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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Kadesh

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(Heb. Kadesh', קָדֵשׁ , holy, perhaps as being the site of some ancient oracle [compare the early equivalent name "fount of judgment"], Genesis 14:7; Genesis 16:14; Genesis 20:1; Numbers 13:26; Numbers 20:1; Numbers 20:14; Numbers 20:16; Numbers 20:22; Numbers 27:14; Numbers 33:36-37; Deuteronomy 1:46; Deuteronomy 32:51; Judges 11:16-17; Psalms 29:8; Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28; Sept. Κάδης, but in Ezekiel 47:19, Καδής v. r. Καδήμ) or, more fully, KADESH-BARNEA (Hebrew Kadesh'-Barne'i, קָדֵשׁ בִּרְנע , the latter portion of the name being regarded by Simonis, Lex. s.v., as compounded of בִּר, open country, and נֵעִ,'wandering; Numbers 32:8; Numbers 24:4; Deuteronomy 1:2; Deuteronomy 1:19; Deuteronomy 2:14; Deuteronomy 9:23; Joshua 10:41; Joshua 14:6-7; Joshua 15:3; Sept. Κάδης [τοῦ ] Βαρνή ), a site on the south-eastern border of the Promised Land, towards Edom, of such interest as being the point at which the Israelites twice encamped (their nineteenth and thirty-seventh stations) with the intention of entering Palestine, and from which they were. twice sent back the first time in pursuance of their sentence to wander forty years in the wilderness, and the second time from the refusal of the king of Edom to permit a passage through his territories. It is probable that the term "Kadesh," though applied to signify a "city," yet had also a wider application to a region, in which Kadesh-meribah certainly, and Kadesh- barnea probably, indicate a precise spot. Thus Kadesh appears as a limit eastward of the same tract which was limited westward by Shur (Genesis 20:1). Shur is possibly the same as Sihor, "which is before Egypt" (Genesis 25:18; Joshua 13:3; Jeremiah 2:18), and was the first portion of the wilderness on which the people emerged from the passage of the Red Sea. (See SHUR).

"Between Kadesh and Bered" is another indication of the site of Kadesh as an eastern limit (Genesis 16:14), for the point so fixed is " the fountain on the way to Shur" (v, 7), and the range of limits is narrowed by selecting the western one not so far to the west, while the eastern one, Kadesh, is unchanged. Again, we have Kadesh as the point to which the foray of Chedorlaomer " returned"-a word which does not imply that they had previously visited it, but that it lay in the direction, as viewed from Mount Seir and Paran, mentioned next before it, which was that of the point from which Chedorlaomer had come, viz. the north. Chedorlaomer, it seems, coming down by the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, smote the Zuzims (Ammon, Genesis 14:5; Deuteronomy 2:20), and the Emims (Moab, Deuteronomy 2:11), and the Horites in Mount Seir, to the south of that sea, unto "El-Paran that is by the wilderness." He drove these Horites over the Arabah into the Et-Tih region. Then "returned," i.e. went northward to Kadesh and Hazezon Tamar, or Engedi (comp. Genesis 14:7; 2 Chronicles 20:2).

It was from Kadesh that the spies entered Palestine by ascending the mountains: and the murmuring Israelites, afterwards attempting to do the same, were driven back by the Amalekites and Canaanites, and afterwards apparently by the king of Arad, as far as Hormah, then called Zephath (Numbers 13:17; Numbers 14:40-45; Numbers 21:1-3; Deuteronomy 1:41-44; compare Judges 1:7). There was also at Kadesh a fountain (EN-MISHPAT) mentioned long before the exode of the Israelites (Genesis 14:7); and the miraculous supply of water took place only on the second visit, which implies that at the first there was no lack of this necessary article. In memory of the murmurs of the Israelites, this fountain afterwards bore the name of "the Waters of MERIBAH" (Deuteronomy 32:51). The adjacent desert was called the "Wilderness of Kadesh" (Psalms 29:8). On the second visit to this place Miriam died there, and Moses sent messengers to the king of Edom, informing him that they were in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost part of his border, and asking leave to pass through his country, so as to continue their course round Moab, and approach Palestine from the east. This Edom refused, and the Israelites accordingly marched to Mount Hor, where Aaron died; and then along the Arabah (desert of Zin) to the Red Sea (Numbers 20:14-29). The name of Kadesh again occurs in describing the southern quarter of Judah, the line defining which is drawn "from the shore of the Salt Sea, from the bay that looked southward; and it went out to the south side of Akrabbim, and passed along to Zin, and ascended up on the south side to Kadesh-barnea" (Joshua 15:1-3; compare Numbers 34:3-4). In Genesis 14:7 Kadesh is connected with Tamar, or Hazezon Tamar, just as we find these two in the comparativcly late book of Ezekiel, as designed to mark the southern border of Judah, drawn through them and terminating seaward at the "river to," or "towards the great sea" (Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28). There is one objection to this view. The Kadesh from which the spies were sent was in the wilderness of Paran (Numbers 13:26); Kadesh-barnea was in the wilderness of Zin (20:1). This is easily removed. Paran was the general name for the whole desert west of the Arabah, extending from Palestine to Sinai (Genesis 21:21; Numbers 10:12; Numbers 12:16; 1 Samuel 25:1). It even seems to have included the Arabah, reaching to the very base of Mount Seir (Genesis 14:6). Zin was a specific name for that part of the Arabah which bordered on Edom and Palestine (Numbers 13:21; Numbers 34:3-4; Joshua 15:1-3). If Kadesh was situated on the western side of the Arabah, then it might be reckoned either to Paran or to Zin; or, if we agree with Keil, Delitzsch, and others (Keil on Joshua x), that Paran was the general name for the whole, and Zin the specific name of a portion, the objection is removed at once.-Kitto; Smith. (See KEDESH), 1.

To meet these various indications, two places by the name of Kadesh, were formerly supposed to exist; but the editor of the Pictorial Bible has shown (note on Numbers 20:1) that a single Kadesh would answer all the conditions, if placed on the western border of the Arabah, opposite Mt. Hor. Accordingly, Dr. Robinson locates it at Ain el-Webeh; which he argues coincides with all the circumstances mentioned (Researches, ii, 538). But this is somewhat too distant from the pass es-Sufa, which is probably the Zephath where the Israelites encountered the Canaanites, and on this account Raumer has with greater plausibility fixed Kadesh at Ain es-Hasb (Der Zug der Israeliten, Leipz. 1843, p. 9 sq.). (See EXODE).

Mr. Rowlands, who travelled through this region in 1842, thinks he discovered Kadesh (as well as numerous other ancient localities in this vicinity) at a place which he calls Ain Kudes (Williams's Holy City, 2d edit.. i, 467). A writer in Fairbairn's Dictionary argues at length in favor of this position at Ain Gades, but all his reasoning-partakes, of the character of special pleading, andrests upon inconclusive grounds. His only real argument is that Kadesh appears to have lain between wady Feiran (Paran) and Engedi (Hazezon-tamar), on Chedorlaomer's route (Genesis 14:7); but that route is given so vaguely that we can lay no particular stress upon it. The other arguments even tell the other way; especially do the passages adduced go to show that Kadesh was at the extreme east from Shur (Genesis 20:1) and el-Arish (Numbers 34:5; Joshua 15:5), and the same was the case with Zin (Numbers 13:21; Numbers 33:36). This position also is avowedly not only inconsistent with the location of Huzeroth at Ain Hudheirah, but even requires us to enlarge the borders of Edom far to the west (Numbers 20:16), and actually to remove Mt. Hor from its well- defined traditionary situation (Deuteronomy 1:2). Capt. Palmer has more lately visited the site thus assumed for Kadesh, and particularly describes it (Quart. Statement of the "Palestine Exploration Fund," Jan. 1871, p. 20 sq.) as "consisting of three springs, or rather shallow pools, one of them overflowing in the rainy season;' but his advocacy for the identity adds no additional argument. In fact, the agreement in the name is the only plea of any force. This is counterbalanced-by the scriptural notices of the position of the place.- See Dr. Robinson, in the Bibliotheca Sacra, 1849, p. 377 sq.; also Palmer, Desert of Exodus, p. 286; comp. Kitto's Scripture Lands, p. 78-82; Ritter, Erdkunde, 14:1077-1089. Schwarz (Palestine, p. 23) endeavors, from Rabbinical authority, to locate Kadesh at a place named by him wady Bierin, about forty-five miles south of Gaza; but his whole theory is imaginary, besides indicating a position too far west for this Kadesh, and requiring another for En-Mishpat (p. 214), which is stated by Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s.v. Κάδης, Βαρνή,. Cades) to have been in the vicinity of Mt. Hor. From this last statement Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, p. 95) unwarrantably infers that Kadesh was identical with Petra.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Kadesh'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/k/kadesh.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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