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For other uses, see Cades and Qadesh.
Tel Kedesh in 2010

The ruins of the ancient Canaanite village of Kedesh are located 3 km northeast of the modern Kibbutz Malkiya in Israel on the Israeli-Lebanese border.[1]

Kedesh was first documented in the Book of Joshua as a Canaanite citadel that was conquered by the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua. Ownership for Kedesh was turned over, by lot, to the tribe of Naphtali and subsequently, at the command of God, Kedesh was set apart by Joshua as one of the Cities of Refuge along with Shechem and Kiriath Arba (Hebron) (Joshua 20:7).

In the 8th century BCE during the reign of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria took Kedesh and deported its inhabitants to Assyria (2 Kings 15:29).

Later, in the 5th century BCE Kedesh may have become the capital for the Persian-controlled שמג Tyrian-administrated province of the Upper Galilee.[2]

In 259 BCE Kedesh was mentioned by Zenon, a traveling merchant from Egypt.[3]

Between 145 BCE and 143 BCE, Kedesh (Cades) was overthrown by Jonathan Maccabeus in his fight against Seleucid king Demetrius II Nikator.[4][5] It remains abandoned. Tel Kedesh continues to be excavated by the University of Michigan.


In the Book of Judges, the great oak tree in Zaanaim is stated to be near Kedesh, though this verse could be a reference to a second Tel Kedesh, located 3 km to the south of Megiddo, within the territory of the Israelite tribe of Issachar. (Judges 4:11)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Negev and Gibson, 2005, p. 278.
  2. ^ Berlin, Andrea and Herbert, Sharon (2005). "Life and Death on the Israel-Lebanon Border". Biblical Archaeology Review 31 (5), 34-43.
  3. ^ Papyrus Cairo Zenon I 59.004
  4. ^ 1 Maccabees 11:63-74 (text)
  5. ^ Antiquities of the Jews 13.154-62; The Wars of the Jews 2.459, 4.104.

External links[edit]

  • History of Kedesh


Coordinates: 33°06′42″N 35°31′46″E / 33.111638°N 35.529517°E / 33.111638; 35.529517