According to Genesis 5:9-14, he was the grandson of Seth and son of Enos. Born when Enos was ninety years old, Kenan had his only named son, Mahalalel, when he was seventy. Other sons and daughters were born to Kenan before he died at 910 years of age.
This name seems to derive from words denoting a permanent dwelling place or stronghold.
In Islamic miniatures Noah's Ark is sometimes depicted with a kind of
manned diving bell next to it. Long thought of as a puzzling
reference to Iskandar, famous for his
underwater exploits, alternative Flood stories show this occupant to be
the disobedient Kenan, trying to escape the waters his own way
(only to drown in urine inside his contraption as God punishes him
with a bladder infection).
This Cainan also appears in the Septuagint (Greek) Old Testament, but is omitted by the HebrewMasoretic text. For this reason, this second Cainan is considered to be a scribal error by some scholars. Nevertheless, a substantial number of traditions about this other Cainan exist in the history of literature.