Were the Kenites from the "Sinus Arabicus"? The author's interleaved personal copy with his revisions for the second edition

Murray, Andreas / Speck, Georg Philipp (resp.). Ex antiquitate orientali de Kinaeis.

Jena, [Catharina Magdalena] Nisius für Johann Volkmar Marckgraf, 1717.

4to. (2), 40 pp.; interleaved with 21 ff., containing contemporary handwritten notes throughout. Contemporary red brove-varnish paper wrappers.


First edition of Murray' master disputation: the author's interleaved personal copy with his extensive autograph revisions for the second, significantly expanded edition which would be published by Bohn in Hamburg in 1718 (an octavo volume of 136 pages). The thesis discusses the Kenites, a nomadic clan in the ancient Levant, whose lands God promised to the descendants of Abraham: "On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites" (Gen 15:18-19). "Their origin is not known: some locate it in Arabia, others in the Philistine states or in Judah" (cf. Zedler XV, 452). The Kenites' possible origin from the Arabian Peninsula (Arabia Felix) is discussed on p. 24 in particular (with numerous corrections and amendments in the margin and additional notes on the "Sinus Arabicus" and the "mare rubrum" on the following interleaf). Rare in all editions: no copy in trade records internationally.

Murray (1695-1771), of Scottish descent, was born in Memel in East Prussia. After gaining his Master's degree with the present work, he travelled to Hamburg and then, with his expanded book-length thesis to recommend him, on to England. After his return to the continent in 1719 he lectured in Kiel before embarking on a career as a preacher in Holstein, Stockholm, and Uppsala (cf. Jöcher/A.).

Murray's extensive handwritten revisions, as indeed the printed text, are in Latin with occasional interspersions in Greek and Hebrew. Somewhat browned throughout due to paper, but a charming survival.

VD 18, 1039186X. Jöcher/A. V, 224f., 1. OCLC 47167605.