Kain

KAIN (kān, Heb. kāyin, smith)

A town in Judah, in KJV spelled Cain (Josh.15.57).In ASV and RSV a tribal name; NIV has “the Kenite” (Num.24.22; Judg.4.11). See also Kenites.


KAIN kān (קָ֑יִן [1 below], הַקַּ֖יִן [2 below], KJV CAIN, lacking in LXX except Judges 4:11 [B] Καινα, meaning metalworker, smith). Singular form of the clan name Kenite. Formally, the name is equivalent to that of Cain, Adam’s son, but there is no other reason to relate the two.

1. Judgment is pronounced on Kain in the oracle of Baalam (Num 24:22). Despite apparent security among rocks and pinnacles, his nest (קֵן, H7860) will be destroyed. The name also appears in Judges 4:11, where it is said that one of the Kenites, Heber, was separated מִקַּ֔יִן, from Kain (KJV, RSV, NEB “Kenites”). Perhaps Kain is to be understood here as the city name of the Kenites (see 2.).

2. A city located near Hebron in conquered territory assigned to Judah (Josh 15:57). It is tentatively identified with Khirbet Yaqin, SE of Hebron. Since the LXX omits the name and reduces the summarized number of cities from ten to nine, some scholars have proposed to read “Zanoah of Cain.”

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

A town in the hill country of Judah (Jos 15:57). There is, too, apparently a reference to this place in Nu 24:21,22:

"And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said,

Strong is thy dwelling-place,

And thy nest is set in the rock.

Nevertheless Kain shall be wasted,

Until Asshur shall carry thee away captive."

This place has been very doubtfully identified as the ruin Yukin, a place on a lofty hill Southeast of Hebron, overlooking the wilderness of Judah; the tomb of Cain is shown there. See PEF, III, 312, Sh XXI.


A clan name, the King James Version "the Kenite" (Nu 24:22; Jud 4:11). In the first passage the Revised Version (British and American) has "Kain" and margin "the Kenites"; in the second, the Revised Version (British and American) has "the Kenite" in text and margin "Kain." Compare preceding article.