Wednesday, March 21, 2012

MAR-SBL Plenary: P. Kyle McCarter



The conference plenary address was a very engaging talk by Kyle McCarter of John Hopkins University, “Cain and the Kenites.” The discussion was so fascinating that most of us were taking notes the entire time. Drawing on cross-cultural comparisons, including especially studies of the Bedouins and of the Sleb/Slīb tribe of the Arabian desert, Dr. McCarter offered a model of a particular tribal lifestyle that accounts for the seemingly contradictory traits of the Cain-related people of the Hebrew Bible. These traits include the sinning-ancestor, the special mark, the trade of the blacksmith (see Tubal-Cain, Gen 4:22), the role of political “neutral” (see the clan of Heber the Kenite, Jdg 4:17), and so much more!


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