🔼The name Kedemoth: Summary
- Ancient Lands, Eastern Territories
- From the noun קדם (qedem), east or antiquity.
🔼The name Kedemoth in the Bible
The name Kedemoth belongs to an originally Amorite or Moabite city on the eastern side of the Jordan. From it Moses sent messengers to king Sihon of Heshbon asking him for passage for the Israelites but in fact informing him that his kingdom had come to an end (Deuteronomy 2:26).
Before the conquest of Canaan, Moses gave Reuben the lands of Sihon and environs and that included Kedemoth (Joshua 13:18). Later still, Joshua told Israel to give cities to the Levites, and the Reubenites gave Kedemoth to the Merarites (Joshua 21:37, 1 Chronicles 6:79).
🔼Etymology of the name Kedemoth
The name Kedemoth appears to be constructed from a plural form of a feminine version of the noun קדם (qedem), meaning east or antiquity:
The root קדם (qdm) deals with former things and may simply refer to antiquity but more specifically a more primitive social state: more social dispersal, less social cohesion and connectedness, less economic and technological complexity and thus less specialization and ultimately less personal freedom of being.
Noun קדם (qedem) may mean antiquity but it may also mean east (the place of sunrise). The denominative verb קדם (qadam) means to be or do earlier, to anticipate, to be in front, to meet.
The adverb קדם (qedem) means eastward (or toward a condition of more dispersal and less complexity). Noun קדמה (qadma) may refer to antiquity or a former (less complex) state. Noun קדים (qadim) means easter or eastern and is often used to indicate a destructive wind that blows toward the east. Adjectives קדמון (qadmon) and קדמני (qadmoni) mean eastern or former.
For a meaning of the name Kedemoth, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Ancient Places and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Beginnings, Ancients. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate our name but does list it under the noun קדם (qedem).