<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1906385056278061&ev=PageView&noscript=1" />
Skip to main content Accessibility feedback

Cades

Name of three, or probably four cities mentioned in Scripture

Click to enlarge

Cades, — The name, according to the Vulgate and the Septuagint, of three, or probably four cities mentioned in Scripture.

(I) Cades, or Cadesbarne [Heb. Shdq (Qadesh) “Holy”, and cnrb q (Q. Barnea); the meaning of Barnea is uncertain], a city on the extreme southern border of Palestine (Num., xx, 16; xxxiv, 4; Jos., xv, 3). In Ps. xxviii (xxix), 8 the name is extended to the surrounding desert. That Cades and Cadesbarne are one place is seen by comparing Num., xiii, 27, with Num., xxxii, 8, Deut., i, 19, etc. In Gen., xiv, 7, it is called En Mishpat (Vulg., lantern Misphat), “fountain of decision”, or “judgment”, which probably was its earlier name. The two names seem to indicate that a sanctuary with an oracle existed at the place in pre-Israelitic times. Cades, after Sinai, holds the most important place in the history of the forty years’ wandering of the Israelites in the desert. They came from Horeb (Sinai) through the desert of Pharan, after eleven days’ journey (Dent., i, 2, 19), with the intention of invading Chanaan from the south (lb., i, 20 sq.). From here spies were sent to explore the country, and here, on their return, forty days after, the discouraging reports of all but Caleb and Josue provoked a mutiny which changed the course of events. In punishment the people were condemned to wander thirty-eight years more, and all who had reached manhood, except Caleb and Josue, were to die in the desert. To escape this fate the mass of the people, instead of obeying the command to return towards the Red Sea, left Moses at Cades and pushed northward with the purpose of penetrating into the Promised Land, but met with disastrous defeat near Horma (Num., xiii, 2 xiv, 45; Deut., i, 22-44). During the stay at Cades occurred the death of Mary, the sister of Moses, and the second miraculous flow of water, on which latter occasion Moses and Aaron were excluded from the Land of Promise for their want of trust in God (Num., xx, 1-13). Cades was probably also the scene of the rebellion of Core, Dathan, and Abiron (Num., xvi).

Lastly, it was from Cades that Moses, when about to begin the march to the tableland of Moab and the Jordan, sent to the King of Edom to obtain permission to pass through his territory. The permission being refused, the Israelites were forced to turn aside from Edom, passing probably through Wady el-Ithm, at the southern end of the valley of the Arabah (Num., xx, 14 sqq.; Deut., ii, 1 sqq.).

Opinions differ about the length of the stay at Cades. Many hold that the command to retrace theft steps towards the Red Sea was carried out after the defeat of the Israelites near Horma, and that they came to Cades a second time at the beginning of the fortieth year of wandering. This second stay is said to be indicated by Num., xx, 1 sqq. In this opinion the stations (seats of headquarters and of the tabernacle) in Num., xxxiii, 19-35, i.e. from Remmomphares to Asiongaber, belong to the years of wandering between the first and the second visit to Cades. It is more probable, however, that the headquarters and the tabernacle remained at Cades all these years, while the people roamed about in the neighboring desert in search of pasturage for their flocks and herds. This view seems more in accordance with Deut., i, 40, ii, 1 sqq. In this case the stations up to Hesmona (Num., xxxiii, 29) would belong to the journey from Sinai to Cades; those following Hesmona, to the march towards Moab. The insertion of verses 36-40 after verse 29 would then seem necessary, but the change would clear up this part of the itinerary.

A good deal of controversy has existed concerning the site of Cades, no less than eighteen places having been proposed. This may now be considered as settled in favor of `Ain Qadis or Gadis, discovered by J. Rowlands in 1842, fifty miles south of Bersabee. Its only serious rival, `Ain el-Weibeh, on the western edge of the Arabah, forty-five miles farther east, which was advocated by Robinson and others, is now generally abandoned. `Ain Qadts (“Holy Well”) preserves the name Cades both in meaning and etymology, and best satisfies the Scriptural data. These place Cades to the south of, and close to, the Negeb, the “south” (Num., xiii, 30), or “south country” (Gen., xx, 1) of our English version (cf. Gen., xx, 1; Num., xiii, 23, 30; xiv, 43 sq.; Deut., i, 19, 20), in the Desert of Sin, which was northeast of the desert of Pharan (cf. Num., xx, 1; xxvii, 14; xxxiii, 36; Deut., xxxii, 51), near the middle of the southern frontier of the land assigned to Israel (Num., xxxiv, 4; Jos., xv, 3). It must therefore be sought in the north of the barren plateau Badiet et-Tih, “the desert of wandering”, about midway between the Arabah and the Mediterranean, that is in the region in which ‘Ain Qadis is situated. Moreover, the position of ‘Ain Qadis, at a short distance from the junction of the main roads leading north, and its abundant supply of good water, a rare thing in the desert, are advantages which must have made it an important point, and which would be most likely to attract the Israelites. Num., xx, 2 sqq., is no objection to the identification. Cades, wherever situated, must have been near a supply of water. The miracle in all likelihood occurred at a distance from the town. Still, it is quite possible that the springs (there are several) may for some reason have temporarily run dry, and the cliff from underneath which issue the waters of ‘Ain Qadts may well be the rock struck by Moses‘ rod. In the Vulgate text of Ecclus., xxiv, 18, mention is made of the palms of Cades. But the readings, en Eggadois, en Gaddi, en Gaddois, found in some MSS., seem to show that Engaddi, where palms were abundant, was referred to by the sacred writer. The Sixtine ed. of the Septuagint has en aiggialois, “on the seashore”.

CADES [Heb. shdq (Qudesh) “sanctuary”], a city of the Negeb or “south country” (Jos., Ay, 23). It is sometimes identified with Cadesbarne, but is more probably distinct from it.

CADES (or CEDES) OF THE HETHITES (HITTITES), a city which critical conjecture substitutes for Hodsi in II Kings, xxiv, 6. It is identified with the Qodshu of Egyptian monuments, and is generally placed on the Lake of Horns (Emesa), Syria, at the point where the Orontes issues from it. (See also the article Cedes.)

F. BECHTEL


Enjoying this content?  Please support our mission! Donate