Numbers 20:1—Was Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin or in Paran?

Problem: In this text Kadesh is said to be in the “Wilderness of Zin.” But in Numbers 13:26 it is said to be in the “Wilderness of Paran.” Which was it?

Solution: There are several possible explanations, any one of which resolves the problem. First, some believe there were two places named Kadesh, one in each wilderness. Second, the name Kadesh could have been applied to both a city and a region in which the city lay. Third, that the same city was positioned between two wildernesses so as to be appropriately associated with either.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.