🔼The name Kedesh: Summary
- Sacred Place, Sanctuary
- From the verb קדש (qadash), to be holy or consecrated.
🔼The name Kedesh in the Bible
There are three towns named Kedesh in the Bible:
- The first one is a Canaanite town conquered by Joshua (Joshua 12:22), which eventually became situated in the territory assigned to the tribe of Naphtali (Joshua 19:37), and hence also known as Kedesh-naphtali. Its modest claim to fame is that it would be the home town of general Barak (Judges 4:6). The people of Kedesh-naphtali were among the first ones to be deported at the start of the era of exiles (2 Kings 16:29).
- Another Kedesh is a town in south Judah (Joshua 15:23).
- A third one is a town in Issachar, which was assigned to the Gershomite Levites (1 Chronicles 6:72). In Joshua 19:20 and 21:28 this town is called Kishion.
🔼Etymology of the name Kedesh
The name Kedesh comes from the verb קדש (qadash) to be consecrated 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 Kedesh, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Sacred Place. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Sanctuary.