Kadesh on the Orontes

KADESH ON THE ORONTES kā’ dĭsh, ōrŏn’-tez (קָדֵ֥שׁ). A town on the Orontes River, just S of the Lake of Humus. The familiar battle between Rameses II and the Hittites took place here in 1288 b.c. It is the modern Tell Nebi Mend, some forty m. S of Hamath and fifty m. N of Damascus.

In Scripture, Kadesh is mentioned as the northern extension of Israel in David’s day (2 Sam 24:6). Some scholars doubt this location for the city feeling that it is too far N to suit the passage. KJV has tr. the whole phrase “Tahtim-hod shi.”

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(in Massoretic Text of 2Sa 24:6, under the corrupt form tachtim chodhshi, which should be corrected from the Septuagint (Luc.) reading: eis ten genitive Chettieim Kades, "to the land of the Hittites unto Kadesh," into ’erets ha-chittim qadheshah. Ewald and others, fixing the northern ideal boundary of Israel at the sources of the Jordan, would read "Hermon" for chodhshi, but the conjectures of Thenius and Hitzig of a reference to the northern Kadesh are fully confirmed by the reading given): Kadesh was the southern capital of the Hittites, and was situated on the upper waters of the Orontes, 80 miles North of Damascus. It is now represented by a large mound 5 miles South of what, till the Middle Ages, was called the Lake of Kades, but now the Lake of Homs. Here Thothmes III of Egypt (flourished circa 1650 BC), after the battle of Megiddo, met and received hostages from the Assyrians, and here too Rameses II defeated Hatesar, king of the Hittites (circa 1320 BC), and concluded with him a treaty, which was formally inscribed on a disk of silver. The incidents of the battle are depicted on the walls of the Ramesseum, and an Egyptian epic records the heroic deeds of Rameses. Under the name Kadytis, it is mentioned as being taken by Pharaoh-necoh (Herodotus ii.159) in 609 BC. In the only Bible reference (2Sa 24:6), it is named as the northern limit of the census made by David.