History of the old Covenant
Johann Heinrich Kurtz
1872 AD

(History of the old covenant: Johann Heinrich Kurtz,1872 AD, Vol 3, Geological survey, p217-254)

Between 1872 - 1891, Keil and Delitzsch rejected a transjordan location for Kadesh Barnea on the basis of what Johann Heinrich Kurtz reported in his History of the old covenant:, 1872 AD, Vol 3, Geological survey, p225-226. Keil and Delitzsch said this: "See Kurtz, History of the Old Covenant, vol. iii. p. 225, (History of the old covenant : Johann Heinrich Kurtz,1872, vol, 3 p 225) where the current notion, that Kadesh was situated on the western border of the Arabah, below the Dead Sea, by either Ain Hasb or Ein El Weibeh, is successfully refuted." (Keil and Delitzsch, Num 12:16, footnote) When you read Kurtz's actual evidence that Kadesh Barnea could not be transjordan, this is what Kurtz said: ""This mountain barrier," says Williams, "proved to us beyond a doubt, that we were now standing on the southern boundary of the promised land." They were confirmed in their opinion by the statement of the guide, that a few hours journey towards the south-west would bring them to Kadesh." Kurtz also makes several enormous errors in his account while describing a location of Ein El Weibeh on the western edge of the Arabah Valley. First he thinks Ein El Weibeh is at the same longitude as Beersheba. The intersecting line of the latitude is 30 miles due west of where he is standing. In fact Beersheeba is 40 miles NW of where he is standing. Then he notes the Bedouin says Ein el Qedeis is only 2 hours away, when it is in fact 50 miles away, likely a 3 day journey, knowing the terrain. Exactly why this unknown mountain barrier would have any bearing on locating the southern boundary of the promised land is a mystery, and is purely speculative therefore worthless. The real reason Keil and Delitzsch and Kurtz believe Kadesh cannot be transjordan is because the Bedouin guide told them that Ein el Qedeis preserves the name "Kadesh". This association has since been utterly rejected. Ein el Qedeis was rejected in 1914, in favour of Ein el Qudeirat, located about 6 km NW of Ein el Qedeis. So in the end, the very association of the name in the mind of the Bedouin guide proved absolutely nothing. Keil and Delitzsch relied upon Kurtz's account which was full of errors. This means they have no good reasons why Kadesh Barnea cannot be transjordan even though the reasons sounded convincing at the time. This comedy of errors underscores how little the explorers knew 100 years ago.


"In October 1842 (according to the account given by Williams in his "Holy City" p. 487 sqq.), the two friends made an excursion beyond Hebron, for the purpose of putting to the test on the very spot, the accounts which still wavered as to the southern boundary of Palestine. They went from Arar (Araran, Aroer) towards the south-west, and ascended from the table-land of Arar, the first mountain rampart, by which it is bounded on the south. They now found themselves upon a still higher plateau, which stretches from east to west, and is called the Wady Rakmah. It answers to the district of the Dhullam and Saidiyeh on Robinson's map. After going still farther south, they ascended a second mountain-range, from the summit of which a scene presented itself to the view of the most magnificent character. (From statements made by Williams elsewhere, the point at which they now stood was somewhere about the longitude of Beersheba, twenty miles to the south of this place, near 31° north latitude, 32.5° longitude. [www.bible.ca note: these coordinates and location are totally wrong, these coordinates place them in Goshen, Egypt.) A gigantic mountain towered above them in savage grandeur, with masses of linked rock, resembling the bastions of some Cyclopean architecture, the end of which it was impossible for the eye to reach towards either the west or the east. It extended also a long way towards the south; and with its rugged, broken, and dazzling masses of chalk, which reflected the burning rays of the sun, it looked like an unapproachable furnace, a most fearful desert without the slightest trace of vegetation. A broad defile, called Wady Murreh, ran at the foot of this bulwark towards the east, and after a course of several miles, on reaching the strangely formed mountain of Modder a (Maduran), it divided into two parts, the southern branch still retaining the same name and running eastwards to the Arabah, whilst the other was called Wady Fikreh, and ran in a north-easterly direction to the Dead Sea. " This mountain barrier," says Williams, " proved to us beyond a doubt, that we were now standing on the southern boundary of the promised land." They were confirmed in their opinion by the statement of the guide, that a few hours journey towards the south-west would bring them to Kadesh. 26. As you pass along the ordinary road to Hebron, on the western side of the mountainous district of the Azazimeh, the whole of the mountain-slopes between Jebel Araif and Jebel Khalil (or the heights of Hebron) appear to form a continued and unbroken range. But just as the separation of the mountains of the Amorites from the northern wall of the Azazimat, by the Wady Murreh, is concealed by the link which connects the two together to the east of Eboda; so do the projecting ranges of the western wall of the Azazimat keep out of sight an extended desert plain, which runs for many miles into the heart of the Azazimat on the other side of the Jebel Moyleh, and into which several wadys open from the eastern side of the mountain (e.g. the Wady Kesaimeh, the Wady Muweilih [ Moilahi], and the Wady Eetemat). "In the remote background, surrounded by the wilderness, there stands in a state of remarkable isolation the strong rock with its copious spring, —the spot which still bears the ancient name of Kadesh (Ain Kudés) (1), and of which Rowlands was the discoverer." That this is the wilderness of Kadesh, which plays so important a part in the history of the sojourn of the Israelites, is apparently no longer open to dispute (3). From the peculiar configuration of the soil, we may easily understand why this plain, which has a distinct name of its own (viz., Kadésh), should sometimes be regarded as a part of the desert of Paran (et-Tih), and at other times as belonging to that of Zin (the plain of Murreh) (2)." (History of the old covenant: Johann Heinrich Kurtz,1872 AD, Vol 3, Geological survey, p225-226)



VIDE J. Rowlands appendix to G. Williams " Holy City," p.
488 sqq.—Fr. Tuch Bemerkungen zu Gen. xw., in the " Zeitschrift
der deutsch-morgenländischen Gesellschaft/' vol. i. Heft.
ii., p. 160 sqq. (especially p. 169 sqq.)—W. Fries, " über die Lage
von Kades und den hiemit zusammenhängenden Theil der
Geschichte Israels in der Wüste :" in the " Theologische Studien
und Kritiken/' 1854, i. p. 50-90.—Babbi J. Schwarz (of
Jerusalem), " das heilige Land/' Frankfort 1852, p. 347 sqq.—
Also the works of K. v. Räumer, Robinson, Labor de, and K.Ritter,
mentioned at the commencement of § 1. The last-named author
has also published a small treatise in Piper's "Evangelischer
Kalender," 1854, p. 41-55, entitled " die Wandrung des Volkes
Israel durch die Wüste zum Jordan.'*
23. The borders of the biblical desert of Paran corresp
ond, on the whole,
to the boundaries assigned by the modern Bedouins to the
desert of et-Tih (vol. ii. § 12). It embraces the tract of desert between Egypt, Palestine, and the mountains of Seir,
which is separated from the Sinaitic peninsula (in the strictest
sense) by the border mountains of et-Tih. This broad, desert
tract of table-land is completely surrounded by a fringe of desert
on a lower level. The desert of Jif ar (or Shur) divides it on the
west from the Egyptian territory (§ 2, 5), on the south-west be-

yond the mountains of er-Eahah, from the Heroopolitan gulf,
and on the north-west from the Mediterranean. On the north it
is separated from the mountains of the Amorites, the southern
slope of the table-land of Palestine, by the broad valley of
Murreh (or the desert of Sin, § 26, 1). On the east it falls
abruptly into the Arabah, which divides it from the mountains
of the Edomites; and on the south, on the other side of the
mountains of et-Tih, stretches the sandy desert-plain of er-
Eamleh, out of which the promontories of the mountains of
Serbal and Sinai immediately rise. The old Testament furnishes
indisputable proofs that the desert of Paran was quite as
extensive as this. (
1.) To Tuch belongs the merit of having been the first to
throw light upon what is meant in the Old Testament by the
desert of Paran (see his excellent treatise mentioned above).—
Such was the nature of the desert between Egypt, Palestine,
and Edom, that it could hardly fail to be regarded as one desert,
and called by a common name. This was really the case, then,
in ancient as well as modern times. That it was situated between
Edom, Midian, and Egypt, is evident from 1 Kings xi. 18. A
number of passages may be brought to show that on the north
it touched the southern boundary of Palestine (e.g. Gen. xxi. 21,
compare ver 14 ; Num. xiii. 4, 18, 27, etc.). That it reached as
far as the Elanitic gulf on the south-east, is evident from Gen.
xiv. 6, where Chedoiiaomer is represented as marching through
the mountains of Seir on the eastern side from north to south as
far as El-Paran (nj&D'P^), and then turn
ing round and proceeding in a northerly direction along the western side of the mountains
of Seir to Kadesh (on the southern borders of Palestine).
This El-Paran (= Terebinth-grove of Paran), as Tuch has shown (
p. 170), cannot be any other than the ancient El
ath or Aileh, at the northern extremity of the Elanitic gulf to which it
has given the name. Elath formed the actual gate of
Arabia Petrosa, and as such is distinguished here by the cognomen
Paran. It is for this very reason that it is described as
situated " at the entrance to the desert " (^fòiT^). The march
of the Israelites from Sinai to the southern borders of Palestine,
which brought them into the desert of Paran at the end of three



days (Num. x. 12, 33), though, they were still in the desert of
Paran when they had reached their destination (Num. xiii. 1? 4,
27), confirms the statement as to its extent from north to south.
The mountains of et-Tih (which commence immediately at the
western shores of the Elanitic gulf, with the promontory of Eas
TJm Haiyeh, and continue in an uninterrupted curve to the
vicinity of the gulf of Suez), along with the mountain chain
Jebel er-Eahah, which joins them here and runs parallel to the
of that gulf, form the southern and south-western boundary of the desert of Paran ; and this is rendered the more indisputable
by the fact that the table-land enclosed by this mountain
chain has just the same character throughout. The desert of
et-Tih is certainly divided into two halves by the Jebel el-Oejmeh
and the large Wady of el-Arish, which run directly across it from
north to south ; but that the western half was formerly regarded
as belonging to the desert of Paran, just as it does now to that
of et-Tih, is evident from the relation in which the desert of
Paran stood to the desert of Shur and to Egypt (Gen. xvi. 14,
xx. 1, xxi. 21, xxv. 18), as well as to the country of the Amale-
kites. It is obvious from Gen. xiv. 6, and Deut. i. 1, that the
Arabah formed its eastern boundary. (
2.) Notwithstanding the fact that the desert of et-Tih is
so compl
etely shut in towards the south by the mountains of et-Tih, it is still questionable whether the ancient desert of Paran
did not extend still further southwards, viz., to the promontories
of Sinai and Serbal, so as to include the present desert of er-
Eamleh. Two things might be adduced in support of this.
First, the name of the Wady Feiran, which passes round the
mountains of Serbal in a northerly direction (§ 5, 3). In this
exceedingly fertile v
alley there are still to be seen the ruins of a city called Pharan, which was once a place of some importance.
But in spite of the similarity in the names, with so clearly
defined a natural boundary as the Jebel et-Tih, we are not at
liberty to place the boundaries of the desert of Paran so far
south as this; still less can we follow Baumer (Zug der Israel-
iten, p. 38), who supposes that two deserts of the same name
occur in Scripture, the one on the one side and the
other on the other side of the mountains of et-Tih. It should be mentioned,
however, that he has retracted this opinion in the third edition
of his Geography of Palestine.


3.) The second argument which might be adduced to prove
that the desert of Paran extended further towards the south, is
founded upon Num. x. 12, "the children of Israel took their
journeys out of the wilderness of S
inai, and the cloud descended in the desert of Paran." According to this, the first halting-place
after leaving Sinai (the " place of burning," or " graves of lust"),
which was reached in three days (Num. x. 33), was in the desert
of Paran. But if we turn to Num. xii. 16 (" the people removed
from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran"), the third
station from Sinai appears to have been the first which was
situated in the desert of Paran. Tuch (p. 177) reconciles the two
statements in this way. He assigns them to two different authors,
both of whom had the same point in their mind (namely, the
northern boundary of the desert of Paran), but " the earlier of
whom passed over a series of halting-places, whilst the later supplemented
chap. xii. 16, and mentioned the fact that the Israelites
reached Paran from Chazeroth by crossing the ridge of the
mountain." Ranke (ii. 198 seq.) and HengstenbergÇRvù&am) adopt
the same view, except that they maintain the unity of authorship
notwithstanding. " Before entering more minutely into the details
of the march," says Ranke, "which he does from chap. x. 33
onwards, the author mentions at the very outset (chap. x. 12) the
ultimate destination, viz., Paran on the borders of the promised
land." Hengstenberg also writes to the same effect : " After the
terminus a quo (Sinai) and the terminus ad quern (Paran) have
been given, there follow the particulars
of the march : the place of burning, the graves of lust, Chazeroth, and the desert of
Paran." But this solution appears to us a forced one. The
natural course of the narrative in chap. x. compels us to refer
ver. 12 to the first place of encampment. The statement contained
in ver. 12 is repeated in ver. 33, after a few parenthetical
remarks, and carried out still further. We adhere, therefore, to
the view already expressed, that, according to Num. x. 12, the
first station was situated within the limits of the desert of Paran.
Chapter x. 12 gives us the
most southerly, and chap. xiii. 1 the most northerly station in that desert. In this case the desert of
Paran must undoubtedly have extended farther towards the
south, than the principal chain of the mountains of et-Tih. For,
to Deut. i. 2, the entire distance from Sinai to Kadesh (to which we are brought in Num. xiii. 1, compare ver. 27) was




eleven days' journey ; and if we divide the road from Sinai to
Kadesh (on the southern border of Canaan) into eleven equal
parts, the end of the third day's journey (chap. x. 33) will fall
at any rate to the south of the Jebel et-Tih. But this need not
astonish us, for it is well known that, in addition to the principal
chain of these mountains (which runs close up to the sea in the
vicinity of Bas Um Haiyeh), there is a side branch towards the
south, which not only bears the same name, et-Tih, but which
also runs in a south-easterly direction, and approaches the sea-
coast. The end of the third day's journey falls within the triangle
formed by the two branches of the Jebel et-Tih and the
coast (according to the measurement afforded by Deut. i. 2), and
we have no hesitation in reckoning this triangle as a portion of
the desert of Paran, on the ground of the passage before us (
chap. x. 12), for the very same reason that the southern branch
of the mountain range is still called Jebel et-Tih. §
24. The large tract of desert which, as we have seen, is .
called in the Old Testament by the common name
of the Desert of Paran, slopes generally downwards in the direction from
south to north, and rises from west to east, until it falls abruptly
into the Ar
abah. In Deut. i. 19 it is most appropriately designated a " great and terrible desert." In general, it consists of
table-land, on which bare limestone and sandstone rocks, dazzling
chalk and red sand-hills, are almost the sole relief from the parched
and barren tracts of sand, interspersed with gravel and black nint-
stones. At the same time, so much water falls in
the wadys during the rainy season, that a scanty supply of grass and herbs may
be found for the support of passing herds. There are
also a few wells and fountains with a constant supply of water.
The desert is divided into two halves, an eastern and a western,
by the Wady el-Arish (called in the Old Testament " brook of
Egypt," by the Greeks, u Rhinokolura") which runs completely
from north to south. Although there are several by no means
inconsiderable mountains in the western half, it is distin-
tinguished from the eastern by a far greater regularity and
flatness in the soil. We need not enter into any minute de-;


scription of the western half, as the sojourn of the Israelites
was confined exclusively to the eastern. In the latter a large
mountain-range, the
Jebel el-Oejmehj branches off from the Jebel et-Tih, near to the mouth of the Wady el-Arish, and runs
parallel to the latter. The southern portion of this eastern
half (about two-thirds of the whole) has throughout a similar
character to
the western. It consists of barren, sandy tableland, the surface of which is broken by but a very small number
of isolated mountains. Its slope towards the north-east is
indicated by the large Wady el-Jerafeli, which commences at
the foot of the Jebel et-Tih? and runs in a north-easterly direction
to the Arabah, where it opens into the Wady el-Jib? through
which it pours the waters of the desert into the Dead Sea.—
But the last part, the northern third of this eastern half, has a
totally different ch
aracter. There suddenly rises from the plain a strong mountain fastness, of a rhomboid shape and of the
same breadth as the "Wady el-Jerafeh, at the point where it
joins the Arab ah ; and this mountain covers the whole of the
northern portion of the eastern half of the desert. At the present
day it is called, after its inhabitants, the mountain country
of the Azazimeh, or simply the Azâzimat. §
25. The interior of the mountain district of the Azâzi-
meh, which covers an area of about forty square miles, is still
almost entirely a terra incognita. The inhospitable character
of the district and the rapacity of its dreaded inhabitants have
deterred travellers from penetrating further; and it is only
quite recently that Rowlands has prepared the way for a more
thorough investigation of this land, which is so important for
biblical geography.—The Azâzimat forms a square, or, to speak
more exactly, a rhomboid mountain fastness, which rises precipitously,
almost perpendicularly, from the surrounding valleys
or plains on the south, the east, and the north; and it
is only on the western side that it slopes off more gradually
towards the Wady el-Arish. As it is completely detached on




every side? and forms a compact mass with, its gigantic mountain
groups, it presents the most striking contrast to the desert
by which it is surrounded, and would be altogether isolated, "
were it not that, towards the north-west, instead of terminating
abruptly in a corner column, a line of mountains intervenes,
and thus prevents entire separation from the Amorite
mountains." The southern boundary wall of this mountain for-
tre^o is formed by a range which rises steeply and in an imposing
manner from the desert, and runs in a straight line from west
to east, and which towers up to an immense height at both
the eastern and western ends. The corner column towards the
east, quite close to the Arabah, is called Jebel el-Mekrah^ and
that towards the west Jebel Araif en-Nahah. The eastern wall
rises with equal abruptness from the Arabah, but is intersected
by several defiles, which furnish approaches of more or less
difficulty into our mountain fortress. The northern boundary
wall, Jebel Halal, which had remained altogether unknown until
very recently, is cut off almost vertically by a broad defile, the
Wady Murren, which runs from east to west, and opens into
the Arabah. On the oth
er side
of this valley, the plateau er-Rakmah, the southern rampart of the Palestinian mountains of the Amorites, rises perpendicularly. The Wady Murreh is
as much as ten or fifteen miles broad. At
the eastern extremity the solitary mountain of Madurah (Moddera) rises in the very
midst of the
valley. To the south of this mountain the principal valley bends in a south-easterly direction towards the
Arabah, still bearing the name of Wady Murreh, and to the
north of the Madurah a side branch of the valley leads through
el-Ghor to the Dead Sea, under the name of Wady Fikreh.—
When passing through the Wady Murreh, the ascent is
constant from the lowest level of the Arabah, and therefore the
relative height of the mountain walls, by which it is enclosed
on the north and south, is continually diminishing. You proceed
westwards, and arrive at length at the link, already referred
to, by which the south-western corner of the Amoritish pia-


teau of Rakmah is connected with the north-western corner of
the Azâzimat. This link is formed by an eminence to the east
of Eboda (el-Abdeh), "from which the
Jebel Garrah and Jebel Gamar emerge,
the former towards the north-west, and the latter to the south-west, and encircle Eboda in the form
of an amphitheatre." The western wall of the mountain fortress
runs in a straight line from its south-eastern corner (Jebel
Araif en-Nakah) to the north-eastern heights, which unite it
with the Rakmah, and bears the names of Jebel Yaled and
MoyleTi (or Moilahi). It is a lofty mountain range, from three
to four hundred feet high, which is intersected by numerous
wadys, running parallel to one another from north to south,
and all opening into the Wady el-Arish. The road from
Sinai to Hebron passes at the foot of this western wall of the
Azâzimat, and through the undulating tract of desert land which
lies between it and the Wady el-Arish. (
1.) The reason why the northern boundary of the mountain
land of the Azazimeh remained for so long a period unexplored has
been satisfactorily explained by Fries (p. 66). " So long," he says, "
as the plateau of the Amorites was either ascended on the southeastern
side, viz., from the Arabah through the passes near es-
Suf ah, or skirted on the western side by the road to Hebron above
Eboda and Elusa, the whole district from Jebel Maduran westwards
towards the Hebron road could only be given hypotheti-
cally in the maps ; and it was made to appear that the modern
mountain-land of Azâzimat was a broad and uninterrupted continuation
of the Amoritish mountains, extending as far as the
mountains of Araif and Mekrah. But our views have necessarily
been changed, since G. Williams and J. Rowlands,
instead of proceeding towards the south-east to the pass of
es-Sufah, set out from Arar, and, after travelling to the southwest
along hitherto untrodden roads, and crossing several lofty
plateaux, at length reached a point on the edge
the tableland of Rakmah (the last of the Amoritish mountains towards the south-west), which left no room for doubt as to the
northern slope of the Azâzimat, and the fact that the division
between this mountain land and the Amoritish mountains




was carried to a very great distance in the direction from east
to west."
In October 1842 (according to the account given by Williams
in his " Holy City/' p. 487 sqq.), the two friends made an excursion
beyond Hebron, for
the purpose of putting to the test on the very spot, the accounts which still wavered as to the southern
boundary of Palestine. They went from Arar (Araran, Aroer)
towards the south-west, and ascended from the table-land of
Arar, the first mountain rampart, by which it is bounded on
the south. They now found themselves upon a still higher
plateau, which stretches from east to west, and is called the
Wady Rakmah. It answers to the district of the Dhullam and
Saidiyeh on Robinson's map. After going still farther south,
they ascended a second mountain-range, from the summit of
which a scene presented itself to the view of the most magnificent
character. (From statements made by Williams elsewhere,
the point at which they now stood was somewhere about
the longitude of Beersheba, twenty miles to the south of this
place, near 31° north latitude, 32-|° longitude.) A gigantic
mountain towered above them in savage grandeur, with masses
of linked rock, resembling the bastions of some Cyclopean architecture,
the end of which it was impossible for the eye to reach
towards either the west or the east. It extended also a long
way towards the south; and with its rugged, broken, and
dazzling masses of chalk, which reflected
the burning rays of the sun, it looked like an unapproachable furnace, a most fearful
desert without the slightest trace of vegetation. A broad defile,
called Wady Murreh, ran at
the foot of this bulwark towards the east, and after a course of several miles, on reaching the
strangely formed mountain of Modder a (Maduran), it divided
into two parts, the southern branch still retaining the same
name and running eastwards to the Ar ab ah, whilst the other
was called Wady Fikreh, and ran in a north-easterly direction
to the Dead Sea. " This mountain barrier," says Williams, "
proved to us beyond a doubt, that we were now standing on the
southern boundary of the promised land." They were confirmed
in their opinion by the statement of the guide, that a few hours'
journey towards the south-west would bring them to Kadesh. §
26. As you pass along the ordinary road to Hebron, on the
A VOL. in. p

western side of the mountainous district of the Azazimeh, the
whole of the mountain-slopes between Jebel Araif and Jebel
Khalil (or the heights of Hebron) appear to form a continued
and unbroken range. But just as the separation of the mountains
of the Amorites from the northern wall of the Azazimat,
the Wady Murreh, is concealed by the link which connects the two together to the east of Eboda; so do the projecting
ranges of the western wall of the Azazimat keep out of sight an
extended desert plain, which runs for many miles into the heart
of the Azazimat on the other side of the Jebel Moyleh, and
into which several wadys open from the eastern side of the
mountain (e.g. the Wady Kesaimeh, the Wady Muweilih [
Moilahi], and the Wady Eetemat). "In the remote background,
surrounded by the wilderness, there stands in a state of
remarkable isolation
the strong rock with its copious spring, —the spot which still bears the ancient name of Kadesh (Ain
Kudés) (1), and of which Rowlands was the discoverer." That
this is the wilderness of Kadesli, which plays so important a
part in the history of the sojourn of the Israelites, is apparently
no longer open to dispute (3). From the peculiar configuration
of the soil, we may e
asily understand why this plain, which has a distinct name of its own (viz., Kadésh), should sometimes be
regarded as a part of the desert of Paran (et-Tih), and at other
times as belonging to that of Zin (the plain of Murreh) (2). (
1.) When Roidands was standing with Williams on the
southern slope of
the table-land of Rakmah, he learned from the Sheikh who acted as
their guide, that Kadesh lay towards the south-west on the other side of the plain of Murreh. Circumstances
did not permit the travellers to follow up at the
time the clue which they had so unexpectedly found to the
situation of this important place. But on a second excursion
Rowlands determined to seek out the spot ; and not only succeeded
in his immediate object, but was fortunate enough to
discover several other important localities. He started from
Gaza ; and following the road to Khalasa, at the end of the first
three hours' journey towards the S.S.E. he came upon the site of




the anc
ient Gerar^ in the present Jurf (Torrent) el Jerâr (vol. i. § 63, 1). The next point at which he arrived was Khalasa (
according to Robinson^
the same as Elusa), in which he recognised the Chesil of the Bible. After a further journey of two
hours and a half in a south-westerly direction, he found some
ruins, which the Arabs called Zepâta. (Robinson also visited
this spot, but could not discover the name of the ruins.) Rowlands
could not for a moment doubt that this was the site of the
ancient Zephath (or Hormah, vid. Josh. xv. 30 and Judg. i. 17).
A few hours' journey to the east of Zepâta, the Sheikh informed
him that there was an ancient place called Asluj or Kasluj, and
the pronunciation of the word reminded him of Ziklag (which
was somewhere in the neighbourhood, according to Josh. xv. 31).
They proceeded from Zepâta to the south-west, and in a quarter
of an hour reached the ancient BIT Riihaibeli (the Rehoboth
of the Bible; vid. vol. i. § 71, 3). Ten hours' journey farther
south, five hours to
the south of Eboda, they reached Moyleh, the chief place of encampment for the caravans ; from which
the Moyleh, a mountain in the immediate neighbourhood, takes
its name, and in which there was a
spring (§ 25). This spring is called Muweilih by Robinson ; but the Arabs called
it Moilahhi Kadesah, and pointed out at no great distance the
Beit Hajar (House of Hagar), a rock in which there were
chambers excavated. In this rock Rowlands discovered Hagar's
well (Beer-Lachai), the modern name of which is almost the
same as the ancient one, since Moi (water) could very easily
take the place of Beer (a well).1 It is worthy of note, that Eabbi
Schwarz (das heilige Land, p. 80) also came to the conclusion,
quite independently of Rowlands, that Moilahhi was Hagar's
The name, Moilahhi Kadesah, and the expression in Gen. xvi.
14, "between Kadesh and Bered," both pointed to
the fact that the Kadesh in question was in the immediate neighbourhood ;
and the rock and spring were soon discovered in the plain which
stretches far to the east, but had hitherto been concealed by the
mountain-range of the Jebel Moyle. This plain, which we
may confidently set down
as the ancient desert of Kadesh, embraces a superficial area of about nine or ten English miles in
1 It will be seen from this, that we retract the observations which we made
rather hastily in vol. i. § 57, 1.


length, and five or six in breadth. The rock with the Ain Kades
is situated at the north-east of the plain, where it presents the
appearance of a solitary promontory of the Jebel Halal (§25).
It is a bare rock, at the foot of which there issues a copious
spring, which falls in beautiful cascades into the bed of a mountain
torrent, and after flowing about four hundred paces in a
westerly direction, is lost in the sand. "I have discovered
Kadesh at last," writes Rowlands to Williams. " I look with
amazement upon the stream from the rock which Moses smote (
Num. xx. 11), and the lovely waterfalls in which it descends
into the bed of the brook below." According to the data furnished
by Rowlands (which might, by
the by, be more minute)? the site
of Ain Kades is about twelve English miles to the E.S.E. of Moilahhi, almost due south of Khalasah, near the point at
which the longitude of Khalasah intersects the latitude of Aiii
el-Weibeh (in the Arab ah). Ritter's account is decidedly calculated
to mislead. He says at xiv. 1085, " The site of Kadesh,
therefore, must be on the western slope of the table-land of er-
Rakmah, that is to say, near the point at which the names of
the Saidiyeh and the Azazimeh meet on Robinson's map ;" and
again at p. 1082, " somewhere near 31° north lat., and 32^
long." But this was very nearly the spot upon which Rowl
ands and Williams were standing when they discovered the southern
boundary of Palestine from the slope of the Rakmah (§ 25, 1).—
There is also an irreconcileable discrepancy between this statement
and another of Ritter's (xiv. 1088), to the effect that it
was " in the neighbourhood of the double well of Birein 011
Robinson's map," though the latter is also quite erroneous.
Raumer (Pal. 448), Tuch (186), Winer (Real-lexicon, 1, 642),
and Fries, all agree with the account given above of Rowlands'
Ain Kades. To the west of Kadesh, Roiolands found the two
wells Adeirat and Aseimeh, which were also called Kadeirat and
Kaseimeh (in JRobinsoris map : Ain el-Küdeirat and Wady el-
Kuseimeh). In these he detected the names of the two border
towns Addar and Azmon (Num. xxxiv. 4). The correctness of
this conclusion is attested by the fact that Jonathan calls the
Azmon of Num. xxxiv. 4 and Josh. xv. 4, Kesam.—Even
Zimmermanrìs map, which was
not published till 1850, does not contain a single one of the many important discoveries made
by Rowlands.




(2,) It is greatly to be lamented that Rowlands did not cariy
out his extraordinarily successful researches still more minutely,
and to a greater extent. For, however much light the results
already obtained have unexpectedly thrown upon this terra
incognita, there are many questions that force themselves upon
us, and which still remain unanswered. For example, he omitted
to inquire whether there were not, perhaps, some ruins in the
neighbourhood of the Kadesh rock, which might indicate the
site of the town mentioned in Num. xx. 14. The country surrounding
the plain of Kadesh is also still involved in great obscurity.
But what is especially desirable, for the sake of the
Biblical history, is a more minute investigation of the plain of
Murreh throughout its whole extent, including both the road
towards the east, which leads through the Arabah and the
mountains of Seir to
the country beyond the Jordan, and also the road towards the north to the table-land of Eakmah. For
by this means the question might have been definitively settled,
as to the relation in which the wilderness of Zin stood to that of
Kadesh, the way taken by the spies (Num. xiii.), the road by
which the Israelites ascended the mountains of the Amorites (
Num. xiv. 44), and lastly the route referred to in Num. xx.
17 sqq.
In general, it is true, there can hardly be any question as to
the position and extent of the DESERT OF ZIN (}>*). "We commend
especially the remarks of Tuch, who says (p. 181 sqq.) : "According
to Num. xiii. 26, Kadesh was within the'limits
of the desert of Paran ; but according to chap. xx. 1, and xxvii. 14, it was in
the desert of Zin ; and in chap, xxxiii. 36 the Israelites are said
to have pitched in ' the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh.'
From this it clearly follows, that Zin must have formed a part of
the still more extensive desert of Paran ; and if the spies, who
were sent from the desert of Paran (Num. xiii. 3), surveyed the
land 'from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob' (ver. 21), it must
have lain close to the southern border of Canaan. But the
relative position of the various localities may be seen still more
clearly from Num. xxxiv. 3 sqq. and Josh xv. l sqq., where the
southern boundary of Judah from the Dead Sea to the brook of
Egypt on the Mediterranean—that is, from east
to west—is said to have started from the southern extremity of the Dead Sea,
skirted the Scorpion Steps (Maaleh Akrabbim ; that is, as Robin-


son correctly observes, the row of cliffs wliicli runs diagonally
across the el-Ghor in the form of an irregular curve, and constitutes
the boundary between this valley and the more elevated
Arabah), whence it passed along to Zin (fi|y), and then upwards
to the south of Kadesh-Barnea. If we take this according to
the literal signification of the words, it is evident that Zin comprehended
the tract of desert which runs from the Ghor in a
westerly direction, winding round the steep walls
of the mountains of the Amorites, and is bounded on the south by a range which
runs parallel to the northern mountain rampart." Hence it
consisted chiefly of the broad valley of Murreh, including the
Wady Fikreh and the Delta enclosed within the two. It may
also have been used in a still wider sense, namely, as including the
plain of Kadesh also, since the rampart which separated this plain
from the Wady Murreh cannot have been very high, and the
desert has very much the same character as the plain.
In the absence of positive data, Fries has shown, by acute and
happy combinations, that it is at least probable that the road taken
by the spies, and also by the Israelites when invading the country
of the Amorites (Num. xiii. 22 and xiv. 44),—namely, in a
diagonal direction across the valley of Murreh, and thence probably
over the connecting link (on the east of Eboda) to the plateau
er-Eakmah,—cannot have been one of extraordinary difficulty. "
If we bear in mind," he says, "on the one hand, that the Wady
Murreh, which at its Madurah stage is already considerably higher
than the Arabah, must reach a very high level as it approaches
the longitude of
Kadesh, and on the other hand, that the plain of Kadesh, judging from the analogy of the neighbouring wadys,
must be one stage higher than Moilahhi, which Eussegger found
by actual measurement to be 1012 feet above the level of the
sea, and if we add to this, that the mountain-ranges of the
district in question, when seen from Hebron, do not appear to
be very lofty ; we may certainly assume, without risking very
much, that even if there was no valley at all which led in a
diagonal direction from the Wady Murreh into the plain of
Kadesh, the passage across the plateau itself, which is lower here
than it is elsewhere, would not be a very arduous one." But
even if, contrary to all expectation, the mountain rampart between
the plain of Kadesh and the Wady Murreh should be
proved to be too difficult a passage, there is nothing in the way




of the assumption, that the spies and the Israelites in Num. xiv.
44 reached the Hebron road through one of the western approaches
to the plain of Kadesh, and thus went up to Canaan. (
3.) The positive arguments which may be adduced in favour
of the identity of Eowlands' Ain Kades and the Biblical Kadesh,
will appear as we proceed further with our researches. They
are to a great extent so clear and conclusive in their character,
that even before the discoveries of Roivlands were published,
several scholars (e.g. Rabbi Schivarz, Ewald, and K. Ritter),
with more or less assurance, placed Kadesh to the west of the
Arabah, in very nearly the same locality in which Eowlands
actually found it. Since then, Ewald, Tuch, Winer, and Fries
have taken Rowlands' side ; whilst Eitter, who could only refer
to the discoveries of Eowlands in a supplement to his work (xiv.
1083 sqq.), seems to have been afterwards in perplexity as to the
side he should take. Robinson, on the contrary, and K. v.
Raumer adhere to their former opinion, that Kadesh was
situated in the Arabah. The former has taken the trouble to
enter into a very elaborate refutation of Rowlands' views, in his
Notes on Biblical Geography (May 1849, p. 377 sqq.), and Raumer
repeats Robinson's arguments with approval in his Palœstina, p.
447 sqq. But Fries has most conclusively demonstrated the
weakness of the refutation, in his excellent treatise on the question
before us (p. 73 sqq.). See also Eabbi Schwarz, p. 380
Robinson's first argument is cited by Raumer in the following
words : " The Israelites were to avoid the land of the Philistines
on their way from Egypt to Canaan ; but if they had taken the
route which Eowlands thinks they did, they would have arrived
at Beersheba, which was on the borders of Philistia." This
objection rests upon nothing but the following unfounded assumptions : (
1.) That the reason assigned in Ex. xiii. 17 (" And
it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God
led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines,
although that was near ; for God said, Lest peradventure the
people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt")
was still in force, notwithstanding the fact, that since their passage
through the Eed Sea (Ex. xv. 14), the nations had been
shaken and the Philistines were seized with fear; that Israel
was now accustomed to war and victory (Ex. xvii. 8 sqq.), and


had received its highest consecration at Sinai ; and that it was
now being led, in the second year of its journey through the
desert, to make war upon the tribes of Canaan ;—(2.) That it
was the Philistines alone who were to be dreaded both then and
now, and not the Amontes also, who were at least equally strong
and quite as used to war ;—(3.) That the south-western slope
of the mountains of the Amorites belonged to the Philistines,
along with the neighbourhood of Beersheba, which was decidedly
not the case ;—and (4.) That the Israelites, after leaving Kadesh,
must of necessity pass by Beersheba, whereas, in fact, if they
went up from the plain of Murreh (or desert of Ziii) they would
leave it to the west.
Raumer says still further: "When the Israelites reached
Kadesh, Moses addressed them thus :
mountain of the Amorites.' But Eowlands' Kadesh is about
fifty miles from the mountains of Southern Judea, which begin
to rise between Beersheba and Hebron. When Russegger went
from Sinai to Jerusalem, he caught sight of these mountains for
the first time when he was in the Wady Euhaibeh, and they
were then a considerable distance on0, though he was not half so
far away from them as Eowlands' Kadesh is." But there is no
reference whatever to these "mountains of Southern Judea,"
that is to say, to the heights of Hebron. We need only look at
either Eaumer's and Eobinson's own maps, on both of which
the south-western slope of the mountains of the Amorites reaches
as far as the Azazimat, and the only fault is, that there is no
space left for the Wady Murreh, which runs between the two.
When Russegger was at Euhaibeh, and saw the mountains
of Khalil (Hebron) a long way off towards the north, if he
could have looked to the east he would have seen the southwestern
of the mountains of the Amorites (the table-land of Eakmah) at no greater distance than an hour and a half's
The appeal to Jerome (Onomastîcon, on En-MisJipat, Gen.
xiv. 7) is still weaker. Jerome says : " Significai locum apud
Petram, qui fons judicii nominatur;" "and therefore," says
Raumer, " Kadesh must be looked for somewhere in the neighbourhood
of Petra, whereas Eowlands' Kadesh is about fifty (?)
miles away." But if this passage is to be taken as conclusive,
it follows that Robinson^ who fixes upon Ein El-Weibeh, and




Raumer, who places Kadesh at Ain el-Hasb, are both wrong ;
for these places are neither of them near enough to Petra for
the expression apud Petram to be applied to them. But Jerome's
statement is worth nothing. He knew just as little about the
situation of Kadesh as the learned men who have followed him,
down to the time of Rowlands. He merely adopted, without
any further examination? the rabbinical notion, that
En-Zadekeh. (En-Zodokatah), four hours' journey to the south-east of Petra,
was the same as En-Mishpat. In the next section we shall show
that this is quite a mistake.
We have one more argument to answer, which is, apparently
at least, of some importance. Raumer says, that a Kadesh was
close upon the borders of the land of Edom, whereas Rowlands'
Kadesh was twenty-five or thirty miles away from the border."
At first sight this appears to be a conclusive argument ; but when
we look close, it is nothing but arguing in a circle. It is pretty
generally admitted, that the Arabah, from one end to the other,
formed the western boundary of the land of Edom. But on
what is this notion founded? Chiefly upon the very assumption
which it is now adduced to prove, namely, that Kadesh was
situated in the Arabah. But as Kadesh has now been discovered
the west of the Azazimat, it necessarily follows that the boundary of Edom was outside these mountains. Even
before the discovery made by Rowlands, several men of note (
e.g. Seetzen, Ewald, and Ritter) had emancipated themselves
from the yoke of this preconceived opinion, that the Arabah
throughout was the boundary of Edom. Seetzen found the name
Seir so common on the et-Tih plateau, that he could not resist
the temptation to apply this name to the whole of the desert
table-land to the west of the Arabah (Ritter, xiv. 840) ; and Rowlands
found that even to
the present day the border plateau by the Wady Murreh is still called " Serr" The only ground
which can be assigned for excluding
the mountainous district of the Azazimeh from the territory of Edom, is the fact that the
two are so completely separated by the Arabah. But this mountainous
district is quite as completely separated from the country
of the Amorites by the Wady Murreh. " If we bear in mind
the remarkable and, politically considered, extremely important
position which the strong mountain fortress of the Azazimeh
occupied, standing out as it does in sharp contrast with the


desert of Petrsea,1 at the northern extremity of which it was
situated ; and being, therefore, brought into all the closer connection
with Canaan and Edom, it cannot but appear to us an
inconceivable thing that neither the one nor the other of the
two opposing powers, which met together there, should have
taken possession of so important a tract of table-land. Of
Canaan it certainly never formed a part. In the time of the
Amoritish supremacy it did not, as we may
infer from Judges i. 36, and also from Num. xxi. 1 ; nor during the history of
Israel, a fact which can only be explained from Deut. ii. 5.
And if the Israelites did hold it at a later period, it was in consequence
of the splendid victories which they gained, especially
over Edom. There is no mention anywhere of a third contemporaneous
power, which held the country from the southern tract
of desert to
the frontier of Canaan, and therefore had resisted the power of Edom ; and if we should think of filling up the
gap with the Ishmaelitish nomads, or, what would be still more
plausible, the predatory hordes of the Amalekites, the question
would arise, Why should Edom be always mentioned as the
neighbouring country, and never Amalek?" (Fries, p. 79 sqq.).
The former is the case in every instance in which the southern
boundary of Canaan is accurately given (Num. xxxiv. 3, 4 ;
Josh. xv. 1, 2, and 21). The whole of the data given here are
absolutely irreconcileable with the supposition that the boundaries
of Canaan and Edom did not coincide anywhere else, than at
the single point where the north-west corner of Edom touches
the south-east corner of Canaan. "More minute details are
prefaced by a statement
of the common characteristic of the whole of the southern boundary line, viz., that it extended to the
borders of Edom (K ^4«), or along Edom (K ^p)."—The
boundary l
ine between Edom and Judah is more precisely described in Josh. xv. 3, where we are told, that after compassing
the cliffs of the Scorpions (Akrabbim), which cross the Arabah
in a diagonal direction, it passed along to the desert of Zin : the
1 "Apart altogether from the question before us, RoUnson felt obliged
to separate the mountains of the Azazimeh, which he has left without a
name, from the Tih plateau ; and K. Ritter also, without any reference to
this question, and before he knew anything of Kowlands' discovery, described
the Jebel Moyle of the Azazimeh as the í boundary stone of the
dispersion of the nations.' " (Fries, p. .81.)




latter, therefore, wliicli unquestionably corresponds to our Wady
Murreh) formed a boundary line between Canaan and Edom to
the west of the Arabah, extending as far as to Kadesh. The
same conclusion is forced upon us by Josh. xv. 21 sqq. ; "for
in this case it is stated of all the separate cities of the tribe of
Judah, that the boundary line of Edom lay towards the south."
And when Joshua's conquests on this side of the Jordan are described
in Josh. xi. 17 and xii. 7, as
the whole country "from the bald mountain that goeth up towards Seir, even unto Baal-
in the valley of Lebanon, at the foot of Hermoii,"—what in the world can " the bald mountain that goeth up to Seir"
mean, but the northern mountain rampart of the Azazimat ?
How thoroughly appropriate, too, is the expression "the bald
mountain " to the " gigantic mountain, with its bare masses of
rock or chalk," which Williams and Rowlands saw from the
Rakmah plateau (§ 25, 1) ! Hitherto the commentators have
not known what to do with this "bald mountain." Keil (on
Josh. xi. 17) supposes it to be the cliffs of Akrabbim ; but how
inapplicable would the term "inn be to such cliffs as these, and
how little are they adapted, from their geographical situation,
to show the southern limits of the country on this side of the
Jordan !
Baumer observes still further, " When Edom refused a passage
to the Israelites, they turned aside and went to Mount Hor.
But if Kadesh was situated where Rowlands imagines that he
found it, and was also on the western border of Edom, the
Israelites, as a single glance at the map will show, must have
marched for several days in an easterly direction through the
land of Edom, before they could reach Mount Hor." This
argument would have some force, if the whole of the desert of
et-Tih to the south of the Azazimat, from which it is as completely
separated as it possibly can be, must of necessity have formed
part of the territory of Edom. But if the domini
on of Edom on this side of the Arabah was restricted to the north-eastern
mountain fortress (and we can hardly imagine it to have been
otherwise), there is no force whatever in Raumer's objection.
The Israelites retreated through
the Wady Retemât, thus leaving the country of Edom altogether, and reached Mount Hor by
going round the south-east of the Azazimat.
But another objection to Rowlands' discovery may possibly


be founded upon Num. xx. 14 sqq. The Israelites request the
king of Edom to allow them a free passage through his land; but
this is at once refused. By what road did the Israelites think
of passing through ? Tuch supposes the Wady Murreh and Wady
Fikreh ; but this solution is inadmissible, since both these wadys
merely led by the border of Edom,, between Edom and the
Amorites, and therefore could not possibly have led through the
land. According to the distinct and unequivocal statement of
the Bedouins who accompanied Rowlands, there was an easy
road through broad wadys, which led direct from Kadesh to
Mount Hor. The point at which this road enters the Arabah
is probably to be looked for opposite to the broad Wady Ghuweir
of the .es-Sherah mountains, in the neighbourhood of Ain el»
Weibeh, where the eastern wall of the Azazimat is intersected by
numerous wadys, and where Robinson went up a very accessible
pass called Mirzabah. . . . This broad road, which leads
through the heart of the Azazimat, and is continued on the
other side of the Arabah in the broad Wady Ghuweir of Eastern
Edom, passing across Tafileh to Moab, was most probably the
route which the Israelites wished to take, and for which they
required the consent of Edom. (Compare § 45, 1.) §
27. In Ber ghauts map, Kadesh is placed in the vicinity of
Eziongeber, on the Elaiiitic Gulf, probably on the ground of
Num. xxxiii. 35, 36. L. de Laborde (Comment, p. 127 sqq.) includes
the mountainous district
of the Az
azimeh in the territory of the Amorites, and transfers Kadesh into the Wady Jerafeh, a day's journey to the north of Eziongeber, and about the same
distance to the south-east of Hor. Robinson, on the other hand,
is convinced that Kadesh is to be sought in Ein El-Weibeh, in
the north of the Arabah (1) ; and K. v. Raumer maintains that
it must be looked for in a still more northerly part of the Arabah,
somewhere near Aiii El-Hasb (2). But in opposition to all
these views, it can be demonstrated most conclusively, that
Kadesh was not situated in the Arabah at all (3). The
rabbinical tradition, which connects it with Petra, must be at
once rejected (4). (
1) Robinson (ii. 582, 610) has employed all his eloquence




to convince his readers that Ein El-Weibeh and the ancient
Kadesh are one and the same. He says : " We were much
struck, while at el-Weibeh, with the entire adaptedness of its
position to the scriptural account of the proceedings of the
Israelites on their second arrival at Kadesh (Num. xx.).
There was at Kadesh a fountain, called also En-Mishpat (Gen.
xiv. 7) : this was then either partially dried up or exhausted by
the multitude ; so that there was no water for the congregation.
By a miracle, water was brought forth abundantly out of the
rock. Moses now sent messengers to the king of Edom, informing
him that they were in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost
of his border, and asking leave to pass through his country, so
as to continue their course around Moab, and approach Palestine
from the east. This Edom refused; and the Israelites
accordingly marched to Mount Hor, where Aaron died; and
then along the Arabah to the Eed Sea (Num. xx. 14 sqq.).
Here, at el-Weibeh, all these scenes were before our eyes.
Here was the fountain, even to this day the most frequented
watering-place in all the Arabah. On the north-west is the
mountain by which the Israelites had formerly assayed
to ascend to the land of Palestine, and were driven back. Over against
us lay the land of Edom; we were in its uttermost border; and
the great Wady el-Ghuweir, affording a direct and easy passage
through the mountains to the table-land above, was directly
before us ; while farther in the south Mount Hor formed a prominent
and striking object, at the distance of two good days'
journey for such a host. . . . Yet the surrounding desert
has long since resumed its rights ; and all traces
of the city and of its very name have disappeared." (
2.) K. v. Raumer (Pal. 444), on the contrary, is of opinion
that "this fact appears to be irreconcileable with Robinson's hypothesis.
The Arabs, who acted as his guides, were not acquainted
with any direct road from Ein El-Weibeh to the pass
of es-Sufah, but were accustomed to proceed along the Arabah
as far north as the Wady el-Khurar, and ascend the pass from
that point. Should we not seek Kadesh itself also to the north
of Ein El-Weibeh—namely, where the road ascends through the
Wady el-Khurar to the pass of es-Sufah ? Must it not have
been situated at a point at which the Israelites would be nearer
to this pass than at Airi el-Weibeh; and where the pass itself


would be in sight ? Is not Ain Hash, which is near Ain el-
Khurar, most likely to have been Kadesh ? It is only twelve
miles from the pass of Sufah, whereas Ein El-Weibeh is more
than twenty miles off. There are no ruins in the latter ; and
is it not probable that the ruins at Ain Hasb are the remains of
Kadesh ? The water in the pond there evidently indicates the
existence of a spring." (
3.) For a refutation of the hypotheses of Räumer and
Robinson (that of Laborde does not stand in need of any), we
need only appeal to the two admirable treatises of Tuck and Fries (
especially the latter). There are many passages of the Bible
which compel us to look for Kadesh a long way to
the west of the Arabah. (1.) The very first passage in which Kadesh is
mentioned (Gen. xiv. 7, En-Mishpat, which is Kadesh), is a
case in point. " For if we assume/' says Fries', " that En-
Mishpat was situated in the northern part of the Arabah,
Chedorlaomer must have been close to the very entrance of the
vale of Siddim, and would not have required first of all to pass
through the country of the Amorites by Engedi in order to
reach the territory
of the four kings ; still less through the whole of the plain of the Amalekites, which was far away to the west
of the Arabah, and to which he is said to have proceeded direct
from En-Mishpat. If, in addition to this, we bear in mind the
political motives for this expedition, the leading features of
which are noticed
in Gen. xiv., and which have been discussed in a masterly way by Dr Tucli¿ supposing En-Mishpat to have
been either Ain Hasb or Ein El-Weibeh, it would not have been
of sufficient importance to be mentioned as the point which
Chedor had in view when he left El-Paran (Elath)."—(2.) "
Such a supposition is not less at variance with Gen. xvi. 14 (
comp. ver. 7), where the situation of the well of Lâchai Eoi is
described. For, whilst the western point mentioned is Bared,
which was certainly close by, and is identical with Shur (i.e.
Jifar), the eastern point selected would be a spot in the Arabah
lying far away, and separated from the road to Shur by the whole
of the mountainous district of the Azazimat, which is about
eighty miles broad."—(3.) "In Gen. xx. 1 we are either met
with precisely the same difficulty, or (considering the distance
between Gerar and Ain Hasb) a much greater one ; not to
mention the fact, that the connection between Gen. xix. and xx. 1




would lead us to expect Abraham to fix upon a spot considerably
farther removed from the Dead Sea than Ain Hasb, as the
eastern boundary of his place of sojourn."—(4.) " If we turn to
the passages in which Kadesh is given as one of the points
determining the southern boundary of Canaan (Num. xxxiv.
2-5, Josh. xv. 2-4, Ezek. xlvii. 19), it is absolutely impossible,
especially in the case of Ezek. xlvii. 19, where only three
points are given, to suppose that the middle point of the three,
viz. Kadesh, instead of being in the middle of the line, is to be
looked for at Ain el-Hasb or Ein El-Weibeh, in the immediate
neighbourhood of Tamar, the most easterly point of the three.
And in the other passages also, the disproportion would be immense,
if three points were named in a small line drawn diagonally
across the Arabah from Akrabbim to Ain Hasb, of not
more than ten or twelve miles long ; whereas in all
the rest of the southern boundary to the opening of the Wady el-Arish,
which is about 120 miles, only three, or at the most five points
are named."—(5.) " Judg. i. 36 is also a case in point. P§n (
viz. the rock, which had acquired importance from the circumstance
recorded in Num. xx. 8 ;—Petra, which bore the same name,
2 Kings xiv. 7, cannot for a moment be thought of here) answers
to our Kadesh, and must of necessity have been situated at a great
distance to the west of Akrabbim; since otherwise the boundary
line of the Amontes, which is given in this passage, would not
be really indicated at all."—(6.) In Num. xx. 23 and xxxiii. 37,
where the Israelites start from Kadesh and pass round the territory
of the Edomites, Mount Hor is called the border of Edom.
But if the whole line from Ain el-Hasb (or Ein El-Weibeh) to
Eziongeber formed the western boundary of Edom, it would be
an inexplicable, and in fact an unmeaning thing, that this one
point should be singled out, when every point in the whole line
had just the same claim, and that this alone should be called the
boundary of Edom. But if Kadesh was situated to the west of the
Arabah, so that the whole of the mountainous district to the
north-east was included in the territory of Edom, Mount Hor,
which stood just at the point where the Arabah first began to
form part of the territory of Edom, and where two of the boundary
lines of the Edomitish territory met in a right angle, would
undoubtedly be a marked and distinguished point in the boundary
of the country, forming as it were a strong rocky watch-


tower, which, commanded these two boundary lines,—(7.) If the
mountainous district of the Azazimeh belonged to the territory
of Edom—and this can be proved independently of the Kadesh
question (§ 26, 3)—it'follows, as a matter of course, that Kadesh
could not be situated in the northern Arabah.—(8.) "If, in addition
to this, we take into consideration the form
of the valley of the Arabah, which runs between lofty mountain walls, and in
the northern half especially is hedged in by high and perpendicular
walls of rock, and at the north-western extremity leads to
the wildest precipice and most inaccessible passes of the Amor-
itish mountains, it is perfectly incredible that Moses should have
contemplated making his attack upon Canaan from this point,
and we cannot imagine it possible that the myriads of Israel
should have maintained themselves for a whole generation
crowded together in such a contracted ^space, between the
elevated desert of Paran
and the rocky walls of Eastern Edom, and wandering backwards and forwards between the Dead and
Red Seas." (Fries, 62 seq.) Since the time of Robinson,
indeed, it has become a very common custom to fix upon the pass
of es-Safah, the very name of which is supposed to be a relic
of the ancient name Zepliatli (i.e. HOT mah, Judg. i. 17 and
Num. xiv. 45, xxi. 3), as the point at which Moses intended to
enter Canaan, and where the people afterwards made the attempt (
Num. xiv. 40 sqq.). But if we consider the unanimous testimony
of travellers with regard to this narrow, steep, and most
difficult pass, we cannot but pronounce this an impossibility.
It was with the greatest toil that Robinson himself ascended it (
ii. 588). Schubert looks upon it as one of the most painful
tasks he ever performed (ii. 447), and says, " The pass was so
steep, that I frequently felt as if I was gasping for breath in the
midst of a furnace." Tuch adds to this (p. 184), "Robinson (
ii. 590) had a similar description given to him of the more
easterly pass of es-Sufei ; and the steep and dangerous ascents
from the Dead Sea to the land of Canaan are still better known.
And even if these difficult passes do not present insuperable
obstacles in the way of peaceful commerce (the Romans not
only placed garrisons in the pass of es-Saf ah, the direct road to
Petra, for the purpose of defence, but made steps which rendered
it both easier and safer), we have still good ground for asking
whether they were also adapted for a warlike expedition, as




points from which to enter upon the conquest of the land ;—these
passes, I say, which were not only inaccessible even with the
utmost exertions, but which the smallest force would have been
sufficient to defend. On this side, Canaan was naturally impregnable ;
and if Moses had conducted the people hither, and
then urged them to commence the conquest of the land from
this point, he would have deserved the charges which pusillanimity
unjustly brought against him."—Lastly, (9.) With the Arabah
so well known as it is, it does at least appear extremely strange,
that if a town of such celebrity, as Kadesh ha« had from the very
earliest times, was really situated there, and if the Israelites
wandered about in it for thirty-eight years, there should not be
the 'slightest trace left of either the name Kadesh, or the names
of the other stations mentioned in Num. xxxiii., with the single
exception of Mount Hor. (
4.) The mere fact of the Rabbinical tradition with regard to
the situation of Kadesh, which Robinson has involved in greater
obscurity, instead of clearing it u
p, and which Rabbi Schwarz (p. 376 seq., cf. §, 30, 2) has, entirely misunderstood, has been
fully explained by Tuch (p. 179 seq. note). In
the Targums, the Peshito,
and the Talmud, Kadesh is always rendered Bekam ; and Kadesh-Barnea (Deut. i. 2, 19, etc.) Eekam Geia (n^-l ufi).
This Geia, which is placed in apposition (answering to Barnea),
is undoubtedly the same as el-Ji,
in the neighbourhood of Petra, in the Wady Musa, which is still an important village. Jerome
refers to this in the Onomasticon as follows : " Gai in solitudine
usque hodie Gaia urbs juxta civitatem Petra" From
this it is evident that Bekam was understood to be Petra, as
Josephus states in his Antiquities iv. 4, 7 ; vii. 1 ; and in consequence
of this, the Jewish tradition identified Kadesh with
Petra. All the reasons which we have adduced to show that
Kadesh cannot have been situated in the Arabah, apply with tenfold
force to,the notion that it was situated in the Wady Musa. §
28. There were three ways open to the Israelites from
Sinai to the southern boundary of Canaan, so far as the nature
of the ground was concerned; and from these they had to choose.
The most easterly led them along the western shore of the
Elanitic Gulf to the Arabah, and then through the Arabah to



the south-eastern border of Canaan. This road is regarded by
Robinson as the most probable. But, however well adapted the road
through the broad valley of the Arabah may appear, the narrow
way along the shore of the Elanitic Gulf appears to be quite as
little adapted for a mass of people, comprising no less than two
million souls. And, in addition to this, as Raumer has correctly
observed (Palestine, 446), such a supposition is inconsistent with
Deut. i. 19, where the Israelites are said to have traversed " the
whole of the great and terrible desert," by which we can only
understand the desert of et-Tih ; and this they would never have
touched at all if they had taken the road indicated by Robinson.
Raumer himself, who is obliged to bring them to the pass of
es-Saf ah, as Robinson has done, supposes them to have crossed the
border mountain of et-Tih, and then to have passed through the
Wady el-Jerafeh, at the mouth of which they first entered the
Arabah. But, according to our previous investigations, this road
cannot possibly have been the one selected by Moses. The fact
that Canaan was so inaccessible from this side (through the pass
of es-Saf ah), is sufficient to stamp both these views as inadmissible (§
27, 3). And if Kadesh, the immediate object of their journey,
was situated where Roivlands discovered its well-preserved names (§
26), the Israelites will not have gone near the Arabah on this
march. It is true that the procession might have turned round
from the most northerly part of the Arabah into the Wady
Murreh, and so have reached the plain of Kadesh ; but, apart
altogether from the fact that this would have been a very roundabout
way, it would have led them through the heart
of the territory of the Edomites (i. e., through the northern part of the
Arabah, § 26, 3), and, according to Num. xx. 14 sqq., this was
shut against them. There is left, therefore, only the third (the
most westerly) road, which leads from Horeb to Hebron across
the mountains of et-Tih and the large tract of table-land of the
same name, by the western foot of the Jebel el-Ararf, and
which is taken by most of the travellers to Sinai even at the
present day. Ewald, Tuch, Winer, R. Schwarz, and Fries are
all agreed in this.




29. A tolerably complete catalogue of the resting-places of
Israel in the desert is given in Num. xxxiii. The first two, reckoning
from Sinai, are the graves of lust (Kibroth-Taavah) (1),
and Chazeroth (2). The former of these was reached after a
three days' march (Num. x. 33); and, according to Num. x. 12,
it was situated in the desert of Paran, probably on the other side
of the south-eastern arm of the mountains of et-Tih (vide § 23, 3).
The passing remark in Deut. i. 2, where the journey from Horeb
to Kadesh-Barnea is said to take eleven days, is of great importance
when taken in connection with Num. x. 33 ; for the route (
to Kadesh) taken by the Israelites being known, and the character
of the ground being taken into consideration, we are able
to determine the situation of Kibroth-Taavah with tolerable certainty.
There can be no doubt that the road ran from the plain
of er-Eahah (§ 6, 2), through the Wady es-Sheikh (§ 5, 5), to
the most northerly point of the arc which it describes, and then
turned towards the north-east through the Wady ez-Zalazah,
which enters it at that point. The latter wady intersects the
south-eastern arm of the Jebel et-Tih, and so leads within the
limits of the desert of Paran. The end of the first three days'
journey, and therefore the site of the graves of lust, must be
sought on the other side of this range of mounta
ins, somewhere in the neighbourhood of el-Ain. From this point the Hebron
road runs almost in a straight line, from south to north, across
the principal arm of the Jebel et-Tih, and the table-land of the
same name. And, judging from the analogy of the three days'
march to the first station, Chazeroth (which was the second resting-
place from Sinai) would be somewhere in the neighbourhood
of Bir et-Themed. (
1.) Even Räumer admits (Pal. 442) that, according to Deut.
i. 2, the most natural supposition is, that the Israelites took the
nearest road to Kadesh, which leads through Wady Zalazah to
el-Ain, and takes eleven days. " There are objections, however,"
he says, " to this supposition. For example, the Israelites left
Sinai, and journeyed three days to the resting-place at the graves


of lust. When there, the wind brought them quails from the
sea (Num. xi. 31). Does not this seem to indicate a place of
encampment by the sea-shore? And so again,, when Jehovah
promised to give the people flesh in superfluous abundance,
Moses exclaimed, c Shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together
for them, to suffice them f—a question which would have
sounded very strange in the midst of the desert, at a great distance
from the sea, but would be natural enough by the seashore."
Now, in Deut. i. l, Di Zahab is mentioned along with
Chazeroth, as one of the places where Moses spoke to the people ;
and therefore it must have been one of
the resting-places of the Israelites. But Di Zahab is probably the modern Dahab,
on the western shore of the Elaiiitic Gulf, in pretty nearly the
same latitude as Sinai ; consequently, v. Räumer thinks himself
warranted in fixing upon this place on the sea-coast as identical
with "the graves of lust," and Lengerke (i. 558) agrees with
him. But this is certainly by no means a happy combination.
What in the world could induce the Israelites to go directly east,
instead of directly north ì Räumer replies : Possibly to avoid a
second conflict with the Amalekites, who might have attacked
them on their road through the Wady es-Sheikh. But it is not
only by no means certain, but extremely improbable, that the
Amalekites had their seat in the Sheikh valley; and we cannot
help thinking, that after the complete victory which the Israelites
gained over Amalek (Ex. xvii. 13), they would not have
much to fear from that quarter. But even assuming the correctness
of both suppositions, the problem is still not solved ; for
there would have been no occasion to go so far out of the road
as the sea-coast.—The fact that the quails came "from the sea,"
however, is certainly no proof that the Israelites must necessarily
have encamped on the sea-shore ; and the question put by
Moses (Shall all the fish of the sea be gathered
together for them, to suffice them ?) would not be so very much out of place, if the
graves of lust were in the neighbourhood of el-Ain, i. e., not more
than twenty miles from the sea, especially if we bear in mind
that, according to Num. xi. 5, the lusting of the people was
directly and expressly for fish. But lastly, the basis upon which
hypothesis rests is purely imaginary, and therefore the hypothesis itself vanishes altogether. However we may interpret
Deut. i. 1, which is certainly difficult and obscure (see




Hengsteriberg, Dissertation on Balaam, p. 515 sqq. translation,
and Fries, p. 87 sqq.), in any case, it is not affirmed that Moses
addressed the people in Di Zahab, and therefore it is not stated
that he encamped there with the people. On the contrary, certain
prominent points are selected, between which the Israelites
were encamped, for the purpose of indicating the locality of
either the first or second giving of the law. (
2.) The majority of commentators regard it as indisputable
that the second resting-place, Chazeroth, was the modern Ain
el-Hadlierali, about ten miles from
the Gulf. But notwithstanding the great similarity between the two names, we must
nevertheless reject the conclusion as inadmissible. We repeat
our former question: Why go so far round 1 The road by
Hadherah would lead them direct to the Arabah, but not to the
Wady el-Jerafeh, and still less to the Hebron road. And what
becomes of the eleven days' journey of Deut. i. 2 ? When the
Israelites reached the graves of lust, they had travelled three of
these, and at Chazeroth possibly three more ; hence Chazeroth
would be about half-way from Sinai to Kadesh. But Ain el-
Hadherah is about forty miles from Sinai in a north-easterly
direction ; whereas Eaumer's Kadesh (Ain el-Hasb) is about 165
miles from Hadherah, and Eowlands' about 150.—The next
halting-place was Ritmali. Now there is a wady called Eetemât
close in the vicinity of Eowlands' Kadesh : and certainly there
is as close a resemblance between the two names, if not a much
closer one, than between the names Chazeroth and Hadherah.
But reckoning the distance, it is absolutely certain that Eetemât
cannot be Eitmah, if Chazeroth is Hadherah, and vice
versa. One of the two resemblances must be given up as deceptive;
the question is simply, which? We reply: Undoubtedly the latter. For, whatever force there may be in the similarity
between the names Chazeroth and Hadherah, it is weakened by
the fact that there are no other circumstances to support it;
whereas in the case of Eetemath and Eitmah, all the circumstances
lead to the same conclusion.—Eabbi Schwarz was led so
far astray by a perfectly analogous resemblance between Chazeroth
and Ain el-Cliuteirotli (called Ain el-Kadeirat by Eobinson),
that he set them down as one and the same. The supposition
was confirmed in his opinion by the fact, that rather more than
twenty miles to the S.S.E. of this spring, there was another called


Ain el-Shahawah, the name of which was evidently identical
with Kibroth-Hataavah (the graves
of lust). But the fountain of Kadeirat is in the immediate neighbourhood of Wady Eete-
rnat (or Ritmali), and therefore cannot possibly be the same as
Chazeroth, which must have been several days' journey from
Eitmah. §
30. In
the list of stations given in Num. xxxiii., Kadesh is the twenty-first name from Sinai, and therefore there were
seventeen stations between Chazeroth and Kadesh. Yet the
very next station after Chazeroth, the Wady Eetemât or Eitmah,
is in the immediate neighbourhood of Kadesh ; and in the
historical account of the march in Num. xiii., Kadesh is the very
next station after Chazeroth (vid. ver. 27). This apparent discrepancy
has long ago been reconciled by nearly every writer in a very
simple manner,—namely, by appealing to the fact, which is clear
enough from other passages, that Israel encamped at Kadesh
twice—the first time on the way from Sinai to the southern
border of Canaan (Num. xiii.), the second time after wandering
about for thirty-seven years in the desert of Tih (Num. xx.)„
This renders the supposition that there were two places called
Kadesh, as unnecessary as it is inadmissible (2). It is equally
erroneous to suppose that the Kadesh, mentioned in the list of
stations in Num. xxxiii. 36, refers to the first sojourn at Kadesh (
Num. xiii.) (3) : the reference is rather to the second encampment
ther% of which we have an account in Num. xx. But
the question arises, 'Which of the stations named in Num. xxxiii. ;
are we to connect with the first encampment at Kadesh, and
what can have given rise to the substitution of another name,
in this particular instance, for so current and celebrated a name
as Kadesh ? K. v. Raumer fixes upon Tacliatli (Num. xxxiii.
26), and Hengstenberg speaks of Bne-Jaakan (Num. xxxiii.
31), as absolutely certain; but both conjectures are equally
arbitrary and untenable (4). The correct view undoubtedly is
that of Fries, that Ritiimali denotes the first halt at Kadesh.
For the Wady Eetemât, which answers exactly to the ancient
Eithmah, forms the entrance to the plain of Kadesh, which




Bowlands lias so recently discovered. The spies probably set
out from this wady (Num. xiii. 2), whilst the rest of the people,
who awaited their return, spread themselves out in the plain of
Kadesh, where they were both protected and concealed (5). (
1.) The assertion that Israel encamped twice- in Kadesh, is*
pronounced by Ewald (ii. 207) " a perfectly arbitrary assumption,
which cannot be defended by a single argument of any
worth."—This may be easily explained, when, first of all, with the
usual caprice of the critics when dealing with Biblical accounts,
everything has been turned upside down, and every argument
of any worth has been swept away (car tel est mon bon plaisir).
The fact that the Israelites encamped twice at Kadesh, has
been proved by K. v. Baumer (Zug der Israelite!!, p, 39, and
Palgestina, p. 446), Robinson (ii. 611), and Fries (pp. 53-60).
The following are the pro
ofs : — (1.) On the twentieth day of the second month (early in May), in the second year of the
Exodus^ the people departed from Sinai (Num. x. 11). On
their arrival at the desert of Paran, they sent out spies to
Palestine (from Kadesh-Barnea, Num. xxxii. 8; Deut. i. 19
sqq. ; Josh. xiv. 7) at the time of the first grapes (Num. xiii. 21),
that is, in August. Forty days afterwards, the spies returned
to the camp
at Kadesk (Num. xiii. 27). The people murmured at the report of the spies ; and Jehovah pronounced the sentence
them, that not they, but their children only, should enter the promised land, and that only after wandering about for
forty years in the desert (Num. xiv. 29 sqq.). At the same
time they were ordered to turn back, and go into
the desert to the Eed Sea (Num. xiv. 25 ; Deut. i. 40). A departure from
Kadesh, therefore, evidently did take place. Thirty-seven years
and a half elapsed after this, which are passed over by the
historian in perfect silence. But in the first month (of the
fortieth year, compare Num. xx. 28 with Num. xxxiii. 38) the
whole congregation came—evidently the second time therefore—
to Kadesh (Num. xx. 1). — (2.) That
there were two arrivals at the southern border of Palestine (i. 0., at Kadesh), is apparent
from a comparison of the list of stations in Num.« xxxiii. with
Deut. x. 6, 7. In the latter we have an account of a march of
the Israelites, in which the stations Bne-Jaakan, Moserah, Gud~


godali^ Jothbatahy follow in succession. The object of th
is list is simply.to show the spot where Aaron died, viz.¿ at Moserah.
But, according to Num. xx. 22 sqq., and Num. xxxiii. 38, Aaron
died upon Mount Hor. This Moserah, therefore, must have
been situated somewhere in the neighbourhood of Mount Hor.
Now, if we turn to Num. xxxiii., we find that the third station
from Sinai was Rithmahj or Eetemath, at the northern extremity
of the desert. The twelfth station from this is Moseroth,
which is evidently the same as Moserah ; and then follow Bne-
Jaakan-j -Gidgad^ Jotbathah^ Ábronah, Eziongeber (at the extreme
end of the Elanitic Gulf), Kadesli, and Hor, where Aaron
died. This is the place, therefore, at which the stations mentioned
in Deut. x. 6, 7 must be inserted. But as we have
already found the same stations, Bne-Jaakan, Moserah, Gud-
god, Jothbathah, in Num. xxxiii., it follows that the Israelites
must have traversed the whole desert from north to south twice,
anr1 must have come on two separate occasions to the southern
boundary of Palestine.
But what does Ewald do to banish these weighty reasons
from the sphere of reality into that of non-existence ? " Nothing
further" he says, " is required, than to remove the encampment
at Kadesh and the following one by Mount Hor, recorded
in Num. xxxiii. 36-39, a little further back, and place them
after vers. 30, 31, because they do not harmonize with Eziongeber" ! ! —
Moreover, he looks upon the coming to Kadesh, of
which an account is given in Num. xx. 1, as a repetition of the
previous account in Num. xiii. of the first and only arrival at
Kadesh, - — in spite of all the express and unanswerable testimonies
to the contrary ! (Comp. § 41, 1.) (
2.) The hypothesis, that there were two different places with
the same name, may be proved on every ground to be untenable.
Some, for example, suppose the Kadesh in the desert of
Paran (Num. xiii. 27) to be the same as the Kadesh-Barnea
in Num. xxxii. 8, and Deut. i. 2, 19 ; and that in the desert of
Zin (Num. xx. 1) to be equivalent to the Me-Meribah^ or waters
of strife (Num. xx. 13),—of which the former was situated in
the south of Canaan, the latter in the south of Edom. But "
there is one passage in Ezekiel (chap, xlvii. 19) which so completely
overthrows this hypothesis, when compared with Numa
xxxiv. 4j that it would be quite superfluous to refer to Nunu




xiii. 22 compared with cliap. xx. 1, or to Dent. x. 6, 7 compared
with Num. xxxiii. 30-35, or, lastly, to Num. xxi. 4 compared
with Deut. ii. 8, from which passages it evidently follows that
the deserts of Zin and Paran were connected, and that on their
last departure from Kadesh the Israelites went
towards the south, to Ezioiigeber" (Fries, p. 54), Nevertheless, this obsolete view
has been reproduced quite lately by Eabbi >Scliiüavz (p. 170 seq.
375 sqq.) ; who seeks to strengthen it by adducing Gen. xiv. 7
and the Eabbinical tradition (yid. § 27,4). In his opinion " En-
Mishpat, that is Kadesh," in Gen. xiv. 7, is the same as the
waters of Meribah (Num. xx. 13), and the two are identical
with Kadesh in the desert of Zin (Num. xx. 1), and with the
modern Ain el-Sedakah (called by Robinson, Ain el-Usdakah •
or Zodokatha), which is about ten or twelve miles to the south
of Petra. He finds a proof of this in the fact that the names
ni'nD, &S£>D and np1¥ are synonymous. The second Kadesh,
or Kadesh-Barnea^ which was situated in t
he desert of Paran, he removes, on the authority of the Eabbinical tradition, which
connects Kadesh-Barnea with Eekam Gaia, into the Wady
el-Abyad (to the north-west of the mountainous district of the
Azazimeh), to which it is said to have given the name Wady
Gaian. But there is not the slighest foundation for any of
these combinations. They are at variance with Ezek. xlvii. 19.
They are irreconcileable with Gen. xiv. 6, 7 ; for it was not till
the whole of the mountains of Seir had been conquered that
Chedorlaomer proceeded from El-Paran (Elath, Ailah) to En-
Mishpat, for the purpose of invading the country of the Amor-
ites and Amalekites, whereas the modern Ain el-Zedakah
was in the heart of the mountains of Seir. Again, the Eabbinical
tradition with regard to Eekam-Gaia has been entirely
misunderstood (§ 27, 4); and, lastly, Eithmah, which even
Schwarz identifies with Eetemath, and which he regards as the
corresponding station to Kadesh-Barnea in the list of stations in
Num. xxxiii., is too far from Wady Abyad to be used interchangeably
with it as the name of one and the same station. (
3.) 0. v. Gerlach, who differs fr-om Laborde und agrees with
Eobinson, with reference to the situation of Kadesh, follows
Laborde in this, that in his Erklärung der heiligen Schrift (i.
509) he speaks of it as the most natural supposition, "that the
stations in the desert, which are given in Num.. xxxiii. 16-36?


all belong to tlie period, anterior to the return of
the spies and the events which occurred at Kadesh-Barnea. Like the modern
Arabs, the people passed quickly (! !) from one fountain and
oasis to another, and halted at twenty-one places, before they
reached Kadesh on the southern border of Canaan, where they
met the spies. From this time forth the sacred history is completely
silent with regard to the wanderings in the desert, not
even the halting-places being given ; and after thirty-eight years
we find the people at Kadesh again." It is really inexplicable
that a commentator, who is generally so very circumspect, should
have been able to adhere to so unfortunate a supposition, which
is expressly contradicted on all h
ands by the Biblical narrative, and even in itself is inconceivable. But our astonishment increases,
when we find that K. Ritter has also adopted it. In
the Evangeliseher Kalender, 1854, p. 49 seq., he says : " In the
meantime (after the spies had been sent out) the people left
their camp at Hazeroth (i.e., Ain el-Hadherah), and proceeded
northward towards Canaan." They went first of all past seventeen
intermediate stations to Eziorigeber, at the northern extremity
the Elanitic Gulf, and proceeded thence to Kadesh, "the border station at the northern edge of the desert." The
latter portion of the journey " is particularly referred to in Num0,
xxxiii. 36, but no intermediate encampments are mentioned.'' . . . "
That it cannot have been accomplished in a short
space of time, is evident from the fact, that the spies who were
sent to Canaan had completed their journey throughout the
whole length of Canaan, even bey
ond the Lebanon to Hamath on the river Orontes, when they met with the Israelites in the1
eventful camp at Kadesh or Kadesh-Barnea."
We have met with nothing for a long time which has ca
used us so much astonishment as this hypo
thesis. (1.) Why should the list in Num. xxxiii. contain the names of so many stations in
the short spaces between Chazeroth (i.e., Ain el-Hadherah) and;
Eziongeber, and only one single station between Eziongeber andf
Kadesh, which was twice m far, whether Kadesh was situated
on the eastern or western side of the Azazimeh?—(2.) The
spies returned in forty days. And are we to understand that
these forty days embrace not merely the eighteen stations between
Chazeroth and Eziongeber, but the stations whose names
are not given in the far longer journey from Eziongeber to




Kadesh ? ! As the Israelites were waiting for the return of the
spies, and therefore there was no necessity for their hastening
to reach the southern border of Canaan, we should not be surprised
to find the eighteen stages between el-Hadherah and
Eziongeber (a distance of about seventy miles) reduced to the
very minimum. What we really find is a want of time. The
people pitched their tents eighteen times before they reached
Eziongeber ; and even if
they passed much more quickly over the longer piece of ground between Eziongeber and Kadesh (
though we
are not acquainted with any good ground for such a supposition), there must have been in all thirty or forty stages
between el-Hadherah and Kadesh—and consequently the number
of encampments would be almost as great as the number of days
which were occupied in the journey. Now, consider for a
moment how much time must have been required to pitch all
the tents, erect the tabernacle, and perform the numerous other
things connected with an encampment. Neither Gerlach nor
Ritter would call a halt for the night a st
ation. We believe that at every station at least three days' rest must have been required. —(
3.) A comparison of Num. • xxxiii. with Deut. x. 6, 7, proves
incontrovertibly (vid. note 1) that the procession was at Mount
Hor (i.e., Moseroth) before it reached Eziongeber ; and it is well
known that Mount Hor is not situated between el-Hadherah
and Eziongeber. ... Lastly, (4.) It is stated expressly and
repeatedly in the Scriptures themselves (Num. xxxii. 8 ; Deut. i.
19 sqq. ; Josh. xiv. 7), that Moses did not send out the spies till
AFTER the arrival of the Israelites at Kadesli-Barnea ! ! ! (
4.) K. v. Raumer (Zug der Israelite^ p. 41) conjectures
that the first halt at Kadesh coincided with the station marked
Tachathj in the list of stations in Num. xxxiii. In his opinion,
this is rendered probable by the fact that Taehath signifies a
lower place (and this would answer to the situation of el-Hasb) ;
and still more so by Deut. i. 2 (" there are eleven days' journey
from Horeb to Kadesh-Barnea"), since Taehath is exactly the
eleventh station from Sinai. But is it necessary to remind the
learned author, with what zeal, and certainly with what justice,
he opposed
the favourite hypothesis that the days' marches and the stations correspond f However, Raumer laid no stress upon
this conjecture, and, so far as we know,, never brought it forward
again.—Hengstenberg claims a great deal more credit



for his discovery that Bne-Jaakan is the station in question.
This is said to be no mere conjecture or hypothesis, but a well
established and unanswerable result of close investigation, which
may be held up with triumph, instar omnium^ in the face of any
who take pleasure in foisting contradictions upon the Pentateuch.
But on what is this confidence based ? On a comparison of
Deut. x. 6, 7, and Num. xxxiii. 30-33. In Deut., where there
is not the slightest room to doubt that the direction taken by the
procession is from north to south, the order in which the names
occur is, Bne-Jaakan, Moseroth, Gudgod, and Jotbathah. In
the second passage the order is changed into Moseroth, Bne-
Jaakan, Gidgad, Jotbathah. This apparent discrepancy can
only be explained on the supposition, that on the occasion referred
to in Num. xxxiii. 21, the procession turned round ; and
this completely removes the difficulty. The people, on starting
from Sinai, travelled from south to north till they came to
Moseroth, and thence to Bne-Jaakan, at which point they turned
from north to south again, and naturally arrived first of all at
Moseroth (which is omitted on principle, as it had been mentioned
before), and then passed on to Gidgad, Jotbathah, etc.
Now, we find from the historical account in Num. xiv. 25,
that the place at which the procession turned was Kadesh ; consequently
Bne-Jaakan and Kadesh are one and the same.-—Th
is is Hengstenberg's account. But he does not touch upon the
main difficulty, namely, the reason why the author in Num.
xxxiii. should speak of the very same station, first of all {ver.
31), as Bne-Jaakan, and then immediately afterwards (ver. 36)
as Kadesh, and why the author of Deuteronomy, who so constantly
uses the name Kadesh-Barnea, should employ another
name in chap. x. 6. And so long as this is not explained, we
can attach no weight whatever to the argument as a whole.
The transposition of the names Moseroth and Bne-Jaakan,
which is certainly striking, by no means compels us to regard
the latter as another name, employed to denote the first halt at
Kadesh (cf. § 31, 2). (
5.) We append a few remarks in relation to the names of
the most northerly station. Beside the simple name Kadesh, we
find in Num. xxxii. 8, and constantly throughout Deuteronomy,
as well as in other parts of the Old Testament, the compound
name Kadesli-Barnea. According to Num. xx. 13, the place




also received the name Me-Meribah (Strife-water), and in Gen.
xiv. 7, it occurs under the name of En~Mislipat (fountain of
judgment or decision). From the last-mentioned name, Ewald
concludes that in olden time there was an oracle here—a supposition
which we have no desire either to contest or defend.
The explanatory words, "that is Kadesh" which occur in Gen.
xiv. 7, are of more importance to us. They seem to imply that
En-Mishpat was the original name, and Kadesh a more recent
one, which was not in existence in the time of Abraham. [
Lengerke, on the other h
and, explains the names, En-Mishpat and Me-Meribah (erroneously we believe) as synonymous, and
therefore regards the use of the former, in Gen. xiv. 7, as &pro-
lepsisJ] But if the Kadesh in Gen. xiv. 7 is. a prolepsis, the
conjecture is a very natural one, that
the place referred to received the name for the first time when the Israelites were
sojourning there, as being the place where the holiness of
Jehovah was manifested to the people (Num. xviii. 22 sqq.), or
to Moses and Aaron (Num. xx. 13 03 ^1^}), by an act of
judgment. Possibly this may furnish ano
ther explanation of the fact, that in Num. xxxiii. 18 the place is called Bitmah, and
not Kadesh ; whereas in Num. xxxiii. 36, after
the infliction of the judgment, it is not called Eitmah, but Kadesh. The name
Kadesh-Barnea WQ regard as a more precise definition of the
situation, by the addition of the name of the Edomitish town
alluded to in the message sent to the Edomites (Num. xx. 16) : "
We have come to Kadesh, to the town in thy uttermost
border." §
31. The stations, whose names occur "between Ritmah and
Kadesh (Num. xxxiii. 19-36), undoubtedly refer to the principal
quarters occupied by the Israelites (with the tabernacle, the ark
of the covenant, and the pillar of cloud) during their thirty-seven
years' wandering in the desert. But of all these pla
ces, jEzion- c/eber (at the n
orthern end of the Elanitic Gulf) and Mount HOT (or Mount Seir, to the west of Petra) are the only two which
can be set down upon the map with any degree of certainty (1).
The apparent discrepancy between Deut. x. 6, 7, and Num.
xxxiii. 30-33—in the former of which the Israelites are said to
have come first of all to Beeroth-Bne-Jaakan, and after this to


Moserah, Gudgod, and Jotbathah ; whereas, according to the
other, they came first of all to Moseroth, and thence to Bne-
Jaakan, Chor-Gidgad, and Jotbathah,—can be very easily explained,
if we simply bear
in mind the fact that the journeys described in the two passages are very different in their character (2). (
1.) It is true, there are two other names to be met with in
the modern geography of the desert, which strikingly remind us
of names which occur in the Bible. Fifteen miles to the south
of Wady Ketemat, we find a wady Muzeirah marked upon the
maps, and thirty miles to the south of the latter a "Wady el-
Gudhagidh. But, however unmistakeable the correspondence
between these names and the Biblical stations Moserah and Chor-
lm-Gidgad (Gudgod) may be, yet, so far as the situation of these
wadys is at present determined, it is impossible that they should
coincide with the names in the Bible. When we compare Dent,
x. 6 with Num. xx. 22 sqq. and xxxiii. 38, it is evident that
Moserah must have been situated in the immediate neighbourhood
of Mount Hor, probably in the Arabah, at the foot of the
mountain.—In that case, the stations between Moserah and
Eziongeber would have to be sought for in the Arabah also.
Hengstenberg is undoubtedly correct in calling attention, in connection
with the name Bne-Jaakan, to the fact, that we find an
Akan (Gen. xxxvi. 27), or Jaakan (l Chr. i. 42), mentioned
among the descendants of Seir the Horite, whose land was taken
by the Edomites. The station called Bne-Jaakan, therefore,
probably denotes the former possessions of this branch of the
Horites, but it does not follow that it must of necessity have
been situated in the Arabah. If we bear in mind (§ 26, 3) that
the territory of the Edomites extended far away beyond the
Arabah towards the west, it is very conceivable that the " well
of the sons of Jaakan" (Beeroth Bne-Jaakan) may have been
on this side of the Arabah. (
2.) If we look at the difference between the journey described
in Num. xxxiii. 30-33, and the one referred to in Deut. x. 6, 7,
there is no difficulty in untying the knot, which seems to be
formed by a comparison of these two passages. The journey
mentioned in Deut. x. 6, 7, was undertaken with a definite
object, namely, to pass round Mount Seir, for the purpose of




entering the promised land. On this occasion, therefore, an
unnecessarily circuitous route will have been avoided, and the
shortest possible way selected. The order in which the stations
occur, therefore, in Deut. x. 6, 7, is to be regarded as answering
to their geographical situation, so that Bne-Jaakan must be
sought for on the north, or west, or north-west of Moserah.
The journey described in Num. xxxiiL 30-33 was of a totally
different character. At this time—that is, during the thirty-seven
years' rejection—the Israelites had dispersed themselves in larger
or smaller parties over the entire desert, and settled down by any
meadows and springs which they could find (we shall enter more
fully into this question, and prove our assertion, at § 41). On the
other hand, the stations whose names occur in Num. xxxiii. 19-36,
are the head-quarters, where Moses encamped with the tabernacle,
which made a circuit of the whole desert, to visit the various
sections of the nation which were scattered over it, and remained
some time with each of them. There was no end to be served
by always going in >a straight line ; but when circumstances
rendered it advisable, the course might be turned towards the
east or west, the north or south, without the slightest hesitation.
There is nothing surprising, therefore, in the fact, that on one
occasion a zigzag course was taken, viz., from Kadesh to. Mose-
roth, and thence to Biie-Jaakan, and that on another occasion,
when it was a matter of importance to take the most direct route
to a certain point, Bne-Jaakan should come before Moseroth.
There is even less difficulty in .adopting this explanation, if we
assume, as we are certainly warranted in doing, that one or
other of the names in question may have been used to denote a
wady in its entire length, and that the point at which the procession
touched the wady may not have been the same on both
32. (Num. x. 11-xi. 3.)—On the twentieth day of the
second month, in the second year after the departure of the
children of Israel from Egypt, the cloud ascended (§ 22, 2),
and the Israelites left Sinai, where they had been encamped for
almost an entire year (a year all but ten clays, cf. § 4, 5). They
set out in the order (1) already prescribed (vid. § 20). The pillar







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