🔼The name Kadesh: Summary
- Holy, Sacred
- From the verb קדש (qadash), to be holy or consecrated.
🔼The name Kadesh in the Bible
Kadesh is a town in southern Canaan, close to Beer-lahai-roi in the Negev region (Genesis 16:14, see 24:62), and first mentioned in the war of four against five kings (Genesis 14:7). It's also known as En-mishpat (Genesis 14:7) and Kadesh-barnea (Numbers 32:8).
🔼Etymology of the name Kadesh
The name Kadesh comes from the verb קדש (qadash) to be consecrated, hallowed or sanctified:
The verb קדש (qadash) means to be holy, which essentially means to be permanent and unalterable. This verb is the opposite of חלל (halal), to be profane, which actually means to pierce, and thus to alter or use until entirely worn. Over the centuries many items have been declared holy and kept in glass boxes and devoid of any practical usefulness, but despite the best intentions of men, everything falls apart and only the laws of nature are truly holy. The Bible's unique insight in these matters has the human embodiment of natural law pierced rather than preserved behind bullet proof glass. The hallowed alternative, still painfully rampant in our modern world, violates the First Commandment and is destined to be ruined by the very natural law it sought to represent.
Noun קדש (qodesh), meaning apartness or sacredness of items and places. The familiar term קדש הקדשים (qodesh haqodeshim), or Holy of Holies, is formed from this word. Adjective קדוש (qadosh) means sacred or holy. This is also the word for "saint." Verb קדש (qadash) means to consecrate, make or be holy. Nouns קדש (qadesh) and קדשה (qadesha) refer respectively to male and female religious prostitutes. Noun מקדש (miqdash), literally a place of separateness or holiness, denotes a religious place or facility.
For a meaning of the name Kadesh, NOBSE 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.