Holman Bible Dictionary
(car' i teess) A term of uncertain meaning in 2Kings 11:4,2 Kings 11:19 and in Hebrew text of 2 Samuel 20:23 , where Cherethites is usually read. The Carites were either mercenary soldiers recruited from Cilicia by Judah and other countries such as Egypt, or the meaning of the term can no longer be determined. They were military personnel who helped Jehoiada, the priest, install Joash as king and assassinate the queen mother Athaliah.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
CARITES occurs in the KethÃ®bh of the Heb. text and margin of RV [Note: Revised Version.] in 2 Samuel 20:23 , where the KerÃ§ has Cherethites , and in RV [Note: Revised Version.] of 2 Kings 11:4 , where the AV [Note: Authorized Version.] has captains (RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] executioners ). The Carites were possibly Phil. mercenaries from Caria, as the Cherethites were from Crete.