smiths, the name of a tribe inhabiting the desert lying between southern Palestine and the mountains of Sinai. Jethro was of this tribe (Judg. 1:16). He is called a "Midianite" (Num. 10:29), and hence it is concluded that the Midianites and the Kenites were the same tribe. They were wandering smiths, "the gipsies and travelling tinkers of the old Oriental world. They formed an important guild in an age when the art of metallurgy was confined to a few" (Sayce's Races, etc.). They showed kindness to Israel in their journey through the wilderness. They accompanied them in their march as far as Jericho (Judg. 1:16), and then returned to their old haunts among the Amalekites, in the desert to the south of Judah. They sustained afterwards friendly relations with the Israelites when settled in Canaan (Judg. 4:11, 17-21; 1 Sam. 27:10; 30:29). The Rechabites belonged to this tribe (1 Chr. 2:55) and in the days of Jeremiah (35:7-10) are referred to as following their nomad habits. Saul bade them depart from the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:6) when, in obedience to the divine commission, he was about to "smite Amalek." And his reason is, "for ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt." Thus "God is not unrighteous to forget the kindnesses shown to his people; but they shall be remembered another day, at the farthest in the great day, and recompensed in the resurrection of the just" (M. Henry's Commentary). They are mentioned for the last time in Scripture in 1 Sam. 27:10; comp. 30:20.
The kenites came from the desert, and were apparently of Midianitish descent.
These are the kenites who came of Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.
These are the kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.
All that was necessary was to prevent the kenites from settling within Israelitish territory.
They forced Hebrews, Edomites, and kenites to unite against the common enemy, and welded them into a single whole.
A union was thus established between kenites and Israelites of the most solemn and binding kind.
The outlook to a future was something which the kenites as a people had not, never could have in their desultory life.