Son of Arphaxad and father of Salah; mentioned only in Gen. xi. 13 (LXX.), Book of Jubilees, viii. 1-4, and Luke iii. 36; omitted in all other versions of Gen. xi. 13, Salah being given as the son of Arphaxad. According to the Book of Jubilees (l.c.), Kainan, taught the art of writing by his father, found carved on the rocks by former generations an inscription preserving the science of astrology as taught by the rebel angels, the Watchers, who descended from heaven in the days of Jered and led mankind away from God. Similarly, Josephus ("Ant." i. 2, § 3) speaks of pillars of brick and stone upon which the children of Seth had inscribed their astrological knowledge for future generations. The "Sefer ha-Yashar" describes Kainan, the possessor of great astrological wisdom, which had been inscribed on tables of stone, as the son of Seth and not of Arphaxad.
- Charles, The Book of Jubilees, pp. 66-67, London, 1902.