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Micron | Midday | Middin | Middle Wall | Middle Wall of Partition | Midian | Midianitish | Midianitish, Woman | Midnight | Midrash | Midwife


In Bible versions:

Midianites: NET NIV
a town of Judah; modern Tell Ma'in 15 km south of Hebron (OS).
son of Shammai of Judah
a people who were enemies of Israel, similar to the Amalekites
a country in northwestern Arabia east of the gulf of Aqabah.
son of Abraham and Keturah
a tribe descended from Midian the son of Abraham and Keturah
resident(s) of the region of Midian

house; place of sin
judgment; covering; habit
NETBible Maps: Map11 A2 ; Map7 G3
Google Maps: Maon (31° 24´, 35° 6´); Midian (28° 55´, 34° 54´)
Arts Topics: Beating the Midianites; In the Hands of the Midianites; Vengeance on the Midianites


Strongs #3099: Madian Madian

Madian or Midian = "contention: strife"

1) a land near the Red Sea, and took its name from one of the sons of
Abraham by Keturah

3099 Madian mad-ee-on'

of Hebrew origin (4080); Madian (i.e. Midian), a region of
see HEBREW for 04080


Strongs #04584: Nwem Ma`own

Maon or Maonites = "habitation"

n pr m
1) a man of Judah
2) the inhabitants of the city of Maon

n pr loc
3) a city of Judah located 8 miles south of Hebron

4584 Ma`own maw-ohn'

the same as 4583; a residence; Maon, the name of an Israelite
and of a place in Palestine:-Maon, Maonites. Compare 1010,
see HEBREW for 04583
see HEBREW for 01010
see HEBREW for 04586

Strongs #04080: Nydm Midyan

Midian or Midianite = "strife"

n pr m
1) son of Abraham by Keturah and progenitor of the tribe of
Midianites or Arabians
2) the tribe descended from Midian

n pr loc
3) the territory of the tribe descended from Midian; located principally
in the desert north of the Arabian peninsula; land to which Moses
went when he fled from Pharaoh

4080 Midyan mid-yawn'

the same as 4079; Midjan, a son of Abraham; also his country
and (collectively) his descendants:-Midian, Midianite.
see HEBREW for 04079

Strongs #04084: ynydm Midyaniy

Midianite = see Midian "strife"

1) a member of the tribe of Midian
2) an inhabitant of the land of Midian

4084 Midyaniy mid-yaw-nee'

patronymical or patrial from 4080; a Midjanite or descend.
(native) of Midjan:-Midianite. Compare 4092.
see HEBREW for 04080
see HEBREW for 04092

Strongs #04092: yndm [email protected]

Midianite = see Midian "strife"

1) a member of the tribe of Midian
2) an inhabitant of the land of Midian

4092 Mdaniy med-aw-nee'

a variation of 4084:-Midianite.
see HEBREW for 04084

Maon [EBD]

habitation, a town in the tribe of Judah, about 7 miles south of Hebron, which gave its name to the wilderness, the district round the conical hill on which the town stood. Here David hid from Saul, and here Nabal had his possessions and his home (1 Sam. 23:24, 25; 25:2). "Only some small foundations of hewn stone, a square enclosure, and several cisterns are now to be seen at Maon. Are they the remains of Nabal's great establishment?" The hill is now called Tell M'ain.

Midian [EBD]

strife, the fourth son of Abraham by Keturah, the father of the Midianites (Gen. 25:2; 1 Chr. 1:32).

Midianite [EBD]

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 (Gen. 37:28, 36). The next notice of them is in connection with Moses' flight from Egypt (Ex. 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 (Num. 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 (Num. 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 (Josh. 13:21, 22). Balaam also perished by the sword, receiving the "wages of his unrighteousness" (Num. 31:8; 2 Pet. 2:15). The whole of the country on the east of Jordan, now conquered by the Israelites (see SIHON »3427; OG »2771), 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 (Judg. 6:1-ch. 7). Frequent allusions are afterwards made to this great victory (Ps. 83:10, 12; Isa. 9:4; 10:6). They now wholly pass away from the page of history both sacred and profane.

Maon [NAVE]

A city allotted to Judah, Josh. 15:55.
Dwelling place of Nabal, 1 Sam. 25:2.
David with his insurgents encamps near, 1 Sam. 23:24, 25.
Uzziah engages in war against the people of, called Mehunims, 2 Chr. 26:7.

Maonites [NAVE]

Judg. 10:12

Midian [NAVE]

MIDIAN, son of Abraham by Keturah, Gen. 25:2, 4; 1 Chr. 1:32, 33.

Midianites [NAVE]

Descendants of Midian, son of Abraham by Keturah, Gen. 25:1, 2, 4; 1 Chr. 1:32, 33.
Called Ishmaelites, Gen. 37:25, 28; Judg. 8:24.
Were merchantmen, Gen. 37:28.
Buy Joseph and sell him to Potiphar, Gen. 37:28, 36.
Defeated by the Israelites under Phinehas; five of their kings slain; the women taken captives: cities burned; and rich spoils taken, Num. 31.
Defeated by Gideon, Judg. 6-8.
Owned multitudes of camels, and dromedaries, and large quantities of gold, Isa. 60:6.
A snare to the Israelites, Num. 25:16-18.
Prophecies concerning, Isa. 60:6; Hab. 3:7.


(habitation), one of the cities of the tribe of Judah, in the district of the mountains. (Joshua 15:55) Its interest for us lies in its connection with David. (1 Samuel 23:24,25) The name of Maon still exists in Main , a lofty conical hill, south of and about seven miles distant from Hebron.


(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 AElaniticus); 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 Israelites 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 Israelites, 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.


MAON; MAONITES - ma'-on, ma'-on-its, ma-o'-nits (ma`on; Septuagint: Codex Vaticanus Maor, Maan; Codex Alexandrinus Maon):

(1) A town in the mountain of Judah named along with Carmel and Ziph (Josh 15:55). It appears again as the home of Nabal, the great flockmaster (1 Sam 25:2). In the genealogical list of 1 Ch 2, Maon stands as the "son" of Shammai and the "father" of Beth-zur (2:44,45). This evidently means that Shammai was the founder of Maon. About a mile South of el-Karmil, the ancient Carmel, lies Tell Ma`in. This may be confidently identified with Maon, the radicals of the names being the same. It suits the requirements of the narratives in other respects, being near to Carmel, while the surrounding wilderness is still used as the wide pasture land for multitudinous flocks. In this district, the wilderness of Maon, David was hiding when his whereabouts was betrayed to Saul by the men of Ziph (1 Sam 23:24 f), and only a timely raid by the Philistines delivered him out of that monarch's hands (1 Sam 23:27 ff).

(2) (Madiam): Maon is named along with the Zidonians and Amalek as having at some time, not mentioned, oppressed Israel (Jdg 10:12). The Septuagint "Midian" has been accepted by some scholars as restoring the original text, since, otherwise, the Midianites remain unmentioned. But the Maonites are evidently identical with the Meunim of 1 Ch 4:41 (Revised Version), the pastoral people destroyed by Hezekiah. In 2 Ch 20:1 the King James Version, instead of "other beside the Ammonites" we must read "some of the Meunim," as associated with the Ammonites in the battle with Jehoshaphat. Against them also Uzziah was helped of God (2 Ch 26:7). They are included among the inhabitants of Mt. Seir (2 Ch 20:10,23), so that an Edomite tribe is intended. It is natural to connect them with Ma`an, a place on the great pilgrimage road, and now a station on the Damascus-Hejaz Railway, to the Southeast of Petra. It undoubtedly represents an ancient stronghold.

The Maonites appear in the lists of those who returned from exile (Ezr 2:50, the King James Version "Mehunim," the Revised Version (British and American) "Meunim"; Neh 7:52, "Meunim"). These may possibly be the descendants of prisoners taken in the wars of Jehoshaphat and Uzziah, to whom menial tasks may have been appointed in the temple services.

W. Ewing


MIDIAN; MIDIANITES - mid'-i-an, mid'-i-an-its (midhyan, midhyanim; Madiam, Madienaioi):

1. The Seed 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 (Gen 25:2,4; 1 Ch 1:32 f). Bearing gifts from Abraham, he and his brothers, each with his own household, moved off from Isaac into "the east country" (Gen 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 (Gen 36:35; 1 Ch 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 (Gen 37:25 ff). Moses, on fleeing from Egypt, found refuge in the land of Midian, and became son-in-law of Jethro, the priest of Midian (Ex 2:15,21). In Midian Moses received his commission to Israel in Egypt (Ex 4:19). A Midianite, familiar with the desert, acted as guide ("instead of eyes") to the children of Israel in their wilderness wanderings (Nu 10:29 ff). 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 (Nu 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 (Nu 25:15,17; 31:2 ff). 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 (Jdg 6--8). Echoes of this glorious victory--"the day of Midian"--are heard in later literature (Ps 83:9; Isa 9:4; 10:26; Hab 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 (Jdg 1:16). See KENITES. Again, the tribesmen are named indifferently Ishmaelites and Midianites (Gen 37:25,28,36; Jdg 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 (Ex 4:25), which is now practically universal among the Arabs. The men wore golden ornaments, as do the modern nomads (Jdg 8:24 ff).

4. Historical References:

The name of "Midian" is not found in Egyptian or Assyrian documents. Delitzsch (Wo lag das Paradies? 304) suggests that Ephah (Gen 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 BC). 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.

5. Territory:

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 (Ex 4:19). It lay between Edom and Paran (1 Ki 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.

W. Ewing

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