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Midian

The Bible

Bible Usage:

Dictionaries:

  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: No
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: No
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:

 

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Midian

Strife, the fourth son of Abraham by Keturah, the father of the Midianites (Genesis 25:2; 1 Chronicles 1:32).


Hitchcock's Names Dictionary
Midian

judgment; covering; habit


Naves Topical Index
Midian

Son of Abraham by Keturah.
Genesis 25:2; Genesis 25:4; 1 Chronicles 1:32-33


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Midian

(strife), a son of Abraham and Keturah, (Genesis 25:2; 1 Chronicles 1:32) progenitor of the Midianites, or Arabians dwelling principally in the desert north of the peninsula of Arabia. Southward they extended along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Eyleh (Sinus 'laniticus); and northward they stretched along the eastern frontier of Palestine. The "land of Midian," the place to which Moses fled after having killed the Egyptian, (Exodus 2:15,21) or the portion of it specially referred to, was probably the peninsula of Sinai. The influence of the Midianties on the Isr'lites was clearly most evil, and directly tended to lead them from the injunctions of Moses. The events at Shittim occasioned the injunction to vex Midian and smite them. After a lapse of some years, the Midianites appear again as the enemies of the Isr'lites, oppressing them for seven years, but are finally defeated with great slaughter by Gideon. [GIDEON] The Midianites are described as true Arabs, and possessed cattle and flocks and camels as the sand of the seashore for multitude. The spoil taken in the war of both Moses and of Gideon is remarkable. (Numbers 31:22; Judges 8:21,24-26) We have here a wealthy Arab nation, living by plunder, delighting in finery; and, where forays were impossible, carrying ont he traffic southward into Arabia, the land of gold

if not naturally, by trade

and across to Chaldea, or into the rich plains of Egypt.


Easton's Bible Dictionary
Midianite

An Arabian tribe descended from Midian. They inhabited principally the desert north of the peninsula of Arabia. The peninsula of Sinai was the pasture-ground for their flocks. They were virtually the rulers of Arabia, being the dominant tribe. Like all Arabians, they were a nomad people. They early engaged in commercial pursuits. It was to one of their caravans that Joseph was sold (Genesis 37:28, 36). The next notice of them is in connection with Moses' flight from Egypt (Exodus 2:15-21). Here in Midian Moses became the servant and afterwards the son-in-law of Reuel or Jethro, the priest. 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 when, having passed the southern end of Edom, they entered into the land of Midian proper, they joined with Balak, the king of Moab, in a conspiracy against them (Numbers 22:4-7). Balaam, who had been sent for to curse Israel, having utterly failed to do so, was dismissed by the king of Moab; nevertheless he still tarried among the Midianites, and induced them to enter into correspondence with the Israelites, so as to bring them into association with them in the licentious orgies connected with the worship of Baal-Peor. This crafty counsel prevailed. The Israelites took part in the heathen festival, and so brought upon themselves a curse indeed. Their apostasy brought upon them a severe punishment. A plague broke out amongst them, and more than twenty-four thousand of the people perished (Numbers 25:9). But the Midianites were not to be left unpunished. A terrible vengeance was denounced against them. A thousand warriors from each tribe, under the leadership of Phinehas, went forth against them. The Midianites were utterly routed. Their cities were consumed by fire, five of their kings were put to death, and the whole nation was destroyed (Joshua 13:21, 22). Balaam also perished by the sword, receiving the "wages of his unrighteousness" (Numbers 31:8; 2 Peter 2:15). The whole of the country on the east of Jordan, now conquered by the Israelites (see SIHON; OG), was divided between the two tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh.

Some two hundred and fifty years after this the Midianites had regained their ancient power, and in confederation with the Amalekites and the "children of the east" they made war against their old enemies the Israelites, whom for seven years they oppressed and held in subjection. They were at length assailed by Gideon in that ever-memorable battle in the great plain of Esdraelon, and utterly destroyed (Judges 6:1-ch. 7). Frequent allusions are afterwards made to this great victory (Psalms 83:10, 12; Isaiah 9:4; 10:6). They now wholly pass away from the page of history both sacred and profane.


Naves Topical Index
Midianites

Descendants of Midian, son of Abraham by Keturah
Genesis 25:1-2; Genesis 25:4; 1 Chronicles 1:32-33

Called Ishmaelites
Genesis 37:25; Genesis 37:28; Judges 8:24

Were merchantmen
Genesis 37:28

Buy Joseph and sell him to Potiphar
Genesis 37:28; Genesis 37:36

Defeated by the Israelites under Phinehas; five of their kings slain; the women taken captives; cities burned; and rich spoils taken
Genesis 4:31

Defeated by Gideon
Jude 1:6-8

Owned multitudes of camels, and dromedaries, and large quantities of gold
Isaiah 60:6

A snare to the Israelites
Numbers 25:16-18

Prophecies concerning
Isaiah 60:6; Habakkuk 3:7