Midian

From Academic Kids

According to the Bible, Midian (מִדְיָן "Strife; judgment", Standard Hebrew Midyan, Tiberian Hebrew Miḏyān) was a son of Abraham and his concubine Keturah (Genesis 25:1-6).

His descendants, the Midianites, settled in the territory east of the Jordan River (Tobit 1:14) and also much of the area east of the Dead Sea (later occupied by Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites), and southward through the desert wilderness of the Arabah. During the time of the Exodus, their territory apparently also included portions of the Sinai Peninsula.

In Bible history, Midian was where Moses spent the 40 years between the time that he fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian who had been beating a Hebrew (Exodus 2:11-15), and his return for leading the Israelites (Exodus 4:18). During those years, he married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, the priest of Midian. According to Exodus 3:1, in Midian also occurred the Lord's appearance in the burning bush on the mountain of God in Horeb.

As the Bible asserts, in later years the Midianites were often oppressive and hostile to the Israelites, at least partly as God's punishment for their idolatry (Judges 6:1). By the time of the Judges, they were raiding Israel with the use of swift camels, until they were decisively defeated by Gideon (Judges 6-8). Today, the former territory of Midian is found through small portions of western Saudi Arabia, southern Jordan, southern Israel and the Sinai.

The ancient and historical people of Midian are also mentioned extensively in the Quran, where the name appears in Arabic as Madyan.

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