of Judea is situated along the Jordan and the Dead Sea, to the east of Jerusalem. Under the Romans it was ruled by Herod the Great from 37 to 4 B.C. then by one of his sons, Herod Archelaus, from 4 B.C. to 6 A.D.
A wilderness is commonly thought to be a place absent of trees and entirely destitute of inhabitants. In the New Testament, however, the original Greek word (Strong's Concordance #G2048) means a mountainous, rough, and thinly settled area covered to some considerable extent with forests and rocks, and better suited for pasture than for tilling. John the Baptist preached repentance in the Judean wilderness (Matthew 3).
The book of Luke records how for FORTY days and nights Satan the devil, in the wilderness of Judea, tempted Jesus to sin. References to Jesus' temptation are also in Matthew 4 and Mark 1:
"Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
"And the devil said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.' But Jesus answered him, saying, 'It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.' '
"Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, 'All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.' And Jesus answered and said to him, 'Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.''
"Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.' '
"And Jesus answered and said to him, "It has been said, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'" Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. " (Luke 4:1-12, NKJV)