Biblical Archaeology Review 7:3, May/June 1981

Did I Excavate Kadesh-Barnea?

Difficulty of site identification and absence of Exodus remains poses problem

By Rudolph Cohen

The problem of Kadesh-Barnea is simply stated: Has the site been correctly identified? If so, why have we found no remains from the Exodus period?

Kadesh-Barnea was the most important stop on the Exodus. The site also has special connections with Moses and his family. The journey of the Israelites through the desert from Egypt ended at Kadesh-Barnea. Here the Israelite tribes first rallied as one nation having a common spiritual vision. From here, the Israelites attempted to penetrate Canaan. And it was here, at Kadesh-Barnea, that they stayed for a generation.

Located between the Wilderness of Paran (Numbers 13:3) and the Wilderness of Zin (Numbers 13:21), Kadesh-Barnea was the site of a series of seminal and dramatic events that befell the wandering Israelites during their years in the desert.

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