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Rechabites - the descendants of Rechab through Jonadab or Jehonadab. They belonged to the Kenites, who accompanied the children of Israel into the holy land, and dwelt among them. Moses married a Kenite wife,[1] and Jael was the wife of "Heber the Kenite".[2] Saul also showed kindness to the Kenites.[3] The main body of the Kenites dwelt in cities, and adopted settled habits of life;[4] but Jehonadab forbade his descendants to drink wine or to live in cities.[5] They were commanded to lead always a nomad life. They adhered to the law laid down by Jonadab, and were noted for their fidelity to the old-established custom of their family in the days of Jeremiah (35); and this feature of their character is referred to by God for the purpose of giving point to his message to Judah.[6][7]

In 1839 the Reverend Joseph Wolff, who later went to Bokhara to attempt to save Lieutenant Colonel Charles Stoddart and Captain Arthur Conolly, found in Yemen, near Sanaa, a tribe claiming to be descendants of Jehonadab; and in the late nineteenth century a Bedouin tribe was found near the Dead Sea who also professed to be descendants of Jehonadab.[8]

The term Rechabites also refers to a religious order, similar in some ways to the Nazarites, and are mentioned by Eusebius of Emesa.[9]

In more recent times, the name has been used by Christian groups keen to promote total abstinence from alcohol, such as the Independent Order of Rechabites. Men with ancestry from the area of Palestine claiming descent from Rechab have been found to belong to Haplogroup A (Y-DNA) [10][11][12][13][14].


  1. Judges 1:16
  2. Judges 4:17
  3. 1 Sam. 15:6
  4. 1 Sam. 30:29
  5. Wikisource-logo.svg "Rechab and the Rechabites". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  6. Jer 35.14
  7. They are referred to in Neh. 3:14 and 1 Chr. 2:55
  8. Rechabites - Easton's Bible Dictionary
  9. H. E. ii. 23
  10. Cengiz Cinnioğlu, Roy King, Toomas Kivisild et al., "Excavating Y-chromosome haplotype strata in Anatolia," Human Genetics (2004) 114 : 127–148. DOI 10.1007/s00439-003-1031-4
  11. Peidong Shen, Tal Lavi, Toomas Kivisild et al., "Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations From Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation," Human Mutation 24:248-260 (2004).
  12. Almut Nebel, Dvora Filon, Bernd Brinkmann et al., "The Y Chromosome Pool of Jews as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East," American Journal of Human Genetics 69:1095–1112, 2001
  13. Ornella Semino, Giuseppe Passarino, Peter J. Oefner et al., "The Genetic Legacy of Paleolithic Homo sapiens sapiens in Extant Europeans: A Y Chromosome Perspective," Science Vol 290 (10 November 2000).
  14. Flores et al. (2005). "Isolates in a corridor of migrations: a high-resolution analysis of Y-chromosome variation in Jordan". J Hum Genet 50: 435–441. doi:10.1007/s10038-005-0274-4. 

This entry incorporates text from the public domain Easton's Bible Dictionary, originally published in sh:Rehabiti

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