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Midian (Hebrew מִדְיָן, Midyan or Miḏyān, Arabic مدين; "Strife, judgment") is a son of Abraham and Keturah. He is the progenitor of the Midianite people, who were to play two pivotal roles in the history of the House of Israel.

Immediate family

The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah. The Bible gives no further details of Midianite genealogy.[1] (Genesis 25:2,4 ) The nation of Midian was located in the southeastern Sinai and west central Arabia.[2]


After Joseph's jealous brothers threw him into a pit, they sold him to Midianite traders who then took him to Egypt to sell as a slave.[3]


In the winter of 2473 AM, Moses fled from Egypt to the Midianite country. There he befriended a Midianite priest named Jethro. This Jethro had seven daughters, including Zipporah, whom Moses married.[1][3][4] Years later, the Kenites, descendants of Jethro, attached themselves to the Israelites. (Judges 1:16 )

But when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, the Midianites joined forces with the Moabites to attempt to exterminate the Israelites. In retaliation, Phinehas led an army of 12,000 men, 1,000 from each tribe, to crush the Midianites.[5][6][7] (Numbers 31 )


In 2764 AM, the Midianites oppressed the Israelites, who by then had occupied Canaan. The Midianites held this dominion for seven years, until Judge Gideon routed a combined Midianite-Moabite army with a force of three hundred.[6][8] When Midian ceased to be a nation is not attested either in the Bible or in any secular source, including the Annals.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Taylor, Paul S. "Midian." WebBible Encyclopedia, n.d. Accessed November 8, 2008
  2. NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1985, Pg. 89
  3. 3.0 3.1 Konig, George. "Midian." AboutBibleProphecy, 2008. Accessed November 8, 2008.
  4. James Ussher, The Annals of the World, Larry Pierce, ed., Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003, pgh. 170
  5. Ussher, op. cit., pghh. 355, 357
  6. 6.0 6.1 Singer I and Seligsohn M. "Midian and Midianites." The Jewish Encyclopedia, n.d. Accessed November 8, 2008.
  7. Blank, Wayne. "Midian." Church of God Daily Bible Study, n.d. Accessed November 8, 2008.
  8. Jones, Floyd N. The Chronology of the Old Testament. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2004, Chart 4.

See also