The Info List - Q-D-Š

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Q-D-Š is a triconsonantal Semitic root meaning "sacred, holy", derived from a concept central to ancient Semitic religion. From a basic verbal meaning "to consecrate, to purify", it could be used as an adjective meaning "holy", or as a substantive referring to a "sanctuary, sacred object, sacred personnel."[1] The root is reflected as qdš (Hebrew קדש‬) in Northwest Semitic and as qds (Arabic قدس) in Central and South Semitic. In Akkadian texts, the verb conjugated from this root meant to "clean, purify."[1][2]


1 Canaanite religion 2 Hebrew 3 Arabic 4 See also 5 References 6 Bibliography

Canaanite religion[edit] It was used this way in Ugaritic, as for example, in the words qidšu (meaning "holy place" or "chapel") and qad(i)šu (meaning "consecrated gift" or "cultic personnel").[1] In some Ugaritic texts, qdš is used as a divine epithet. For example, the gods are referred to as "the sons of holiness" or "the holy ones" (bn qdš), and in the Ugaritic Legend of Keret, the hero is described as "the son of El and the offspring of the Benevolent One and qdš".[1][3] William Foxwell Albright
William Foxwell Albright
believed that Qudšu (meaning "holiness") was a common Canaanite appellation for the goddess Asherah, and Albright's mentee Frank Moore Cross
Frank Moore Cross
claimed qdš was used as a divine epithet for both Asherah
and the Ugaritic goddess, Athirat.[1][4][5] Johanna Stucky claims she may have been a deity in her own right.[6] Depictions of a goddess in inscriptions from Dynastic Egypt, thought to Canaanite since she is referred to as Qdš (often transliterated in English as Qedesha, Qudshu or Qetesh), show a woman in the nude, with curly hair and raised arms carrying lilies and serpents.[4][7] Qdš is also depicted in the pantheon of gods at Memphis, Egypt
Memphis, Egypt
possibly indicating worship of her as independent deity there.[7] The word qdš also appears in the Pyrgi Tablets, a Phoenician text found in Italy that dates back to 500 BCE.[8] Hebrew[edit] Qudšu was later used in Jewish Aramaic to refer to God,[4] and qudš is the proto-form of the Hebrew word qadōš, meaning "holy". Words derived from the root qdš appear some 830 times in the Hebrew Bible.[9][10] Its use in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
evokes ideas of separation from the profane, and proximity to the Otherness of God, while in nonbiblical Semitic texts, recent interpretations of its meaning link it to ideas of consecration, belonging, and purification.[clarification needed][11] The Hebrew language
Hebrew language
is called "The Holy Tongue" (Hebrew: לשון הקודש‎ "Lashon HaKodesh") in Judaism. In addition, the Hebrew term for the Holy Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem
is Beit Hamikdash (Hebrew: בית המקדש‎, "the holy house"), and Ir Ha-Kodesh
Ir Ha-Kodesh
(Hebrew: עיר הקודש‎, "City of the Holy"), the latter being one of the tens of Hebrew names for Jerusalem. Three theological terms that come from this root are Kiddush, which is sanctification of the Sabbath or a festival with a blessing over wine before the evening and noon meals, Kaddish, which is the sanctification prayer, and mourner's prayer, and Kedushah which is the responsive section of the reader's repetition of the Amidah. Kedeshah (קדשה) is a word derived from the Q-D-Š root, which is used in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
to describe a particular sort of woman. There is debate in modern scholarship over whether a kedeshah was a sacred prostitute, or whether she was some other sort of cultic functionary.[12][13] While the word zonah (זנה) simply meant an ordinary prostitute or loose woman, the word kedeshah literally means "consecrated female".[14] There are two different words describing places that use this root in the Hebrew Bible. One is Kedesh, which refers to a Canaanite village first documented in Joshua 20:7 and later in 2 Kings 15:29. The other is Kadesh, a place in the south of Ancient Israel, mentioned in Numbers 13:26 and Deuteronomy 2:14.

Root: Q-D-Š (קדש‬): meaning "holy" or "set apart"

Hebrew[Note] Transliteration Lexical category Gender Definition

קֹדֶשׁ‬ qodesh noun masculine holiness

קִדֵּשׁ‬ qiddesh verb

to sanctify; to make kiddush

נתקדשה‬ nhitqadsh (Talmudic) to be betrothed, to be married

מִקְדָּשׁ‬ miqdash noun masculine temple

מְקֻדָּשׁ‬ miqudash adjective

holy, sacred, sanctified

מֻקְדָּשׁ‬ muqdash dedicated, devoted

קִדּוּשׁ‬ qidush noun masculine (Jewish ritual) Kiddush

קַדִּישׁ‬ qadish (Jewish ritual) Kaddish

קְדֻשָּׁה‬ q'dusha feminine sanctity, purity, holiness ; (Jewish ritual) Kedushah

קָדֵשׁ‬ qadesh masculine (pagan ritual) male prostitute

קְדֵשָׁה‬ qdesha feminine meaning disputed, describes either cult prostitute or other cultic functionary

קֶדֶשׁ‬ qedesh

(Canaanite village) Kedesh

קָדֵשׁ‬ qadesh (Place in the south of Ancient Israel) Kadesh

Arabic[edit] The verb form of Q-D-S in Arabic (qadus) means "to be holy" or "to be pure, immaculate".[15][16] Quds can be used as a noun to denote "paradise" or as an adjective meaning "purity" or "holiness".[16] The definite noun form, al-Quds (Arabic: القدس‎, "the holy one"), is the most common of seventeen Arabic Names of Jerusalem
Names of Jerusalem
and derives from the Aramaean word for "temple" (qōdšā).[17][18] The Turkish word for Jerusalem, Kudüs, derives from the Arabic name.[19] Two other names for Jerusalem
also derive from the Q-D-S root: Bayt al-Muqqadas ("the holy house") and Bayt al-Maqdis.[15][18][19] The wider area around Jerusalem, or the Holy Land, is referred to in Arabic and in Islamic sources as al ard al-muqaddasa (also Bilād al-Muqaddasa), as it is full of shrines and connections to prophets and saints.[15][20] The Christian Bible is known in Arabic as al-Kitāb al-Muqaddas.[20] Muqaddas in Arabic means not only "holy" and "sacred", but also "hallowed, sanctified, dedicated, consecrated."[20] Al-Quds
also appears in Arabic as part of a phrase to refer to the Holy Spirit, Rúḥu 'l-Quds (or Rūḥu 'l'Qudus), with Ruh meaning "spirit".[21] This phrase appears in the Qur'an
a number of times, where it is thought to refer in some cases to the angel Gabriel.[22] The concept of Rúḥu 'l-Quds is also discussed at length by the Sufi mystic, ʻAbd al-Karim al-Jili, who further distinguishes between two other concepts derived from the Q-D-S root in Arabic: qudsi ("holy one") and aqdasi ("most holy one").[21] The qudsi is one who "unceasingly contemplates the Divine consciousness sirr ['secret'], which is his origin" and is "illuminated" by it, whereas the aqdasi ("most holy one") is one who is actually united with this Essence.[21] Qudsi is also used in Arabic to refer to a Jerusalemite, or a native/resident of Jerusalem.[23] It and its derivatives, such as Maqdisi
and al-Muqaddasi are used in Arabic surnames or as appellatives assigned to those who come from or live in Jerusalem. The religious terms Hadith
Qudsi ("holy hadith") and Tafsir Qudsi ("sacred commentary") also incorporate qudsi, though in this case it is used as an adjective, rather than a noun or pronoun. Tafsir Qudsi is a form of Quranic commentary, while Hadith
Qudsi refers to the "utterances of God through the Prophet", thus enjoying a status higher than that the hadith writings in general, though lower than that of the Qur'an.[24] Other derivatives of Q-D-S in Arabic include qudus, which means "purity", "sanctity", "saint" or "holy", and qadas, which is used to refer to a "small cup or plate", often used to put forth offerings at holy sites.[16] Taqdis means to "purify, sanctify, consecrate to God," taqqadus is to "be purified, sanctified, consecrated," and taqâdus means to "play the saint". Istiqdas means "to deem holy."[16] See also[edit]

Look up Appendix:List of Proto-Semitic stems in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

(other) Battle of Kadesh Bris Kodesh Kadesh Campaign Kadosh Kitáb-i-Aqdas Kodesh Hakodashim Qadas Qadesh (other) Sifrei Kodesh


^ a b c d e van der Toorn et al., 1999, p. 415. ^ Botterweck, G. Johannes; Ringgren, Helmer; Fabry, Heinz-Josef (1974), Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, p. 525, ISBN 0-8028-2336-X  [better reference needed] ^ Köhler, Ludwig; Baumgartner, Walter; Richardson, Mervyn Edwin John; Stamm, Johann Jakob (1994), The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, v. 3, E.J. Brill, p. 1076  ^ a b c Albright, 1990, pp. 121–122. ^ Hadley, 2000, p. 49. ^ Johanna Stuckey (2007), The "Holy One", MatriFocus, retrieved 2008-11-18  ^ a b van der Toorn, et al., 1999, p. 416. ^ Azize, Joseph (2005), The Phoenician Solar Theology: An Investigation Into the Phoenician Opinion of the Sun Found in Julian's Hymn to King Helios, Gorgias Press LLC, p. 184, ISBN 1-59333-210-6  ^ Bales, Norman (1991), He Died to Make Men Holy, College Press, p. 48, ISBN 0-89900-271-4  [better reference needed] ^ Joosten, 1996, p. 123. ^ Deiss, Lucien; Burton, Jane M.-A.; Molloy, Donald (1996), Visions of Liturgy and Music for a New Century, Liturgical Press, p. 81, ISBN 0-8146-2298-4  ^ Westenholz, Joan Goodnick. “Tamar, Qědēšā, Qadištu, and Sacred
Prostitution in Mesopotamia.” The Harvard Theological Review, vol. 82, no. 3, 1989, pp. 245–265., www.jstor.org/stable/1510077. ^ Also transliterated qĕdeshah, qedeshah, qědēšā ,qedashah, kadeshah, kadesha, qedesha, kdesha. A modern liturgical pronunciation would be k'deysha. ^ Associated with the corresponding verb zanah. ^ a b c Hillenbrand, Carole (2000), The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives, Routledge, p. 301, ISBN 0-415-92914-8  ^ a b c d Steingass, Francis (1993), Arabic-English Dictionary, Asian Educational Services, p. 823, ISBN 81-206-0855-0  ^ Kaplony, Andreas (2002), The Ḥaram of Jerusalem, 324-1099: Temple, Friday Mosque, Area of Spiritual Power, Franz Steiner Verlag, p. 218, ISBN 3-515-07901-7  ^ a b Binz, Stephen J. (2005), Jerusalem, the Holy City, Twenty-Third Publications, p. 2, ISBN 1-58595-365-2  ^ a b Room, Adrian (2003), Placenames of the World: Origins and Meanings of the Names for Over 5000 Natural Features, Countries, Capitals, Territories, Cities and Historic Sites, McFarland, p. 171, ISBN 0-7864-1814-1  ^ a b c Tallis, Raymond; Netton, Ian Richard (2006), Islam, Christianity and Tradition: A Comparative Exploration, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 100–101, ISBN 0-7486-2392-2  ^ a b c Nicholson, Reynold Alleyne (1978), Studies in Islamic Mysticism, Routledge, pp. 108–110, ISBN 0-7007-0278-4  ^ Hughes, Thomas Patrick; Hughes, Patrick (1996), A Dictionary of Islam: Being a Cyclopaedia of the Doctrines, Rites, Ceremonies, and Customs, Together With the Technical and Theological Terms, of the Muhammadan Religion, Asian Educational Services, p. 133, ISBN 81-206-0672-8  ^ Elihay, J. (2004), The Olive Tree Dictionary: A Transliterated Dictionary of Conversational Eastern Arabic (Palestinian), Kidron Publishing, p. 435, ISBN 0-9759726-0-X  ^ Glassé and Smith, 2001, p. 383.


Albright, William Foxwell (1990), Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan: A Historical Analysis of Two Contrasting Faiths, EISENBRAUNS, ISBN 0-931464-01-3  Becking, Bob; Dijkstra, Meindert; Vriezen, Karel J. H. (2001), Only One God?: Monotheism in Ancient Israel
Ancient Israel
and the Veneration of the Goddess
Asherah, Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 1-84127-199-3  Glassé, Cyril; Smith, Huston (2001), The New Encyclopedia of Islam: A Revised Edition of the Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, AltaMira Press, ISBN 0-7591-0189-2  Hadley, Judith M. (2000), The Cult of Asherah
in Ancient Israel
Ancient Israel
and Judah: Evidence for a Hebrew Goddess, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-66235-4  van der Toorn, K.; Becking, Bob; van der Horst, Pieter Willem (1999), Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, ISBN 0-8028-2491-9 

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Notable Semitic roots (cf. Wiktionary)