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Midian (Hebrew: מִדְיָן‎) is a geographical place cited in the Bible. It is believed to be in northwest Arabia on the east shore of the Gulf of Aqaba.[1] Some scholars say it was not a geographical area but a league of tribes[2]


Geographical location and culture

Archaeological expeditions have discovered 'Midianite wares' in Iraq, Jordan, Arabia and the Negev desert in southern Israel. Establishing the precise location of Midian is difficult, but the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary suggests that it may have extended from the eastern shores of the Sinai peninsula to the deserts east of the Gulf of Aqabah, Edom and Moab.[3]


The Midianites through their apparent religio-political connection with the Moabites[4] are thought to have worshipped a multitude of gods[5], including Baal-peor and the Queen of Heaven, Ashteroth. An Egyptian temple of Hathor at Timna continued to be used during the Midianite occupation of the site; however, whether Hathor or some other deity was the object of devotion during this period is impossible to ascertain.


According to one researcher, the Midianite language was not western semitic, Canaanite, Akkadian or Egyptian but rather an Arabian language written in Thamudic script (wasums) developed from rock art.[6]

Biblical references

  1. Joseph is sold by his brothers to Midianites[7]
  2. Midian was where Moses spent the forty years in voluntary exile after murdering the Egyptian[8]
  3. Moses married Zipporah the daughter of Jethro, the priest of Midian[9]
  4. God instructs Moses to collect an army and destroy Midian [10]

The people of Midian are also mentioned extensively in the Qur'an, where the name appears in Arabic as Madyan. Verse 9-70 " Has not the story reached them of those before them? - The people of Nuh (Noah), 'Ad, and Thamud, the people of Ibrahim (Abraham), the dwellers of Madyan (Midian) and the cities overthrown [i.e. the people to whom Lout (Lot) preached], to them came their Messengers with clear proofs. So it was not Allah(Allah means 'The God' in Arabic) Who wronged them, but they used to wrong themselves."

See also


  1. ^ Dever, William G. Who were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? William B Eerdmans Publishing Co (24 May 2006) ISBN: 978-0802844163 p.34
  2. ^ Bromiley Geoffrey W . The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1996 ISBN:978-0802837837 p.350
  3. ^ Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary, Midian, Review & Herald Publishing Association (Washington D.C., USA) 1960
  4. ^ Genesis 36:35; Numbers 22:4,7; Numbers 25:1,6
  5. ^ Qur'an, Al-Araf, 7:85
  6. ^ Dr. Muhammed Abdul Nayeem, (1990). Prehistory and Protohistory of the Arabian Peninsula. Hyderabad. ISBN. p 167
  7. ^ Genesis 37:28
  8. ^ Exodus 2:11-15
  9. ^ Exodus 2:21
  10. ^ Numbers 31:1

Further reading

  • Clines, David and John Sawyer, eds. "Midian, Moab and Edom: The History and Archaeology of Late Bronze and Iron Age Jordan and North-West Arabia". Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Supplement Series, No. 24. Sheffield Academic Press, 1983.

External links

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Meaning: strife

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

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia


  • Sex : Male


Son of Abraham and Keturah

Full Name






  • Ephah
  • Epher
  • Hanoch
  • Abida
  • Eldaah


Book of Genesis


This article uses material from the "Midian" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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