American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - K

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Called also En-Mishpat, Ge 14:7, the name of a fountain, a city, and
the desert around, Ps 29:3, in the southern border of the promised
land. It is said, in Nu 20:16, to lie in the "uttermost border of
Edom," and was probably situated very near the great valley El-Arabah,
south of the Dead Sea. Dr. Robinson found a watering place answering
well to the indications in Scripture, on the western border of
El-Arabah, about twenty-seven miles from the Dead Sea. Kadesh was
twice visited by the Israelites in their wanderings; once soon after
they left mount Sinai, and again thirty-eight years after. At the
first visit the mission and return of the twelve spies took place, the
rebellion of the people, and their presumptuous effort to enter Canaan
by the pass Zephath, immediately north of Kadesh, Nu 13:1-14:45. At
their second visit occurred the death of Miriam, the murmuring of the
people for water, the miraculous supply, the sin of Aaron and Moses in
smiting the rock, and the fruitless request for a passage through
Edom, Nu 20:1-22. The southern border of Judah reached to
Kadesh-barnea, Jos 12:22 15:3.


Ge 15:19, a tribe of Canaanites who inhabited the promised land east
of the Jordan, about mount Hermon. Some have fancied that Cadmus, the
supposed inventor of the Greek alphabet, and who came from the East,
was a Kadmonite. If so, he only introduced into Greece the alphabet of
his own country, since the Greek letters are obviously derived from
the Phoenician or ancient Hebrew letters.


1. A brook which separated Ephraim and Manasseh, and fell into the
Mediterranean north of Joppa, Jos 16:8 17:9.

2. A town in the tribe of Asher, Jos 19:24,28. See CANA.


A son of Ishmael, Ge 25:13, the father of the Kedarenians or Cedrei,
mentioned by Pliny, who dwelt in the neighborhood of the Nabatheans,
in Arabia Deserta. They were a numerous and powerful tribe, not of the
best reputation, Ps 120:5, and their name is sometimes put for the
whole of Arabia Desert and its wandering inhabitants, Isa 21:16,17
42:11. Their black camel's hair tents are a picturesque feature in a
landscape, So 1:5.


A city in the border of Sihon king of Heshbon, whence Moses sent him
an embassage of peace. A desert lay near it, De 2:26. It was
afterwards a Levitical city of Reuben, Jos 13:18 21:37.


1. A city of refuge, in Naphtali; now Kedis, three miles northwest of
lake Merom, Jos 19:37; 20:7. Barak the judge of Israel was born there,
Jud 4:6

2. A city in the south of Judah, Jos 15:23.

3. A city in Issachar, 1Ch 6:72.




A city in the plains of Judah, which David once relieved from a siege
by the Philistines, but which afterwards sought to deliver him up to
Saul, 1Sa 23:1-13; Ne 3:17.


A people who dwelt west of the Dead sea, and extended themselves far
into Arabia Petraea. Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, was a Kenite,
and his family accompanied the Israelites, and settled with other
Kenites in various parts of the Holy Land, Jud 1:16; 4:11; 1Sa 30:29;
1Ch 2:55. Heber and the Rechabites were their descendants. The Kenites
of whom we read appear to have known and served Jehovah, and the whole
tribe were friendly to the Hebrews. Saul spared them, when sent to
destroy the Amalekites among whom they dwelt, Nu 24:20,21; 1Sa 15:6.


An ancient people of Canaan, whose land God promised to the
descendants of Abraham, Ge 15:19. They appear to have mingled with
other Canaanites, and lost their distinctive name before the time of
Joshua. They should be distinguished from the Kenezites, the children
of Kenaz. Two men so named are mentioned in Bible history, both
subsequent to the Kenizzites, Ge 36:15,42; Jos 14:6; 15:17.


The wife of Abraham, after the death of Sarah, Ge 25:1-6. Though she
is called a "concubine," this may have been to distinguish her sons as
well as Ishmael from Isaac the son of promise, Ge 25:6; 1Ch 1:32; Ga
4:22,30. Her sons were the ancestors of many Arabian tribes.


The graves of lust, one of the encampments of Israel in the
wilderness, where they desired of God flesh for their sustenance,
declaring they were tired of manna, Nu 11:34,35 33:16. Quails were
sent in great quantities; but while the meat was in their mouths, God
smote so great a number of them, that the place was called "the graves
of those who lusted," Ps 78:30-31, a monument to warn mankind against
the sin of discontent, 1Co 10:6.


A winter torrent, and the valley in which it flowed, east of
Jerusalem. This valley begins a little northwest of the city, passes
some two hundred rods north of the present wall, and turns to the
south. Here it is wide and open; but as it runs south between the city
and mount Olivet, it becomes narrow and deep. Opposite mount Moriah,
it is a mere torrent's bed, one hundred and fifty feet below the city
wall. It sinks still deeper as it passes Siloam, the valley of Hinnom,
and the well of Nehemiah, and then winds southeast, in a narrow and
precipitous gorge, through the horrid wilderness of St. Saba, to the
Dead Sea. The bed of the Kidron is now dry most of the year; even in
the rainy season it has no constant stream, though heavy and continued
rains may create an impetuous but short-lived torrent. It is crossed
by a causeway and a bridge of a single arch, between St. Stephen's
Gate and the Garden of Gethsemane. By this route probably David fled
from Absalom, 2Sa 15:23; and the Savior often passed this way in going
to Bethany, Mount Olivet, and Gethsemane, Joh 18:1-2. In this valley
and in that of Hinnom, at their confluence, kings Asa, Josiah, and
Hezekiah destroyed the idols and abominations by which Jerusalem was
defiled, 1Ki 15:13 2Ki 23:4,6,12 2Ch 29:16. See HINNOM, and JERUSALEM.
A part of the waters of the ancient Kidron were derived from the
temple itself, flowing down by several channels to the deep bed of the
brook. The prophet Ezekiel makes use of this fact in a beautiful and
cheering allegory, foretelling the river of divine grace that shall
yet renovate the world. The stream he describes issues from the
temple, beside the altar of God; it flows with an ever increasing
volume; it carries with it into the dreary wilderness verdure,
fruitfulness, and melody; and even heals the bitter waters of the Dead
Sea itself, Eze 47:1-12.


In Scripture, the word king does not always imply either a high degree
of power or great extent of territory. Many single towns, or towns
with their adjacent villages, are said to have had kings; and many
persons are called kings in Scripture, whom we should rather
denominate chiefs or leaders. Somewhat in this sense, Moses is said to
have been "king in Jeshurun," or Israel, De 33:5; he was the chief,
the leader, the guide of his people, though not king in the same sense
as David or Solomon. These remarks will remove the surprise which some
persons have felt at seeing that so small a country as Canaan
contained thirty-one kings who were conquered, Jos 12:9-24, besides
many who no doubt escaped the arms of Joshua. Adonizedek, himself no
very powerful king, mentions seventy kings whom he had subdued and
mutilated. See also 1Ki 4:21. These kings, in many cases, were no
doubt like the sheiks of Arab tribes at the present day.

The Israelites had no kings till Saul; having been governed, first by
elders, as in Egypt; then by rulers of God's appointment, as Moses and
Joshua; then by judges, as Othniel, Ehud, Gideon, Samuel; and lastly
by kings, as Saul, David, Solomon. Being peculiarly the people of God,
their form of government was essentially a theocracy. God prescribed
for them a code of laws; he designated their rulers; these laws and
rulers the people were to obey "in the Lord;" and in all cases of
doubt, he, as the actual head of the government, was to be consulted,
in the spirit of the words, "The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our
Lawgiver, the Lord is our King." Their demand for a king was offensive
to him, as an unbelieving and rebellious departure from the more
immediate headship of Jehovah, 1Sa 8:7. Yet even under the regal
government, they were still to regard him as their king. Idolatry was
treason against the throne. Their code of laws was still his holy
book. It was a prophet or high priest of Jehovah who anointed the
king, and placed the crown upon his head and the scepter in his hand,
De 17:15,18-20 1Sa 10:1 12:12-15 2Sa 1:14,21 1Ki 1:39 2Ki 9:1-6
11:2-12 Ps 21:3. By the instrumentality of his sacred ministers, God
gave such directions concerning public affairs as were needed and
sought for; and these agents of God, with their instructions and
warnings, performed a most important part in the national history. So
far as people and kings looked to God as their Head, they prospered;
and it was for lack of this, that they were ruined. Of the two
kingdoms, Judah and Israel, the latter most rapidly and fully threw
off its allegiance, 2Ch 13:4-12; therefore it was the first to perish,
having continued two hundred and fiftyfour years from the death of
Solomon, B. C. 975-721, with nineteen kings of nine different
dynasties. The kingdom of Judah continued three hundred and
eighty-seven years after the separation, B. C. 975-588, having been
held by nineteen successive kings of the line of David.

The two BOOKS OF KINGS contain a history of the kings of Judah and
Israel intermingled, commencing with Solomon and ending with Zedekiah;
unlike the books of Chronicles, which give an account only of the
kings of Judah. In the Septuagint and Vulgate, our two books of Samuel
are also called books of Kings. The various histories comprising the
two books of Kings were evidently the work of a single inspired
writer, and not a mere collection. They are believed to have been
written before the books of Chronicles, and Jewish tradition makes the
prophet Jeremiah their author, B. C. 620. The writer probably drew a
part of his materials from the records of each reign left by
contemporary prophets and priests, 1Ki 11:41. See CHRONICLES. All
these sacred annals are highly instructive. They show us the perfect
fulfillment of the divine promises and warnings by Moses; and every
page confirms the inspired declaration, "The fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom."


An expression used in the New Testament to signify the reign,
dispensation, or administration of Jesus Christ. The ancient prophets,
when describing the character of the Messiah, Da 2:44 7:13,14 Mic
4:1-7, and even when speaking of his humiliation and sufferings, were
wont to intersperse hint of his power, his reign, and his divinity.
The Jews, overlooking the spiritual import of this language, expected
the Messiah to appear as a temporal king, exercising power over his
enemies, restoring the throne of David to all its splendor, subduing
the nations, and rewarding his friends and faithful servants in
proportion to their fidelity and services. Hence the contests among
his disciples, ere they had fully learned Christ, about precedency in
his kingdom; and hence probably the sons of Zebedee desired the two
chief places in it, or those nearest to their endeared Master and
Lord. They afterwards learned that his kingdom was not of this world,
Joh 18:36-37; that its origin, spirit, means, and ends were spiritual
and heavenly. It has indeed its outward form, the visible church, Mt
13:47, and bestows on the world the richest of temporal blessings; but
its true dominion is in the souls of men. It embraces all who by the
Spirit of Christ are united to him as their divine Head and King, to
love, serve, and enjoy him for ever. His work on earth was to
establish it, Mt 3:2. He introduced his disciples into it while on
earth, and more fully after his resurrection and ascension, Joh 20:22
Ac 2:32-36; is "head over all things," in order to make it triumphant
and supreme even on earth, Da 7:27 Eph 1:20-22. It will be perfected
in heaven, Mt 8:11, and will never cease, Lu 1:33, even when the
mediatorial reign of the Savior is accomplished, 1Co 15:28.


1. A strong city of Moab; called also Kir-hareseth, Kir-haresh, and
Kir-heres, Isa 15:1; 16:7,11; Jer 48:31. It was once nearly destroyed
by Joram king of Israel, 2Ki 3:25. It is now called Kerak, and is a
town of three hundred families, on a steep hill at the head of a
ravine running up fifteen miles into the mountains of Moab.
Three-fourths of its present inhabitants are nominal Christians,
greatly oppressed by the Mohammedan Arabs around them.

2. A region to which Tiglath-pileser transported the captive people of
Damascus, 2Ki 16:9; believed to have been in the vicinity of the river
Kur or Cyrus, on the northeast of Armenia. The Kur flows southeast,
unites with the Araxes, and empties into the Caspian Sea.




Jos 15:9,60, a city of the Gibeonites afterwards given to Judah. It
was on the confines of Benjamin, Jos 18:14,15, about nine miles from
Jerusalem in the way to Lydda. Here the ark was lodged for many years,
in the house of Abinadab, till David removed it to Jerusalem, 1Sa 7:2
2Sa 6:2 1Ch 13:1-14.


1. The dual form of Kirjath, a city. It was an ancient city of the
Emim, east of the Jordan; afterwards inhabited by the Moabites,
Amorites, and Israelites in turn, Ge 14:5 De 2:9-11 Eze 25:9. It fell
within the limits of the tribe of Reuben, Nu 32:37 Jos 13:19

2. A Levitical city in Naphtali, 1Ch 6:76; called Kartan, in Jos




Now the Mukutta, a brook that rises in the plain of Esdraelon, near
the foot of mount Tabor. After passing through the great plain and
receiving the waters of various smaller streams, it flows along the
foot of mount Carmel, and discharges itself into the Carmel ridge, see
CARMEL 2, make it a perennial stream for about seven miles from its
mouth. But all the eastern part of its channel, now that the great
plain of its channel, now that the great plain through which it flows
is unwooded, it dry throughout the summer season; and yet, in the
winter, and after heavy rains, it swells to a full and rapid torrent.
The drowning of Sisera's host, Jud 4:13 5:21, is paralleled by a
similar destruction of Arabs fleeing from the French after the battle
of mount Tabor, April 8, 1799.


This salutation was customary in the East, to express regard and
reverence, as well as affection, Gen 29.13; Ru 1.14; Acts 20.37.
Sometimes the beard was kissed, 2Sa 20:9; and in token of humble
affection, the feet, Lu 7:38. Images and the heavenly bodies were
worshipped by kissing the hand towards them, 1Ki 19:18 Job 31:27 Ho
13:2. The expression, "Kiss the Son," Ps 2:12, may be illustrated by
1Sa 10:1, where king Saul receives the kiss of allegiance from Samuel.
This salutation being customary in those days between man and man, was
used in the early church as a pledge of Christian peace and charity,
Ro 16:16 1Pe 5:14.


A bird of prey, and therefore placed by Moses among the unclean birds,
Le 11:14. See BIRDS.


Son of Javan, and grandson of Noah, Ge 10:4. See CHITTIM.


In the description of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, Ex
12:34, we read that "the people took their dough before it was
leavened, their kneading-troughs being bound up in their clothes upon
their shoulders." These were either small wooden bowls, or circular
pieces of leather which might be drawn up like a bag, by a cord
encircling the edge. The Arabs of the present day use both.


Son of Levi, Ge 46:11, and father of the Kohathites, who were
appointed to carry the ark and sacred utensils of the tabernacle
during the journeyings of the Israelites in the desert, Ex 6:16- 24;
Nu 4:4-15.


A Levite, who rebelled against Moses and Aaron, and so against
Jehovah. He was a cousin of Moses; for their fathers Izhar and Amram
were brothers, Ex 6:16-21. He was jealous of the civil authority and
priestly dignity conferred by God upon Moses and Aaron, his own
cousins, while he was simply a Levite; and to obtain a part at least
of their power for himself, he stirred up a factious spirit in the
people. Too much, alas, of what may seem to be zeal for the honor of
God, has its true character displayed in the pride and ambition of
this rebellious Levite. The two hundred and fifty Levites whom he had
enticed to join him were destroyed by fire from the Lord; while Korah,
Dathan, and Abiram were swallowed up by the miraculous opening of the
earth, Nu 26:11; and the Korahites or "sons of Korah," were a
celebrated family of singers and poets in the time of David, 1Ch 9:19
26:1. To them are inscribed several Psalms, Ps 42:1-11 44:1-26 49:1-20
84:1-85:13 87:1-88:18.

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