1. One of the two “captains of bands” whom Ish-bosheth took into his service, and who conspired to murder him. 2 Sam. 4:2. (b.c. 1046.)
2. The father of Malchiah, ruler of part of Beth-haccerem. Neh. 3:14. (b.c. before 446.)
3. The father or ancestor of Jehonadab. 2 Kings 10:15, 23; 1 Chron. 2:55; Jer. 35:6-19. (b.c. before 882.) It was from this Rechab that the tribe of the Rechabites derived their name. In 1 Chron. 2:55 the house of Rechab is identified with a section of the Kenites, a Midianitish tribe who came into Canaan with the Israelites, and retained their nomadic habits. The real founder of the tribe was Jehonadab. [Jehonadab.] He and his people had all along been worshippers of Jehovah, circumcised, though not looked upon as belonging to Israel, and probably therefore not considering themselves bound by the Mosaic law and ritual. The worship of Baal was offensive to them. Jehonadab inaugurated a reformation and compelled a more rigid adherence than ever to the old Arab life. They were neither to drink wine, nor build houses, nor sow seed, nor plant nor have any vineyard. All their days they were to dwell in tents. Jer. 35:6,7. This was to be the condition of their retaining a distinct tribal existence. For two centuries and a half they adhered faithfully to this rule. The invasion of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, in b.c. 607, drove the Rechabites from their tents to Jerusalem, where they stood proof against temptation, and were specially blessed. Jer. 35:2-19. There is much of interest in relation to the present condition of these people. Dr. Wolff reports that the Jews of Jerusalem and Yemen told him that he would find the Rechabites of Jer. 35 living near Mecca, in the mountainous country northeast of Medina. When he came near Senaa he came in contact with a tribe, the Beni-Khabir, who identified themselves with the sons of Jehonadab. They claimed to number 60,000, to adhere to the old rules, and to be a fulfillment of the promise made to Jehonadab.