Midian, Midianites

Midian, Midianites (Mid´ee-uhn, mid´-ee-uh-nits)

A son of Abraham and his concubine Keturah (Gen 25:1-2), and his descendants. When Abraham expelled Isaac’s rivals “to the east country,” Midian was included (Gen 25:6). Thus, the Midianites were counted among the “people of the east” (Judg 6:3; Judg 6:33; Judg 7:12), a general designation for the nomadic inhabitants of the Syrian and Arabian deserts. The Midianites are involved in the story of Joseph’s sale into slavery, an account in which they are almost equated with Ishmaelites (Gen 37:25-28; Gen 37:36; Gen 39:1; Judg 8:24). Later, Moses’s sojourn in Midian is important to the story of the exodus: there, he was befriended by Jethro, the priest of Midian (Exod 2:16, Exod 3:1), and he married Jethro’s daughter Zipporah (Exod 2:21). In Midian, he was commissioned to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt (Exod 3:1-15, Exod 4:19) and his Midianite brother-in-law, Hobab, guided the Israelites in the wilderness (Num 10:29-32). But later, the “elders of Midian” and the Moabite king Balak hired Balaam to curse the Israelites (Num 22:1-7; Josh 13:21). And since the Midianites led Israel into idolatry and immorality at Shittim (Num 25:1-7; Num 16-18:1), Moses was commanded to seek revenge by destroying the Midianite population in this region (Num 31:1-12). Finally, in the period of the judges, the Hebrew warrior Gideon soundly defeated the camel-riding Midianites (Judg 6-7; Ps 83:9; Ps 83:11; Isa 9:4; Isa 10:26).

Gen 25:1-2

Abraham Marries Keturah
1Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.2She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

Gen 25:6

6But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, while he was still living, and he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.

Judg 6:3

3For whenever the Israelites put in seed, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east would come up against them.

Judg 6:33

33Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east came together, and crossing the Jordan they encamped in the Valley of Jezreel.

Judg 7:12

12The Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the east lay along the valley as thick as locusts; and their camels were without number, countless as ... View more

Gen 37:25-28

25Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way ... View more

Gen 37:36

36Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard.

Gen 39:1

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife
1Now Joseph was taken down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the ... View more

Judg 8:24

24Then Gideon said to them, “Let me make a request of you; each of you give me an earring he has taken as booty.” (For the enemy had golden earrings, because th ... View more

Exod 2:16

16The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came to draw water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.

Exod 3:1

Moses at the Burning Bush
1Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Ho ... View more

Exod 2:21

21Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah in marriage.

Exod 3:1-15

Moses at the Burning Bush
1Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Ho ... View more

Exod 4:19

19The Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt; for all those who were seeking your life are dead.”

Num 10:29-32

29Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place of which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you’; come ... View more

Num 22:1-7

Balak Summons Balaam to Curse Israel
1The Israelites set out, and camped in the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho.2Now Balak son of Zippor saw all t ... View more

Josh 13:21

21that is, all the towns of the tableland, and all the kingdom of King Sihon of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses defeated with the leaders of Mi ... View more

Num 25:1-7

Worship of Baal of Peor
1While Israel was staying at Shittim, the people began to have sexual relations with the women of Moab.2These invited the people to the ... View more

Num 16-18:1

Revolt of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram
1Now Korah son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi, along with Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—descenda ... View more

Num 31:1-12

War against Midian
1The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,2“Avenge the Israelites on the Midianites; afterward you shall be gathered to your people.”3So Moses said to ... View more

Judg 6-7

The Midianite Oppression
1The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years.2The hand of Mid ... View more

Ps 83:9

9Do to them as you did to Midian,
as to Sisera and Jabin at the Wadi Kishon,

Ps 83:11

11Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,

Isa 9:4

4For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.

Isa 10:26

26The Lord of hosts will wield a whip against them, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb; his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did ... View more

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