Midian

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Related to Midianite: Mennonite, Moab, Moses

Midian

(mĭd`ēən) or

Midianites

(–īts), in the Bible, a nomadic Bedouin people of N Arabia in what is S Jordan. They were associated with the Moabites and the Israelites. Moses took refuge with them and married the daughter of their priest Jethro. They were defeated by the Hebrews after they gave refuge to Balaam, whose advice to the Midianites led to the disastrous Baal-peorBaal-peor
, in the Bible, local divinity (the Baal) of Peor. According to the Book of Numbers, the Hebrews stayed at Shittim during the wilderness wanderings. While there, Hebrew men had sexual relationships with the local Moabite women.
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 incident. The defeat of the Midianites by Gideon became the precedent for God's final victory over his enemies. In the Acts of the Apostles, they are called Madian.

Midian

Old Testament
1. a son of Abraham (Genesis 25:1--2)
2. a nomadic nation claiming descent from him
References in periodicals archive ?
Moses decides to dupe him into "[teaching] him everything he knew." If Jethro shares his daughter's dark skin, though, he is not simply a Midianite or a Kenite, but a black man.
Gideon is given the task of driving the Midianite invasion out of Israel in the period of the Judges.
The lectionary fails to include other potent sections of that book, including the ruthless destruction of the enemy kings whose hearts were duly hardened, and the chilling story of Moses's massacre of the Midianites. Preachers thus have no need to explain to their flocks why Moses ordered his warriors to wipe out the Midianite people, but to leave alive those girls who remained untainted by sex.
Elaborating on the meaning of this singularity, Rabbi Tzaddok Hakohen points to two opposite ends of the spectrum of moral reflection existent among the peoples surrounding the Israelites around the time of the inception of Mosaic law: "Amalek is a scoffer who believes in nothing, and Jethro [Moses' father-in-law, a Midianite convert] is naive, believing everything" (qtd.
The Israelites took captive the Midianite women and their dependents, and carried off their beasts, their flocks, and their property.
He then compares the Polish situation to that of the ancient Hebrews who allowed Midianite women to mix with Hebrew men which brought about God's wrath.
In his pan-Egyptian explanation of the Bible, he holds that Moses learned not only Egyptian traditions from his upbringing in the Pharaoh's house, but also the "Akkadian (i.e., Babylonian) tradition from his father-in-law Jethro," who was a Midianite shepherd in northwest Arabia (p.
Mendenhall continues in this paragraph with reference to Moses's Cushite wife (Numbers 12:1), though elsewhere Zipporah is referred to as a Midianite (see Exodus 2: 15-22).
In fact, Moses seems to have wanted nothing more than to live out his days as a Midianite shepherd, which is what he was doing when he happened to notice, out of the corner of his eye, the flickering tongue of flame from which God first spoke to him.
Moses flees Egypt after killing an Egyptian and finds refuge in Midian where he marries Tzipporah, the daughter of the Midianite priest Reuel, also referred to as Jethro.
Just as Moses defends Midianite maidens at the well from troublesome shepherds, Hermann defends the neighbor girls at the village well from the wildness of local boys (FA I.8: 823).
Pursuing her interest in the tension throughout the Hebrew Bible about the practice of exogamy, especially Israelite men marrying outsider women, Winslow (biblical studies, Azusa Pacific U.) examines the narratives in the Jewish Scriptures about Moses' Midianite and Chushite wives in Exodus 2, 4, 18 and Numbers 12.