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Meaning and etymology of the name Kadesh

Kadesh Kadesh

Kadesh is a town in southern Canaan, close to Beer-lahai-roi (Genesis 16:14), and first mentioned in the war of four against five kings (Genesis 14:7). It's also known as Enmishpat (Genesis 14:7) and Kadesh-barnea (Numbers 32:8).

The name Kadesh comes from the verb Kedesh (qadash) to be consecrated, hallowed, sanctified. Many scholars believe that this verb originally meant to separate, but that belief is made challengeable by the lack of occurrences of this verb in a secular context. in Akkadian this verb means to be clean or pure. The Biblical usage of this verb is pretty much on a par with the English verb to consecrate or be holy.

Usually nouns derive from verbs but in this case the verb came from a noun. And there are other nouns crafted from this same stock:

qodesh (qodesh) means apartness, holiness, sacredness.
qadosh (qadosh), means holy, holy one, saint.
qadesh (qadesh), denotes a male temple prostitute (Deuteronomy 23:18).
Kedesh (miqdash) means holy place or sanctuary.

For a meaning of the name Kadesh, NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Holy. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names doesn't treat Kadesh separately but reads Sacred for the Kadesh-part of Kadesh-barnea.

A related name is Kedesh.



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