Bible Dictionary


Kabzeel: gathering of God, a city in the extreme south of Judah, near to Idumaea (Josh. 15:21), the birthplace of Benaiah, one of David's chief warriors (2 Sam. 23:20; 1 Chr. 11:22). It was called also Jekabzeel (Neh. 11:25), after the Captivity.

Kadesh (1): holy, or Kadesh-Barnea, sacred desert of wandering, a place on the south-eastern border of Palestine, about 165 miles from Horeb. It lay in the 'wilderness' or 'desert of Zin' (Gen. 14:7; Num. 13:3-26; 14:29-33; 20:1; 27:14), on the border of Edom (20:16). From this place, in compliance with the desire of the people, Moses sent forth 'twelve spies' to spy the land. After examining it in all its districts, the spies brought back an evil report, Joshua and Caleb alone giving a good report of the land (13:18-31). Influenced by the discouraging report, the people abandoned all hope of entering into the Promised Land. They remained a considerable time at Kadesh. (See HORMAH ; KORAH.) Because of their unbelief, they were condemned by God to wander for thirty-eight years in the wilderness. They took their journey from Kadesh into the deserts of Paran, 'by way of the Red Sea' (Deut. 2:1). (One theory is that during these thirty-eight years they remained in and about Kadesh.)

Kadesh (2): the sacred city of the Hittites, on the left bank of the Orontes, about 4 miles south of the Lake of Homs. It is identified with the great mound Tell Neby Mendeh, some 50 to 100 feet high, and 400 yards long. On the ruins of the temple of Karnak, in Egypt, has been found an inscription recording the capture of this city by Rameses II. (See PHARAOH.) Here the sculptor 'has chiselled in deep work on the stone, with a bold execution of the several parts, the procession of the warriors, the battle before Kadesh, the storming of the fortress, the overthrow of the enemy, and the camp life of the Egyptians.' (See HITTITES.)

Kadmiel: before God; i.e., his servant, one of the Levites who returned with Zerubbabel from the Captivity (Neh. 9:4; 10:9; 12:8).

Kadmonites: Orientals, the name of a Canaanitish tribe which inhabited the north-eastern part of Palestine in the time of Abraham (Gen. 15:19). Probably they were identical with the 'children of the east,' who inhabited the country between Palestine and the Euphrates.

Kanah: reedy; brook of reeds. (1.) A stream forming the boundary between Ephraim and Manasseh, from the Mediterranean eastward to Tappuah (Josh. 16:8). It has been identified with the sedgy streams that constitute the Wady Talaik, which enters the sea between Joppa and Caesarea. Others identify it with the river' Aujeh.

Kareah: bald, the father of Johanan and Jonathan, who for a time were loyal to Gedaliah, the Babylonian governor of Jerusalem (Jer. 40:8, 13, 15, 16).

Karkaa: a floor; bottom, a place between Adar and Azmon, about midway between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea (Josh. 15:3).

Karkor: foundation, a place in the open desert wastes on the east of Jordan (Judg. 8:10), not far beyond Succoth and Penuel, to the south. Here Gideon overtook and routed a fugitive band of Midianites under Zeba and Zalmunna, whom he took captive.

Kartah: city, a town in the tribe of Zebulun assigned to the Levites of the family of Merari (Josh. 21:34). It is identical with Kattath (19:15), and perhaps also with Kitron (Judg. 1:30).

Kartan: double city, a town of Naphali, assigned to the Gershonite Levites, and one of the cities of refuge (Josh. 21:32). It was probably near the north-western shore of the Sea of Tiberias, identical with the ruined village el-Katanah.

Kattath: (Josh. 19:15), a town of Asher, has been identified with Kana el Jelil. (See CANA.)

Kedar: dark-skinned, the second son of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13).

Kedemah: eastward, the last-named of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:15).

Kedemoth: beginnings; easternmost, a city of Reuben, assigned to the Levites of the family of Merari (Josh. 13:18). It lay not far north-east of Dibon-gad, east of the Dead Sea.

Kedesh: sanctuary. (1.) A place in the extreme south of Judah (Josh. 15:23). Probably the same as Kadesh-barnea (q.v.).

Kedron: the valley, now quite narrow, between the Mount of Olives and Mount Moriah. The upper part of it is called the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The LXX., in 1 Kings 15:13, translate 'of the cedar.' The word means 'black,' and may refer to the colour of the water or the gloom of the ravine, or the black green of the cedars which grew there. John 18:1, 'Cedron,' only here in New Testament. (See KIDRON.)

Kehelathah: assembly, one of the stations of the Israelites in the desert (Num. 33:22, 23).

Keilah: citadel, a city in the lowlands of Judah (Josh. 15:44). David rescued it from the attack of the Philistines (1 Sam. 23:1-8); but the inhabitants proving unfaithful to him, in that they sought to deliver him up to Saul (13), he and his men 'departed from Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go.' They fled to the hill Hareth, about 3 miles to the east, and thence through Hebron to Ziph (q.v.). 'And David was in the wilderness of Ziph, in a wood' (1 Sam. 23:15). Here Jonathan sought him out, 'and strengthened his hand in God.' This was the last interview between David and Jonathan (23:16-18). It is the modern Khurbet Kila. Others identify it with Khuweilfeh, between Beit Jibrin (Eleutheropolis) and Beersheba, mentioned in the Amarna tablets.

Kelita: dwarf, a Levite who assisted Ezra in expounding the law to the people (Neh. 8:7; 10:10).

Kemuel: helper of God, or assembly of God. (1.) The third son of Nahor (Gen. 22:21).

Korahites: that portion of the Kohathites that descended from Korah. (1.) They were an important branch of the singers of the Kohathite division (2 Chr. 20:19). There are eleven psalms (42-49; 84; 85; 87; 88) dedicated to the sons of Korah.

Kore: partridge. (1.) A Levite and temple-warder of the Korahites, the son of Asaph. He was father of Shallum and Meshelemiah, temple-porters (1 Chr. 9:19; 26:1).

Korhites: a Levitical family descended from Korah (Ex. 6:24; 1 Chr. 12:6; 26:1; 2 Chr. 20:19).

Koz: thorn. (1.) A descendant of Judah. 1 Chr. 4:8, 'Coz;' R.V., 'Hakkoz.'

Kenath: possession, a city of Gilead. It was captured by Nobah, who called it by his own name (Num. 32:42). It has been identified with Kunawat, on the slopes of Jebel Hauran (Mount Bashan), 60 miles east from the south end of the Sea of Galilee.

Kenaz: hunter. (1.) One of the sons of Eliphaz, the son of Esau. He became the chief of an Edomitish tribe (Gen. 36:11, 15, 42).

Kenites: 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.

Kenizzite: (1.) The name of a tribe referred to in the covenant God made with Abraham (Gen. 15:19). They are not mentioned among the original inhabitants of Canaan (Ex. 3:8; Josh. 3:10), and probably they inhabited some part of Arabia, in the confines of Syria.

Kerchief: mentioned only Ezek. 13:18, 21, as an article of apparel or ornament applied to the head of the idolatrous women of Israel. The precise meaning of the word is uncertain. It appears to have been a long loose shawl, such as Oriental women wrap themselves in (Ruth 3:15; Isa. 3:22). Some think that it was a long veil or head-dress, denoting by its form the position of those who wore it.

Keren-happuch: horn of the face-paint = cosmetic-box, the name of Job's third daughter (Job. 42:14), born after prosperity had returned to him.

Kerioth: cities. (1.) A town in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:25). Judas the traitor was probably a native of this place, and hence his name Iscariot. It has been identified with the ruins of el-Kureitein, about 10 miles south of Hebron. (See HAZOR [4]).

Kesitah: (Gen. 33:19, R.V., marg., a Hebrew word, rendered, A.V., pl. 'pieces of money,' marg., 'lambs;' Josh. 24:32, 'pieces of silver;' Job 42:11, 'piece of money'). The kesitah was probably a piece of money of a particular weight, cast in the form of a lamb. The monuments of Egypt show that such weights were used. (See PIECES.)

Kettle: a large pot for cooking. The same Hebrew word (dud, 'boiling') is rendered also 'pot' (Ps. 81:6), 'caldron' (2 Chr. 35:13), 'basket' (Jer. 24:2). It was used for preparing the peace-offerings (1 Sam. 2:13, 14).

Keturah: incense, the wife of Abraham, whom he married probably after Sarah's death (Gen. 25:1-6), by whom he had six sons, whom he sent away into the east country. Her nationality is unknown. She is styled 'Abraham's concubine' (1 Chr. 1:32). Through the offshoots of the Keturah line Abraham became the 'father of many nations.'

Key: frequently mentioned in Scripture. It is called in Hebrew _maphteah_, i.e., the opener (Judg. 3:25); and in the Greek New Testament _kleis_, from its use in shutting (Matt. 16:19; Luke 11:52; Rev. 1:18, etc.). Figures of ancient Egyptian keys are frequently found on the monuments, also of Assyrian locks and keys of wood, and of a large size (comp. Isa. 22:22).

Kezia: cassia, the name of Job's second daughter (42:14), born after prosperity had returned to him.

Keziz: abrupt; cut off, a city of the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. 18:21).

Kibroth-hattaavah: the graves of the longing or of lust, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness. It was probably in the Wady Murrah, and has been identified with the Erweis el-Ebeirig, where the remains of an ancient encampment have been found, about 30 miles north-east of Sinai, and exactly a day's journey from 'Ain Hudherah.

Kibzaim: two heaps, a city of Ephraim, assigned to the Kohathite Levites, and appointed as a city of refuge (Josh. 21: 22). It is also called Jokmeam (1 Chr. 6:68).

Kid: the young of the goat. It was much used for food (Gen. 27:9; 38:17; Judg. 6:19; 14:6). The Mosaic law forbade to dress a kid in the milk of its dam, a law which is thrice repeated (Ex. 23:19; 34:26; Deut. 14:21). Among the various reasons assigned for this law, that appears to be the most satisfactory which regards it as 'a protest against cruelty and outraging the order of nature.' A kid cooked in its mother's milk is 'a gross, unwholesome dish, and calculated to kindle animal and ferocious passions, and on this account Moses may have forbidden it. Besides, it is even yet associated with immoderate feasting; and originally, I suspect,' says Dr. Thomson (Land and the Book), 'was connected with idolatrous sacrifices.'

Kidron: = Kedron = Cedron, turbid, the winter torrent which flows through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, on the eastern side of Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives. This valley is known in Scripture only by the name 'the brook Kidron.' David crossed this brook bare-foot and weeping, when fleeing from Absalom (2 Sam. 15:23, 30), and it was frequently crossed by our Lord in his journeyings to and fro (John 18:1). Here Asa burned the obscene idols of his mother (1 Kings 15:13), and here Athaliah was executed (2 Kings 11:16). It afterwards became the receptacle for all manner of impurities (2 Chr. 29:16; 30:14); and in the time of Josiah this valley was the common cemetery of the city (2 Kings 23:6; comp. Jer. 26:23).

Kinah: an elegy, a city in the extreme south of Judah (Josh. 15:22). It was probably not far from the Dead Sea, in the Wady Fikreh.

Kine: (Heb. sing. parah, i.e., 'fruitful'), mentioned in Pharaoh's dream (Gen. 41: 18). Here the word denotes 'buffaloes,' which fed on the reeds and sedge by the river's brink.

King: is in Scripture very generally used to denote one invested with authority, whether extensive or limited. There were thirty-one kings in Canaan (Josh. 12:9, 24), whom Joshua subdued. Adonibezek subdued seventy kings (Judg. 1:7). In the New Testament the Roman emperor is spoken of as a king (1 Pet. 2:13, 17); and Herod Antipas, who was only a tetrarch, is also called a king (Matt. 14:9; Mark 6:22).

King's dale: mentioned only in Gen. 14:17; 2 Sam. 18:18, the name given to 'the valley of Shaveh,' where the king of Sodom met Abram.

Kingdom of God: (Matt. 6:33; Mark 1:14, 15; Luke 4:43) = 'kingdom of Christ' (Matt. 13:41; 20:21) = 'kingdom of Christ and of God' (Eph. 5:5) = 'kingdom of David' (Mark 11:10) = 'the kingdom' (Matt. 8:12; 13:19) = 'kingdom of heaven' (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 13:41), all denote the same thing under different aspects, viz.: (1) Christ's mediatorial authority, or his rule on the earth; (2) the blessings and advantages of all kinds that flow from this rule; (3) the subjects of this kingdom taken collectively, or the Church.

Kingly office of Christ: one of the three special relations in which Christ stands to his people. Christ's office as mediator comprehends three different functions, viz., those of a prophet, priest, and king. These are not three distinct offices, but three functions of the one office of mediator.

Kings, The Books of: The two books of Kings formed originally but one book in the Hebrew Scriptures. The present division into two books was first made by the LXX., which now, with the Vulgate, numbers them as the third and fourth books of Kings, the two books of Samuel being the first and second books of Kings.

Kinsman: Heb. goel, from root meaning to redeem. The goel among the Hebrews was the nearest male blood relation alive. Certain important obligations devolved upon him toward his next of kin. (1.) If any one from poverty was unable to redeem his inheritance, it was the duty of the kinsman to redeem it (Lev. 25:25,28; Ruth 3:9, 12). He was also required to redeem his relation who had sold himself into slavery (Lev. 25:48, 49).

Kir: a wall or fortress, a place to which Tiglath-pileser carried the Syrians captive after he had taken the city of Damascus (2 Kings 16:9; Amos 1:5; 9:7). Isaiah (22:6), who also was contemporary with these events, mentions it along with Elam. Some have supposed that Kir is a variant of Cush (Susiana), on the south of Elam.

Kir of Moab: Isa. 15:1. The two strongholds of Moab were Ar and Kir, which latter is probably the Kir-haraseth (16:7) following.

Kir-haraseth: built fortress, a city and fortress of Moab, the modern Kerak, a small town on the brow of a steep hill about 6 miles from Rabbath-Moab and 10 miles from the Dead Sea; called also Kir-haresh, Kir-hareseth, Kir-heres (Isa. 16:7, 11; Jer. 48:31, 36). After the death of Ahab, Mesha, king of Moab (see MOABITE STONE), threw off allegiance to the king of Israel, and fought successfully for the independence of his kingdom. After this Jehoram, king of Israel, in seeking to regain his supremacy over Moab, entered into an alliance with Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and with the king of Edom. The three kings led their armies against Mesha, who was driven back to seek refuge in Kir-haraseth. The Moabites were driven to despair. Mesha then took his eldest son, who would have reigned in his stead, and offered him as a burnt-offering on the wall of the fortress in the sight of the allied armies. 'There was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.' The invaders evacuated the land of Moab, and Mesha achieved the independence of his country (2 Kings 3:20-27).

Kirjath: city, a city belonging to Benjamin (Josh. 18:28), the modern Kuriet el-'Enab, i.e., 'city of grapes', about 7 1/2 miles west-north-west of Jerusalem.

Kirjath-arba: city of Arba, the original name of Hebron (q.v.), so called from the name of its founder, one of the Anakim (Gen. 23:2; 35:27; Josh. 15:13). It was given to Caleb by Joshua as his portion. The Jews interpret the name as meaning 'the city of the four', i.e., of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Adam, who were all, as they allege, buried there.

Kirjath-huzoth: city of streets, Num. 22:39, a Moabite city, which some identify with Kirjathaim. Balak here received and entertained Balaam, whom he had invited from Pethor, among the 'mountains of the east,' beyond the Euphrates, to lay his ban upon the Israelites, whose progress he had no hope otherwise of arresting. It was probably from the summit of Attarus, the high place near the city, that the soothsayer first saw the encampments of Israel.

Kirjath-jearim: city of jaars; i.e., of woods or forests, a Gibeonite town (Josh. 9:17) on the border of Benjamin, to which tribe it was assigned (18:15, 28). The ark was brought to this place (1 Sam. 7:1, 2) from Beth-shemesh and put in charge of Abinadab, a Levite. Here it remained till it was removed by David to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:2, 3, 12; 1 Chr. 15:1-29; comp. Ps. 132). It was also called Baalah (Josh. 15:9) and Kirjath-baal (60). It has been usually identified with Kuriet el-'Enab (i.e., 'city of grapes'), among the hills, about 8 miles north-east of 'Ain Shems (i.e., Beth-shemesh). The opinion, however, that it is to be identified with 'Erma, 4 miles east of 'Ain Shems, on the edge of the valley of Sorek, seems to be better supported. (See KIRJATH.)

Kirjath-sannah: city of the sannah; i.e., of the palm(?), Josh. 15:49; the same as Kirjath-sepher (15:16; Judg. 1:11) and Debir (q.v.), a Canaanitish royal city included in Judah (Josh. 10:38; 15:49), and probably the chief seat of learning among the Hittites. It was about 12 miles to the south-west of Hebron.

Kirjath-sepher: city of books, Josh. 15:15; same as Kirjath-sannah (q.v.), now represented by the valley of ed-Dhaberiyeh, south-west of Hebron. The name of this town is an evidence that the Canaanites were acquainted with writing and books. 'The town probably contained a noted school, or was the site of an oracle and the residence of some learned priest.' The 'books' were probably engraved stones or bricks.

Kirjathaim: two cities; a double city. (1.) A city of refuge in Naphtali (1 Chr. 6:76).

Kish: a bow. (1.) A Levite of the family of Merari (1 Chr. 23:21; 24:29).

Kishion: hardness, a city of Issachar assigned to the Gershonite Levites (Josh. 19:20), the same as Kishon (21:28).

Kishon: winding, a winter torrent of Central Palestine, which rises about the roots of Tabor and Gilboa, and passing in a northerly direction through the plains of Esdraelon and Acre, falls into the Mediterranean at the north-eastern corner of the bay of Acre, at the foot of Carmel. It is the drain by which the waters of the plain of Esdraelon and of the mountains that surround it find their way to the sea. It bears the modern name of Nahr el-Mokattah, i.e., 'the river of slaughter' (comp. 1 Kings 18:40). In the triumphal song of Deborah (Judg. 5:21) it is spoken of as 'that ancient river,' either (1) because it had flowed on for ages, or (2), according to the Targum, because it was 'the torrent in which were shown signs and wonders to Israel of old;' or (3) probably the reference is to the exploits in that region among the ancient Canaanites, for the adjoining plain of Esdraelon was the great battle-field of Palestine.

Kiss: of affection (Gen. 27:26, 27; 29:13; Luke 7:38, 45); reconciliation (Gen. 33:4; 2 Sam. 14:33); leave-taking (Gen. 31:28,55; Ruth 1:14; 2 Sam. 19:39); homage (Ps. 2:12; 1 Sam. 10:1); spoken of as between parents and children (Gen. 27:26; 31:28, 55; 48:10; 50:1; Ex. 18:7; Ruth 1:9, 14); between male relatives (Gen. 29:13; 33:4; 45:15). It accompanied social worship as a symbol of brotherly love (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26; 1 Pet. 5:14). The worship of idols was by kissing the image or the hand toward the image (1 Kings 19:18; Hos. 13:2).

Kite: an unclean and keen-sighted bird of prey (Lev. 11:14; Deut. 14:13). The Hebrew word used, _'ayet_, is rendered 'vulture' in Job 28:7 in Authorized Version, 'falcon' in Revised Version. It is probably the red kite (Milvus regalis), a bird of piercing sight and of soaring habits found all over Palestine.

Kithlish: a man's wall, a town in the plain of Judah (Josh. 15:40). It has been identified with Jelameh.

Kitron: knotty, a city of Zebulun (Judg. 1:30), called also Kattath (Josh. 19:15); supposed to be 'Cana of Galilee.'

Kittim: (Gen. 10:4). (See CHITTIM.)

Knead: to prepare dough in the process of baking (Gen. 18:6; 1 Sam. 28:24; Hos. 7:4).

Kneading-trough: the vessel in which the dough, after being mixed and leavened, was left to swell or ferment (Ex. 8:3; 12:34; Deut. 28:5, 7). The dough in the vessels at the time of the Exodus was still unleavened, because the people were compelled to withdraw in haste.

Knife: (1.) Heb. hereb, 'the waster,' a sharp instrument for circumcision (Josh. 5:2, 3, lit. 'knives of flint;' comp. Ex. 4:25); a razor (Ezek. 5:1); a graving tool (Ex. 20:25); an axe (Ezek. 26:9).

Knock: 'Though Orientals are very jealous of their privacy, they never knock when about to enter your room, but walk in without warning or ceremony. It is nearly impossible to teach an Arab servant to knock at your door. They give warning at the outer gate either by calling or knocking. To stand and call is a very common and respectful mode. Thus Moses commanded the holder of a pledge to stand without and call to the owner to come forth (Deut. 24:10). This was to avoid the violent intrusion of cruel creditors. Peter stood knocking at the outer door (Acts 12:13, 16), and the three men sent to Joppa by Cornelius made inquiry and 'stood before the gate' (10:17, 18). The idea is that the guard over your privacy is to be placed at the entrance.'

Knop: some architectural ornament. (1.) Heb. kaphtor (Ex. 25:31-36), occurring in the description of the candlestick. It was an ornamental swell beneath the cups of the candlestick, probably an imitation of the fruit of the almond.

Koa: he-camel, occurs only in Ezek. 23:23, some province or place in the Babylonian empire, used in this passage along with Shoa (q.v.).

Kohath: assembly, the second son of Levi, and father of Amram (Gen. 46:11). He came down to Egypt with Jacob, and lived to the age of one hundred and thirty-three years (Ex. 6:18).

Kohathites: the descendants of Kohath. They formed the first of the three divisions of the Levites (Ex. 6:16, 18; Num. 3:17). In the journeyings of the Israelites they had the charge of the most holy portion of the vessels of the tabernacle, including the ark (Num. 4). Their place in the marching and encampment was south of the tabernacle (Num. 3:29, 31). Their numbers at different times are specified (3:28; 4:36; 26:57, 62). Samuel was of this division.

Korah: ice, hail. (1.) The third son of Esau, by Aholibamah (Gen. 36:14; 1 Chr. 1:35).