and Kenites (smiths ), The, inhabited the rocky and desert region between southern Palestine and the mountains of Sinai, east of the Gulf of Akabah. They were a branch of the larger nation of Midian, --from the fact that Jethro, who in Exodus (see ( Exodus 2:15 Exodus 2:16 ; 4:19 ) etc.) is represented as dwelling in the land of Midian, and as priest or prince of that nation, is in ( Judges 1:16 ; 4:11 ) as distinctly said to have been a Kenite. The important services rendered by the sheikh of the Kenites to Moses during a time of great pressure and difficulty were rewarded by the latter with a promise of firm friendship between the two peoples. They seem to have accompanied the Hebrews during their wanderings, ( Numbers 24:21 Numbers 24:22 ; Judges 1:16 ) comp. 2Chr 28:15 but, the wanderings of Israel over, they forsook the neighborhood of the towns and betook themselves to freer air, --to "the wilderness of Judah, which is to the south of Arad." ( Judges 1:16 ) But one of the sheikhs of the tribe, Heber by name, had wandered north instead of south. ( Judges 4:11 ) The most remarkable development of this people is to be found in the sect or family of the Rechabites.
Bibliography InformationSmith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Kenite, The,'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary".