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Midian

Meaning: strife

This name appears 39 times in 38 verses of the Bible. It is the name of a person and a place:

  1. Midian was the fourth son of Abraham by Keturah (Abraham's wife after Sarah's death, Gen. 25:1-6). He had five brothers: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Ishbak, and Shuah (Gen 25:2). Midian became the father of the Midianites (Gen. 25:2,4; 1 Chr. 1:32). His sons were: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abidah (Abida), and Eldaah (1 Chr. 1:33).

    “Of Keturah's six sons (all probably born early in Abraham's thirty-five year period with her), Midian is the only one whose descendants, the Midianites, are adequately identified. The others probably mixed with the various descendants of Ishmael, Lot and Esau to become the modern Arabic peoples. Abraham sent them ‘eastward’ (Genesis 25:6) with adequate gifts to begin their own tribes, and this would correspond to Arabia” (Dr. Henry M. Morris, The Defender's Bible).

  2. The land of Midian. When Moses fled from Pharaoh, after killing an Egyptian, he dwelled in the land of Midian (Exodus 2:15). He later married Zipporah, a daughter of Reuel (also apparently called Jethro), the priest of Midian (Exodus 2:16-22). Horeb is a part of this land, where Moses saw the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-2).

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Author: Paul S. Taylor.