Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
KADESH or Kadesh-Barnea was a place of note in olden time ( Genesis 14:7; Genesis 16:14 ). This it could not have been without a supply of water. The Israelites may therefore have expected to find water here, and finding none a peculiarly exasperating experience were naturally embittered. The flow of the spring, by whatever means it had been obstructed, was restored by Moses, under Divine direction ( Numbers 20:2 ff.), and for a long time it was the centre of the tribal encampments ( Numbers 20:1 , Deuteronomy 1:46 ). It was the scene of Korah’s rebellion ( Numbers 16:1-50 ), and of Miriam’s death ( Numbers 20:1 ). The spies were sent hence ( Numbers 32:8 , Deuteronomy 1:20 ff.,) and returned hither ( Numbers 13:26 ). Before moving from here, the embassy was despatched to the king of Edom ( Numbers 20:14 ff., Judges 11:16 ).
Kadesh-barnea lay on the south boundary of the Amorite highlands ( Deuteronomy 1:18 ), ‘in the uttermost border’ of Edom ( Numbers 20:6 ). The conquest of Joshua reached thus far ( Joshua 10:41 ): It was therefore on the line, running from the Ascent of Akrabbim to the Brook of Egypt, which marked the southern frontier of Canaan ( Numbers 34:4 , Joshua 15:3 ). In Genesis 20:1 it is placed east of Gerar; and in Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28 between Tamar and the Brook of Egypt. All this points definitely to the place discovered by the Rev. J. Rowlands in 1842. The ancient name persists in the modern ‘Ain QadÃ®s , ‘holy spring.’ An abundant stream rises at the foot of a limestone cliff. Caught by the wells and pools made for its reception, it creates in its brief course, ere it is absorbed by the desert, a stretch of greenery and beauty amid the waste. From the high grazing grounds far and near, the flocks and herds come hither for the watering. The place was visited again by Dr. H. Clay Trumbull, whose book, Kadesh Barnea (1884), contains a full account of the spring and its surroundings. It lies in the territory of the ‘AzÃ¢zine Arabs, about 50 miles south of Beersheba, to the south-west of Naqb es-SafÃ¢h a pass opening towards Palestine from WÃ¢dy el-Fiqra , which may he the Ascent of Akrabbim and east of WÃ¢dy JerÃ»r . The name ‘ En-mishpat , ‘Fountain of Judgment’ ( Genesis 14:7 ), was doubtless due to the custom of coming here for the authoritative settlement of disputes (Driver, Genesis, ad loc ).
For Kadesh on the Orontes see Tahtim-hodshi.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Kadesh, Sacred, or Kadesh-barnea ( Kâ'Desh-Bär'Ne-Ah ). A place on the southern frontier of Canaan. It was "eleven days," or about 165 miles, distant from Horeb, Deuteronomy 1:2 : on the border of Edom, Numbers 20:16; not far from Gerar, Genesis 20:1; to the east of Bered, Genesis 16:14; in the desert of Zin, Numbers 20:1; Numbers 27:14; Numbers 33:36; Deuteronomy 32:51; and the point to which Chedorlaomer returned, having driven the Horites over the Arabah into the Et Tih region, and then going northward. Genesis 14:7. In Scripture it is sometimes called Kadesh alone, and sometimes Kadesh-barnea, and is identical with Meribah-kadesh, Ezekiel 47:19; Joshua 15:3; Joshua 15:23; with En-Mishpat = the fountain of judgment, Genesis 14:7; and with Rithmah = the broom, Numbers 33:18, thus called from a shrub growing in the desert. Spies were sent into the land of Canaan. The people rebelled, and were condemned to 40 years sojourn in the wilderness, Numbers 13:14, during which time Kadesh seems to have been their chief centre. At the end of 40 years they encamped again at Kadesh for a march to Canaan. Numbers 20:1. Here Miriam died and was buried, and the rock was smitten for water. Numbers 20:1-21. It was 40 to 50 miles directly south of Beer-sheba.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Genesis 14:7 Numbers 13:3-26 14:29-33 20:1 27:14 Deuteronomy 2:1
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; Psalm 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 .)
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Ka'desh. See Kadeshbarnea .
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
A place in the desert of Zin. ( Numbers 20:1) The name means, holy or holiness.
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(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.
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Ka´desh or Kadesh-barnea, a site on the south-eastern border of the Promised Land towards Edom, of much interest as being the point at which the Israelites twice encamped 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 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 (;;;; comp. ). There was also at Kadesh a fountain (En-mishpat) mentioned long before the exode of the Israelites 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. After this, 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 . 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' (; comp. ).
From these intimations the map-makers, who found it difficult to reconcile them with the place usually assigned to Kadesh (in the desert about midway between the Mediterranean and Dead Sea), were in the habit of placing a second Kadesh nearer the Dead Sea and the Wady Arabah. But it was shown by Dr. Kitto in the Pictorial Bible (Note on ) that one Kadesh would sufficiently answer all the conditions required, by being placed more to the south, nearer to Mount Hor, on the west border of the Wady Arabah, than this second Kadesh.
According to this view Kadesh was laid down in his map in the same line, and not far from the place which has since been assigned to it from actual observation by Dr. Robinson. This concurrence of different lines of research in the same result is curious and valuable, and the position of Kadesh will be regarded as now scarcely open to dispute. It was clear that the discovery of the fountain in the northern part of the great valley would go far to fix the question. Robinson accordingly discovered a fountain called Ain el-Weibeh, which is even at this day the most frequented watering-place in all the Arabah, and he was struck by the entire adaptedness of the site to the Scriptural account of the proceedings of the Israelites on their second arrival at Kadesh. 'Over against us lay the land of Edom; we were in its uttermost border; and the great Wady el-Ghuweir afforded a direct and easy passage through the mountains to the table-land above, which was directly before us; while further in the south Mount Hor formed a prominent and striking object, at the distance of two good days' journey for such a host' (Bib. Researches, ii. 538). Further on (p. 610) he adds: 'There the Israelites would have Mount Hor in the S.S.E. towering directly before them… in the N.W. rises the mountain by which they attempted to ascend to Palestine, with the pass still called Sufah (Zephath); while further north we find also Tell Arad, marking the site of the ancient Arad. To all this comes then the vicinity of the southern bay of the Dead Sea, the line of cliffs or offset separating the Ghôr from the Arabah, answering to the ascent of Akrabbim; and the desert of Zin, with the place of the same name between Akrabbim and Kadesh, not improbably at the water of Hasb, in the Arabah. In this way all becomes easy and natural, and the Scriptural account is entirely accordant with the character of the country.'
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
kā´desh ( קדשׁ , ḳādhēsh ; Καδής , Kadḗs , Psalm 29:8; Judith 1:9). See Kadesh-Barnea .
- Kadesh from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Kadesh from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Kadesh from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Kadesh from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Kadesh from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- Kadesh from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Kadesh from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Kadesh from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature
- Kadesh from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia