Nazarene Space

2nd Kings mentions the "Carites". Is it possible modern Karites originated earlier than we think? 

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The word found in 2 Kings 11:4 is כָּרִי֙ Cari while the word for Karite is קראים 

As you can see, these words have different roots, one being כר (ram/body-guard) and the other being קרא (to proclaim/the Scriptures): 

 כָּרִי adjective, of a people probably = Carian, only with article as substantive collective Carians, name given to foreign body-guard of king. - BDB 

These people are also known as Cherethites, as in

2 Sam. 20:23 which also mentions them. 

J. Strong thinks, "Perhaps an abridged plural of kar in the sense of leader (of the flock); a life-guardsman -- captains, Cherethites (from the margin)."   

So, alas, no relation in regards to the word, but your question is nonetheless intriguing.  As far as I know the Karaim 'sect' originated in 8th C. Babylon, but the Scripturalist mindset has always been around, and is one Yeshua taught when he quoted Isaiah 29:13 in Matthew 15:9.  However, there was no sect called Karites at that time. 

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