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  2  definitions  found 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
  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. 
  From  Hitchcock's  Bible  Names  Dictionary  (late  1800's)  [hitchcock]: 
  Kenites,  possession;  purchase;  lamentation