And Ken'ites (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 2:15,16; 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, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. They seem to have accompanied the Hebrews during their wanderings, (Numbers 24:21,22; 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.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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