Kenaz: Biblical Antiquities 25-29
LAB 25-28 contains the Kenaz cycle. Chapter 29 concerns the judgeship of Zebul, a minor figure who arranges the inheritance of Kenaz's daughters. The attention devoted to Kenaz in the Biblical Antiquities has attracted much comment. Kenaz is little more than a name in the Bible. He is the father of the first judge, Othniel ( Judg. 3:9, 11), the younger brother of Caleb. Josephus gives him a bit more space ( Ant. 5.3.3 §§ 182-84). In the Biblical Antiquities, Othniel disappears and Kenaz becomes Caleb's son and the first judge. He attains a prominence comparable only to Moses (LAB 9-19), Joshua (20-24), and Deborah (30-33). In Nickelsburg's estimation, "It is evident that Pseudo- Philo has created a character to serve his purpose."1.
Kenaz's story occurs at a crucial point in the plot. Joshua is a transitional figure who brings the people from the desert to settle the land. Kenaz marks the beginning of a new existence for Israel in which the tribes live together in the land under judges. In these chapters Pseudo-Philo shows patterns of behavior, of leadership, and of relation between God, Israel, and leaders that will inform the narrative in successive chapters. A crucial tension that drives the narrative in the Biblical Antiquities is between God's promises and Israel's unfaithfulness. Having demonstrated fulfillment of God's promises, climaxing in Joshua's narrative, Pseudo-Philo now begins to show how that tension works itself out in Israel's life.
In Judg. 1:1, the people ask who will fight the Canaanites for them after the death of Joshua. LAB 25:1 rewrites this in two ways. First, Pseudo-Philo adds the notion that the land was peaceful after Joshua's death. The picture of Israel established in the land according to God's promise is reinforced. All was perfect when Joshua left the scene. Second, whereas fighting the Philistines is____________________