What the scriptures say about
also Kadesh-Barnea
an area southeast of Palestine

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KADESH in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]   Site search: FreeFind (Not "Kedesh", a city of refuge)

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  Genesis 14:7   |   Genesis 16:14   | Ezekiel 47:19 | Ezekiel 48:28;

KADESH [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

Holy, or Kadesh-Barnea, sacred desert of wandering, a place on the south-eastern border of Palestine, about 165 miles from Horeb. It lay in the "wilderness" or "desert of Zin" (Genesis 14:7; Numbers 13:3-26; 14:29-33; 20:1; 27:14), on the border of Edom (20:16). From this place, in compliance with the desire of the people, Moses sent forth "twelve spies" to spy the land. After examining it in all its districts, the spies brought back an evil report, Joshua and Caleb alone giving a good report of the land (13:18-31). Influenced by the discouraging report, the people abandoned all hope of entering into the Promised Land. They remained a considerable time at Kadesh. (See HORMAH; KORAH .) Because of their unbelief, they were condemned by God to wander for thirty-eight years in the wilderness. They took their journey from Kadesh into the deserts of Paran, "by way of the Red Sea" (Deuteronomy 2:1). (One theory is that during these thirty-eight years they remained in and about Kadesh.)

At the end of these years of wanderings, the tribes were a second time gathered together at Kadesh. During their stay here at this time Miriam died and was buried. Here the people murmured for want of water, as their forefathers had done formerly at Rephidim; and Moses, irritated by their chidings, "with his rod smote the rock twice," instead of "speaking to the rock before their eyes," as the Lord had commanded him (Compare Numbers 27:14; Deuteronomy 9:23; Psalms 106:32,33). Because of this act of his, in which Aaron too was involved, neither of them was to be permitted to set foot within the Promised Land (Numbers 20:12,24). The king of Edom would not permit them to pass on through his territory, and therefore they commenced an eastward march, and "came unto Mount Hor" (20:22).

This place has been identified with 'Ain el-Kadeis, about 12 miles east-south-east of Beersheba. (See SPIES.)

KADESH or KADESH-barnea [Smith's Bible Dictionary]

(Kadesh means holy ; it is the same word as the Arabic name of Jerusalem, el-Khuds. Barnea means, desert of wandering.)

This place, the scene of Miriam’s death, was the farthest point which the Israelites reached in their direct road to Canaan; it was also that whence the spies were sent, and where, on their return, the people broke out into murmuring, upon which their strictly penal term of wandering began. (Numbers 13:3,26; 14:29-33; 20:1; 2:14)

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, indicates a precise spot.

In (Genesis 14:7) Kadesh is identified with En-mishpat, the "fountain of judgment." It has been supposed, from (Numbers 13:21,26) and Numb 20:1 ... that there were two places of the name of Kadesh, one in the wilderness of Paran and the other in that of Zin; but it is more probable that only one place is meant, and that Zin is but a part of the great desert of Paran.

(There has been much doubt as to the exact site of Kadesh; but Rev. H. Clay Trumbull of Philadelphia, visiting the spot in 1881, succeeded in rendering almost certain that the site of Kadesh is Ain Kadis (spelled also Gadis and Quadis ); "the very same name, letter for letter in Arabic and Hebrew, with the scriptural fountain of Kadesh -- the ’holy fountain,’ as the name means -- which gushed forth when Moses smote the rock." It lies 40 miles south of Beersheba and 165 northeast of Horeb, immediately below the southern border of Palestine.

It was discovered in 1842 by the Rev. J. Rowlands of Queen’s College, Cambridge, England, whose discovery was endorsed by the great German geographer Ritter, by E.S. Palmer in his "Desert of the Exodus," and by the "Imperial Bible Dictionary." Dr. Trumbull thus describes it: --

"It is an extensive oasis, a series of wells, the water of which flows out from under such an overhanging cliff as is mentioned in the Bible story; and it opens into a vast plain or wadi large enough to have furnished a camping-ground for the whole host of Israel. Extensive primitive ruins are on the hills near it. The plain or wadi, also called Quadis, is shut in by surrounding hills so as to make it a most desirable position for such a people as the Israelites on the borders of hostile territory -- such a position as leaders like Moses and Joshua would have been likely to select."

"It was carpeted with grass and flowers. Fig treed laden with fruit were against its limestone hillsides. Shrubs in richness and variety abounded. Standing out from the mountain range at the northward of the beautiful oasis amphitheater was the ’large single mass or small hill of solid rock’ which Rowlands looked at as the cliff (sela) smitten by Moses to cause it to ’give forth its water’ when its flowing had ceased. From beneath this cliff came the abundant stream. A well, walled up with timeworn limestone blocks, was the first receptacle of the water. Not far from this was a second well similarly walled, supplied from the same source. Around both these wells were ancient watering-troughs of limestone. Several pools, not walled up, where also supplied from the stream. The water was clear and sweet and abundant. Two of the pools were ample for bathing." --ED.)

KADESH-BARNEA [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

KADESH-BARNEA ka'-desh-bar'-ne-a (qadhesh barnea`; Kades):

Mentioned 10 times; called also "Kadesh" simply. The name perhaps means "the holy place of the desert of wandering." There are references to Kadesh in early history. At En-mishpat ("the same is Kadesh") Chedorlaomer and his allies smote the Amalekite and Amorite. Abraham dwelt near Kadesh, and it was at Beer-lahai-roi between Kadesh and Bered that the Angel of Yahweh appeared to Hagar (Genesis 14:7; 16:14; 20:1). It was an important camp of the Israelites during their wanderings, and seems to have been their headquarters for 38 years (Deuteronomy 1:2; 2:14; Judith 5:14). There the returning spies found the camp (Numbers 13:26); there Miriam died and was buried (Numbers 20:1); from thence messengers were sent to the king of Edom (Numbers 20:14; Judges 11:16 ff). There the people rebelled because of the want of water, and Moses brought water from the rock (Numbers 20:2 ff); it was called therefore Meribath -- or Meriboth-Kadesh (Numbers 27:14; Ezekiel 47:19; 48:28).

It was situated

in the wilderness of Zin (Numbers 20:1; 33:36-37)

in the hill country of the Amorites (Deuteronomy 1:19),

11 days' journey from Horeb,

by the way of Mt. Seir (Deuteronomy 1:2),

"in the uttermost" of the border of Edom (Numbers 20:16),

and on the southern border, probably the Southeast corner, of Judah (Ezekiel 47:19; compare Judith 19).

See Cobern, Homiletic Review, April and May, 1914. S. F. Hunter

KADESH [Thompson Chain Reference]
    * (a town on the southern frontier of Canaan)
    * Numbers 13:26
    * Numbers 32:8
    * Numbers 34:4
    * Deuteronomy 1:19
    * Deuteronomy 2:14
    * Joshua 10:41
    * Joshua 14:6

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