MIDIAN; MIDIANITESmid’-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.
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.
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Ezra 9:9 For we are bondservants; yet our ‘G-d’ [‘Elohiym: Magistrates, etc…] has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended loving kindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our ‘G-d’ [‘Elohiym: Magistrates, etc…], and to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
Matthew 2:1 Now when ‘Jesus’ [YH’shua: YH is salvation] was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying,
Matthew 2:5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written through the prophet,
Matthew 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in the place of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. Being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee,
Matthew 3:1 In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,
Matthew 3:5 Then people from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him.
Matthew 4:25 Great multitudes from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and from beyond the Jordan followed him.
Matthew 19:1 It happened when ‘Jesus’ [YH’shua: YH is salvation] had finished these words, he departed from Galilee, and came into the borders of Judea beyond the Jordan.
Matthew 24:16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Mark 1:5 All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins.
Mark 3:7 ’Jesus’ [YH’shua: YH is salvation] withdrew to the sea with his disciples, and a great multitude followed him from Galilee, from Judea,
Mark 10:1 He arose from there and came into the borders of Judea and beyond the Jordan. Multitudes came together to him again. As he usually did, he was again teaching them.
Mark 13:14 But when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains,
Luke 1:65 Fear came on all who lived around them, and all these sayings were talked about throughout all the hill country of Judea.
Luke 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David;
Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
Luke 4:44 He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.
Luke 5:17 It happened on one of those days, that he was teaching; and there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every village of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was with him to heal them.
Luke 6:17 He came down with them, and stood on a level place, with a crowd of his disciples, and a great number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases;
Luke 7:17 This report went out concerning him in the whole of Judea, and in all the surrounding region.
Luke 21:21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let those who are in the midst of her depart. Let those who are in the country not enter therein.
Luke 23:5 But they insisted, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee even to this place.”
John 3:22 After these things, ‘Jesus’ [YH’shua: YH is salvation] came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them, and baptized.
John 4:3 he left Judea, and departed into Galilee.
John 4:47 When he heard that ‘Jesus’ [YH’shua: YH is salvation] had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to him, and begged him that he would come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.
John 4:54 This is again the second sign that ‘Jesus’ [YH’shua: YH is salvation] did, having come out of Judea into Galilee.
John 7:1 After these things, ‘Jesus’ [YH’shua: YH is salvation] was walking in Galilee, for he wouldn’t walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.
John 11:7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let’s go into Judea again.”
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when ‘the Holy Spirit’ [the Consecrated Expression, etc..] has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
Acts 2:9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia,
Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke out to them, “You men of Judea, and all you who dwell at Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
Acts 8:1 Saul was consenting to his death. A great persecution arose against the assembly which was in Jerusalem in that day. They were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles.
Acts 8:4 Therefore those who were scattered abroad went around preaching the word.
Acts 9:31 So the assemblies throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, and were built up. They were multiplied, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the ‘the Holy Spirit’ [the Consecrated Expression, etc..].
Acts 10:37 that spoken word you yourselves know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
Acts 11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of ‘G-d’ [‘Elohiym: the-Magistrates, etc..].
Acts 11:29 As any of the disciples had plenty, each determined to send relief to the brothers who lived in Judea;
Acts 12:19 When Herod had sought for him, and didn’t find him, he examined the guards, and commanded that they should be put to death. He went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there.
Acts 15:1 Some men came down from Judea and taught the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you can’t be saved.”
Acts 21:10 As we stayed there some days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
Acts 26:20 but declared first to them of Damascus, at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to ‘G-d’ [Israel’s – ‘Magistrates, etc..], doing works worthy of repentance. a perverse and crooked generation.
Acts 28:21 They said to him, “We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor did any of the brothers come here and report or speak any evil of you.
Romans 15:31 that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints;
2 Corinthians 1:16 and by you to pass into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come to you, and to be sent forward by you on my journey to Judea.
Galatians 1:22 I was still unknown by face to the assemblies of Judea which were in Christ,
1 Thessalonians 2:14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the assemblies of ‘G-d’ [Israel’s – ‘Magistrates, etc..] which are in Judea in Christ ‘Jesus’ [YH’shua: YH is salvation]; for you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews;
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