Kenites

Kenites or Cinites (/ˈknt/; Template:Hebrew Name 1, Hebrew pronunciation: [qiˈnim]), according to the Hebrew Bible, were a nomadic clan in the ancient Levant, sent under Jethro a priest in the land of Midian.[1] They played an important role in the history of ancient Israel. The Kenites were coppersmiths and metalworkers.[1] Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, was a shepherd and a priest in the land of Midian. Judges 1:16 identifies that Moses had a father-in-law who was a Kenite, but it is not clear from the passage if this refers to the same Jethro who was the priest of Midian. Certain groups of Kenites settled among the Israelite population, including the descendants of Moses' brother-in-law,[2] though the Kenites descended from Rechab, maintained a distinct, nomadic lifestyle for some time. Moses apparently identified Jethro's concept of God, El Shaddai, with Yahweh, the Israelites' God.[1]

According to the Kenite hypothesis, Yahweh was historically a Midian deity, and the association of Moses' father-in-law being associated with Midian reflects the historical adoption of the Midianite cult by the Hebrews.[1][3][4]

"Kenite" is a rendition of Hebrew קֵינִי Qeyniy. According to Gesenius, the name is derived from the name Cain (קַיִן Qayin).[5]

In the Bible

The Judges 1:16 says that his descendants "went up from the City of Palms [ie Jericho] with the men of Judah to live among the people of the Desert of Judah in the Negev near Arad."

However, in Numbers 24:21-22)

At a later period, some of the Kenites separated from their brethren in the south, and went to live in northern Canaan (1 Samuel 30:29)

Other well-known Kenites were Heber, the husband of Jael, and Rechab, the ancestor of the Rechabites.[6]

Identity

According to the critical interpretation of the Biblical data, the Kenites were a clan settled on the southern border of Judah, originally more advanced in arts than the Hebrews, and from whom the latter learned much. They supposedly migrated from southern Asia. In the time of David the Kenites were finally settled among the tribe of Judah.[7]

Their eponymous ancestor may have been Cain (Kain), to whose descendants the Jahwist in Genesis iv. attributes the invention of the art of working bronze and iron, the use of instruments of music, etc. Sayce has implied[8] that the Kenites were a tribe of smiths—a view to which Jahwist's statements would lend support.

Kenite hypothesis

Jethro, priest of Midian, and father-in-law of Moses, according to Judges 1:16 was a Kenite, but merely live in the land of Cannan and the Midianites. The "Kenite hypothesis" supposes that the Hebrews have adopted the cult of Yahweh from the Midianites via the "Kenites". This view, first proposed by F. W. Ghillany, afterward independently by Cornelis Petrus Tiele (1872), and more fully by Stade, has been more completely worked out by Karl Budde; and is accepted by H. Guthe, Gerrit Wildeboer, H. P. Smith, and G. A. Barton.[9]

See also

References

  • Template:JewishEncyclopedia

Resources

  • Jewish Encyclopedia. Funk and Wagnalls, 1901–1906; which cites to the following bibliography:
  • Stade, Geschichte des Volkes Israel, i. 126 et seq., Berlin, 1889;
  • Moore, "Judges", in International Critical Commentary, pp. 51–55, New York, 1895;
  • Budde, Religion of Israel to the Exile, pp. 17–38, New York;
  • Barton, Semitic Origins, pp. 271–278, ib. 1902.

External links

  • "Kenite". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2009.
  • Kenites on jewishencyclopedia.com
  • Rechabites on jewishencyclopedia.com
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