A branch of the Edomite clan of Kenaz (compare Judges i. 12 with Gen. xxxvi. 11, 15, 42) that, before the Israelitish conquest, had migrated to southern Judah and settled in the vicinity of Hebron. They appear to have entered the country from the south and to have been friendly to the Hebrews, from which fact, perhaps, arose the story of Caleb's favorable report as one of the twelve spies. They were afterward absorbed in the tribe of Judah. This union had not fully taken place at the time of David's career as an outlaw (I Sam. xxv. 3, xxx. 14). The narratives in Josh. xv. 14 et seq. and Judges i. 12 et seq. were composed to establish the claim of certain Calebite clans to particular localities (see Achsa and Othniel). It appears from I Chron. ii. 18 et seq. that the pre-exilian territory of the Calebites included Ziph and Mareshah and other towns in the extreme south of Judah; while another list in the same chapter (verses 46 et seq.), by representing certain personified towns as sons of Caleb's concubines, among which is Bethlehem, indicates that after the Exile the clan was pushed farther north. This was doubtless due to the occupation of the south by Edomites.

J. Jr. G. A. B.
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