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.
A clan named from an eponymous ancestor, Kenaz. According to Jahwist (Jos 15:17; Jg 1:13), Caleb and Othniel were descended from him. (The Inference, sometimes made, that Kenaz was a brother of Caleb, arose from a misunderstanding of these passages.) Redactor in 14/6/type/leb'>Jos 14:6,14 definitely calls Caleb a Kenizzite, as Priestly Narrative does in Nu 32:12. Redactor also (Ge 15:18-21) counts the Kenizzites among the pre-Israelitish inhabitants of Palestine. Priestly Narrative in Ge 36:42 enrols Kenaz among the 'dukes' of Edom, while a Priestly supplementer counts him both as a 'duke' and as a grandson of Esau (Ge 36:11,16). The Chronicler names Kenaz as a grandson of Esau (1Ch 1:36), and also as a descendant of Judah (1Ch 4:13-15). The probable meaning of all these passages is that the Kenizzites overspread a part of Edom and southern Judah before the Israelitish conquest and continued to abide there, a part of them being absorbed by the Edomites, and a part by the tribe of Judah. This latter portion embraced the clans of Caleb and Othniel.
George A. Barton.
Mentioned only once as people in the land promised to Abraham. Ge 15:19.