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ATS Bible Dictionary

Descendants of Midian, a nomade race in Arabia, numerous, and rich in flocks, herds, and camels, Isaiah 60:6. The original and appropriate district of the Midianites seems to have been on the east side of the Elantic branch of the Red Sea, where the Arabian geographers place the city Midian, Acts 7:29. But they appear to have spread themselves northward, probably along the desert east of Mount Seir, to the vicinity of the Moabites; and on the other side, also, they covered a territory extending to the neighborhood of Mount Sinai. See Exodus 3:1 18:1 Nu 22:25,31 Jud 6:1-8:35. In Genesis 25:2,4, compared with Genesis 25:12-18, they are distinguished from the descendants of Ishmael, though elsewhere we find the two people intimately associated, so that they are called now by one name and now by the other. See Genesis 37:25, compared with Genesis 37:36. Their capital city was called Midian, and its remains were to be seen in the time of Jerome and Eusebius. It was situated on the Arnon, south of the city Ar, or Areopolis.

The Midianites were idolaters, and often led Israel astray to worship their gods. They also not infrequently rendered the Hebrews tributary, and oppressed them. See Numbers 22:1-41 25:1-18 31:1-54. Often when the Israelites had sown, and their harvest was nearly ready to be gathered in, the Midianites and Amalekites, children of the eastern desert, came down like locusts in countless swarms, with their cattle and tents and camels, to devour and carry off the fruits of the ground, and not only rob but destroy their owners. And often did the Jews, lacking the strength or the faith or the leadership necessary for effectual resistance, seek refuge in mountain-dens and caverns till the invaders retired. Gideon was their deliverer in one such period of oppression, Jud 6:7. The modern Ishmaelites still follow the ancient practice, and their violent incursions, robberies, and murders might be described in the same terms that were used with reference to their fathers by the historians of old.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

mid'-i-an, mid'-i-an-its (midhyan, midhyanim; Madiam, Madienaioi):

1. The See d of Abraham to the Time of the Judges:

Midian was a son of Abraham by his concubine Keturah. To him were born 5 sons, Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah (Genesis 25:2, 4 1 Chronicles 1:32 f). Bearing gifts from Abraham, he and his brothers, each with his own household, moved off from Isaac into "the east country" (Genesis 25:6). The first recorded incident in the history of the tribe is a defeat suffered "in the field of Moab" at the hands of Hadad, king of Edom. Of this nothing beyond the fact is known (Genesis 36:35 1 Chronicles 1:46). The Midianites next appear as merchantmen traveling from Gilead to Egypt, with "spicery and balm and myrrh," with no prejudice against a turn of slave-dealing (Genesis 37:25). Moses, on fleeing from Egypt, found refuge in the land of Midian, and became son-in-law of Jethro, the priest of Midian (Exodus 2:15, 21). In Midian Moses received his commission to Israel in Egypt (Exodus 4:19). A Midianite, familiar with the desert, acted as guide ("instead of eyes") to the children of Israel in their wilderness wanderings (Numbers 10:29). The friendly relations between Israel and Midian, which seem to have prevailed at first, had been ruptured, and we find the elders of Midian acting with those of Moab in calling Balaam to curse Israel (Numbers 22:4-7). Because of the grievous sin into which they had seduced Israel on the shrewd advice of Balaam, a war of vengeance was made against the Midianites in which five of their chiefs perished; the males were ruthlessly slain, and Balaam also was put to death (Numbers 25:15, 17; Numbers 31:2). We next hear of Midian as oppressing Israel for 7 years. Along with the Amalekites and the children of the East they swarmed across the Jordan, and their multitudinous beasts swept up the produce of the earth. Overwhelming disaster befell this horde at the onset of Gideon's chosen men. In the battle and pursuit "there fell a hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword"; their kings, Zebah and Zalmunna, and their princes, Oreb and Zeeb, sharing the common fate (Judges 6; Judges 7; Judges 7 8). Echoes of this glorious victory-"the day of Midian"-are heard in later literature (Psalm 83:9 Isaiah 9:4; Isaiah 10:26 Habakkuk 3:7).

2. The Kenite Branch:

The Kenites appear to have been a branch of the Midianites. Jethro could hardly have attained the dignity of the priesthood in Midian had he been of alien blood (Judges 1:16). See KENITES. Again, the tribesmen are named indifferently Ishmaelites and Midianites (Genesis 37:25, 28, 36 Judges 8:22, 24). They must therefore have stood in close relations with the descendants of Hagar's son.

3. Modern Arabs:

The representations of Midian in Scripture are consistent with what we know of the immemorial ways of Arabian tribes, now engaged in pastoral pursuits, again as carriers of merchandise, and yet again as freebooters. Such tribes often roam through wide circles. They appear not to have practiced circumcision (Exodus 4:25), which is now practically universal among the Arabs. The men wore golden ornaments, as do the modern nomads (Judges 8:24).

4. Historical References:

The name of "Midian" is not found in Egyptian or Assyrian documents. Delitzsch (Wo lag das Paradies? 304) suggests that Ephah (Genesis 25:4) may be identical with Chayapa of the cuneiform inscriptions. If this is correct the references point to the existence of this Midianite tribe in the North of el-Chijaz in the times of Tiglath-pileser and Sargon (745-705 B.C.). Isaiah speaks of Midian and Ephah apparently as separate tribes, whose dromedaries bear gold and frankincense to Zion (60:6); but he gives no hint of the districts they occupied. The tribe of Ghifar, found in the neighborhood of Medina in Mohammed's day, Knobel would identify with Epher, another of Midian's sons.

5. Territory:

No boundaries can now be assigned to "the land of Midian." It included territory on the West as well as on the East of the Gulf of `Aqaba (Exodus 4:19). It lay between Edom and Paran (1 Kings 11:18). In the time of the Judges their district seems to have extended northward to the East of Gilead (8:10).

A trace of the ancient name is found in that of Madyah, a place mentioned by the Arabic geographers, with a plentiful supply of water, now called Maghair Sho`aib. It lies East of the Gulf of `Aqaba, some miles from the coast, almost opposite the point of the Sinaitic peninsula. The name Sho`aib, given by Mohammed to Jethro, may here be due to ancient Midianite tradition.

W. Ewing

Strong's Hebrew
2888. Tabbath -- a place of refuge of the Midianites
... 2887, 2888. Tabbath. 2889 . a place of refuge of the Midianites. Transliteration:
Tabbath Phonetic Spelling: (tab-bath') Short Definition: Tabbath. ...
/hebrew/2888.htm - 6k

4080. Midyan -- a son of Abraham and Keturah, also his desc. and ...
... Keturah, also his desc. and the region where they settled NASB Word Usage
Midian (54), Midianites (5). Midian, Midianite. The same as ...
/hebrew/4080.htm - 6k

4084. Midyani -- a descendant of Midian
... Word Origin from Midyan Definition a desc. of Midian NASB Word Usage Midianite
(3), Midianite woman (2), Midianites (3). Midianite. ...
/hebrew/4084.htm - 6k


The Defeat of the Midianites.
... THE DEFEAT OF THE MIDIANITES. Large numbers of the Israelites gathered around
Gideon, prepared to fight against the Midianites, who ...
/.../mother stories from the old testament/the defeat of the midianites.htm

How the Midianites and Other Nations Fought against the Israelites ...
... CHAPTER 6. How The Midianites And Other Nations Fought Against The Israelites And
Beat Them, And Afflicted Their Country For Seven Years, How They Were ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 6 how the midianites.htm

Accordingly, when the Midianites, as we have Related Above...
... The Sacred History Of Sulpitius Severus. Book I. Chapter XXV. Accordingly,
when the Midianites, as we have related above? Accordingly ...
/.../life and writings of sulpitius severus /chapter xxv accordingly when the.htm

How the Hebrews Fought with the Midianites, and Overcame Them.
... From The Rejection Of That Generation To The Death Of Moses. CHAPTER 7. How
The Hebrews Fought With The Midianites, And Overcame Them. ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 7 how the hebrews.htm

Gideon's Brave Band
... In course of time the Midianites conquered the Israelites. ... The Israelites were so
robbed by the Midianites, that they cried to Jehovah for help. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/sherman/the childrens bible/gideons brave band.htm

The Story of Gideon and his Three Hundred Soldiers
... suffer for their sins. Once the Midianites, living near the desert on the
east of Israel, came against the tribes. The two tribes ...
/.../marshall/the wonder book of bible stories/the story of gideon and.htm

The Service Common to the Holy Angels and Other Bodiless Ones.
... under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abi-ezrite ; and
his son Gideon threshed wheat by the wine-press to hide it from the Midianites ...
/.../anonymous/the general menaion/chapter iv the service common.htm

Gideon and the Fleece.
... great trouble. They were hiding in dens and caves because of the Midianites,
who had conquered them and overrun their country. When ...
/.../anonymous/mother stories from the old testament/gideon and the fleece.htm

A Great victory
... but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites."
For the angel had said, "The Lord is with thee, Gideon," and Gideon had ...
//christianbookshelf.org/chapman/and judas iscariot/a great victory.htm

A Battle Without a Sword
... And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher,
and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.'"Judges 7:13 ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture f/a battle without a sword.htm

Midianites (30 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia MIDIAN; MIDIANITES. mid'-i-an,
mid'-i-an-its (midhyan, midhyanim; Madiam, Madienaioi): 1. The See ...
/m/midianites.htm - 21k

Midianite (11 Occurrences)
... After the Exodus, the Midianites were friendly to the Israelites so long as they
traversed only their outlying pasture-ground on the west of the Arabah; but ...
/m/midianite.htm - 13k

Mid'ianites (12 Occurrences)
... Midianites, Mid'ianites. Midianitess . ... Genesis 37:36 And the Midianites sold
him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, the captain of the guard ...
/m/mid'ianites.htm - 9k

Midian (60 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Strife, the fourth son of Abraham by Keturah, the father
of the Midianites (Genesis 25:2; 1 Chronicles 1:32). Int. ... MIDIAN; MIDIANITES. ...
/m/midian.htm - 32k

Gideon (45 Occurrences)
... After the victory gained by Deborah and Barak over Jabin, Israel once more sank
into idolatry, and the Midianites (qv) and Amalekites, with other "children of ...
/g/gideon.htm - 36k

Amalek (35 Occurrences)
... When they joined the Midianites to invade Israel they came "with their cattle and
their tents" (Judges 6:3-5). They are not to be identified with the ...
/a/amalek.htm - 22k

Zebah (9 Occurrences)
... Man-killer, or sacrifice, one of the two kings who led the vast host of the Midianites
who invaded the land of Israel, and over whom Gideon gained a great and ...
/z/zebah.htm - 13k

Oreb (4 Occurrences)
... Many of the Midianites perished along with him (Psalm 83:9; Isaiah 10:26).
Oreb, The rock of. The place where Gideon slew Oreb after ...
/o/oreb.htm - 10k

Ophrah (9 Occurrences)
... 11; 8:27, 32). After his great victory over the Midianites, he slew at this
place the captive kings (8:18-21). He then assumed the ...
/o/ophrah.htm - 13k

Eastern (22 Occurrences)
... Judges 6:3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and
the Amalekites, and the children of the east; they came up against them; (See ...
/e/eastern.htm - 14k

Who were the Midianites? | GotQuestions.org

Why did God command the Israelites to completely destroy the Midianites in Numbers 31:17? | GotQuestions.org

What is the significance of Midian in the Bible? | GotQuestions.org

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Midianites (30 Occurrences)

Genesis 36:35
And at the death of Husham, Hadad, son of Bedad, who overcame the Midianites in the field of Moab, became king; his chief town was named Avith.

Genesis 37:28
Midianites who were merchants passed by, and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. They brought Joseph into Egypt.

Genesis 37:36
The Midianites sold him into Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, the captain of the guard.

Numbers 25:17
"Harass the Midianites, and strike them;

Numbers 31:2
"Avenge the children of Israel for the Midianites. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people."

Numbers 31:3
And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian.

Numbers 31:7
And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.

Numbers 31:10
All their cities in the places in which they lived, and all their encampments, they burnt with fire.
(See NIV)

Judges 6:1
And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.
(See NIV)

Judges 6:2
And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.

Judges 6:3
So it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east; they came up against them;

Judges 6:6
And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.

Judges 6:7
And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites,

Judges 6:11
The angel of Yahweh came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.

Judges 6:13
And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

Judges 6:14
And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?

Judges 6:16
Yahweh said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man."

Judges 6:33
Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east assembled themselves together; and they passed over, and encamped in the valley of Jezreel.

Judges 7:1
Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

Judges 7:2
Yahweh said to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying,'My own hand has saved me.'

Judges 7:7
Yahweh said to Gideon, "By the three hundred men who lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, each to his own place."

Judges 7:12
The Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like locusts for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand which is on the seashore for multitude.

Judges 7:14
And his fellow answered and said: 'This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: into his hand God hath delivered Midian, and all the host.'
(See NIV)

Judges 7:21
They stood every man in his place around the camp; and all the army ran; and they shouted, and put them to flight.
(See NIV)

Judges 7:23
And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.

Judges 7:24
And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.

Judges 7:25
And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.

Judges 8:1
And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply.

Judges 8:28
So Midian was broken before the children of Israel and the Midianites never got back their strength. And the land had peace for forty years, in the days of Gideon.

Psalms 83:9
Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:



Midianites were Merchantmen

Midianites with Amalek Opposed Gideon

Midianites with the Moabites: Punished for Seducing Israel

Midianites with the Moabites: Seduced Israel to Idolatry

Midianites with the Moabites: Sent for Balaam to Curse Israel

Midianites: A Small Part of Dwelt Near Horeb

Midianites: A Small Part of Retained the Knowledge and Worship of Jehovah

Midianites: A Snare to the Israelites

Midianites: Allowed to Oppress Israel

Midianites: And Rich Spoil Taken

Midianites: Buy Joseph and Sell Him to Potiphar

Midianites: Called Ishmaelites

Midianites: Completeness of Their Destruction, Alluded To

Midianites: Conquered by Hadad

Midianites: Defeated by Gideon

Midianites: Descendants of Midian, Son of Abraham by Keturah

Midianites: Descended Form Midian, Son of Abraham by Keturah

Midianites: Dwelt East of Jordan, Beside Moab

Midianites: Dwelt in Tents

Midianites: Engaged in Commerce

Midianites: Excited by Moab Against Israel

Midianites: Gideon Raised up Against

Midianites: Governed by Kings

Midianites: Miraculously Defeated and Destroyed by Gideon

Midianites: Owned Multitudes of Camels, and Dromedaries, and Large Quantities of Gold

Midianites: Princes of, Slain

Midianites: Prophecies Concerning

Midianites: Shall Minister to Future Glory of the Church

Midianites: Terrified at Approach of Israel

Related Terms

Midianite (11 Occurrences)

Mid'ianites (12 Occurrences)

Midian (60 Occurrences)

Gideon (45 Occurrences)

Amalek (35 Occurrences)

Zebah (9 Occurrences)

Oreb (4 Occurrences)

Ophrah (9 Occurrences)

Eastern (22 Occurrences)

Moreh (3 Occurrences)

Balaam (62 Occurrences)

Amalekite (12 Occurrences)

Amalekites (36 Occurrences)

Mid'ianite (5 Occurrences)

Period (43 Occurrences)

Zalmunna (9 Occurrences)

Wine-press (11 Occurrences)

Ishmaelites (6 Occurrences)

Bethbarah (1 Occurrence)

Collar (6 Occurrences)

Chain (21 Occurrences)

Abel-meholah (3 Occurrences)

Abelmeholah (3 Occurrences)

Avenge (27 Occurrences)

Gold (429 Occurrences)

Threshing (57 Occurrences)

Sold (92 Occurrences)

Assembled (186 Occurrences)

Peoples (305 Occurrences)

Jezreel (37 Occurrences)

Moabites (26 Occurrences)

Slew (206 Occurrences)

Pitched (101 Occurrences)

Judges (117 Occurrences)

Smitten (215 Occurrences)

Moab (162 Occurrences)

East (228 Occurrences)

Vengeance (63 Occurrences)

Vaunt (5 Occurrences)

Vex (20 Occurrences)

Zeeb (3 Occurrences)

Zipporah (3 Occurrences)

Zimri (16 Occurrences)

Zarethan (4 Occurrences)

Karkor (1 Occurrence)

Kenites (8 Occurrences)

Kison (1 Occurrence)

Nobah (2 Occurrences)

Uplifted (26 Occurrences)

Oak-tree (11 Occurrences)

Overcame (84 Occurrences)

Officials (229 Occurrences)

Jogbehah (2 Occurrences)

Jethro (10 Occurrences)

Locusts (33 Occurrences)

Life-guard (5 Occurrences)

Lapped (2 Occurrences)

Gilead (130 Occurrences)

Gibeath (2 Occurrences)

Grasshoppers (11 Occurrences)

Wentest (16 Occurrences)

Winepress (19 Occurrences)

Ish'maelites (6 Occurrences)

Invaded (20 Occurrences)

Impoverished (4 Occurrences)

Thrashed (1 Occurrence)

Terebinth (15 Occurrences)

Threshed (7 Occurrences)

Rocks (48 Occurrences)


Evi (2 Occurrences)

Dream (82 Occurrences)

Defeat (16 Occurrences)

Maonites (3 Occurrences)

Maon (7 Occurrences)

Merchantmen (2 Occurrences)

Moabite (13 Occurrences)

Medan (2 Occurrences)

Merchants (34 Occurrences)

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