Tel Kedesh National Park, together with Tel Kedesh, the ruins of the ancient Canaanite village of Kedesh, is one of the largest “tel” sites in the Upper Galilee, Israel, and is located by Kibbutz Malkiya. It was inhabited from the Bronze age to the Roman period. Joshua conquored Kedesh and it was given to the tribe of Naphtali. Later, Kedesh became one of the six Cities of Refuge along with Shechem and Kiriath Arba (Hebron)(Joshua 20:7). During the reign of Pekah, King of Israel, in the 8th century BCE, Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria took Kedesh and deported its inhabitants to Assyria (2 Kings 15:29). Only a part of the Tel Kedesh National Park is open for the public. There is only a short trail to the sarcophagi in the Mausoleum leading to the Roman temple.
A different Kedesh, Kedesh-Naphtali, is mentioned in the battle of Deborah and Barak as the birthplace of the military leader Barak (Judges 4). Scholars identify this Kedesh as the small village on the south-west side of the Sea of Galilee (near Pori’ya). There was also another Kedesh in Judaea (Joshua 15:23) and yet another in Issachar (Joshua 12:22).
The Tel Kedesh National Park spreads over 1,350 dunams on both sides of the North Road (number 899), about two kilometers west of Yesha Junction.
No entrance fee
Many large sarcophagi are found on the site.
The Pagan Temple at Tel Kedesh
Next to the remains of the Roman-Hellenistic temple are found ruins of an ancient settlement. The pagan temple has similarities with the Talmudic synagogue in Tel Bar’am.