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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Re´chabites. The tribe or family of Kenites, whom Jonadab, the son of Rechab, subjected to a new rule of life; or rather bound to the continued observance of ancient usages which were essential to their separate existence, but which the progress of their intercourse with towns seemed likely soon to extinguish. By thus maintaining their independent existence as a pastoral people, they would keep themselves from being involved in the distractions and internal wars of the country, would be in no danger of becoming objects of jealousy and suspicion to the Israelites, and would be able at all times to remove from a country in which they were strangers. The Rechabites found so much advantage in these rules, that they observed them with great strictness for about 300 years, when we first become aware of their existence. Jeremiah put to the proof their adherence to their founder's rules, and they stood the test ().

What eventually became of the Rechabites is not known. The probability is that, when they found themselves no longer safe among the Hebrews, they withdrew into the desert from which they at first came, and which was peopled by men of similar habits of life, among whom, in the course of time, they lost their separate existence.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Rechabites'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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