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Midianite

[mid-ee-uh-nahyt] /ˈmɪd i əˌnaɪt/
noun
1.
a member of an ancient desert people of northwest Arabia near the Gulf of Aqaba, believed to have descended from Midian.
adjective
2.
of or relating to the Midianites.
Origin of Midianite
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Midianite
Historical Examples
  • But Midianite tribes had also pushed northwards and mingled with the descendants of Ishmael.

  • The Midianite Baal accompanied the Israelites into the wilderness, and that worship was never thoroughly eradicated.

    Demonology and Devil-lore Moncure Daniel Conway
  • Moses had found a refuge in Midian, and his wife and children were Midianite in race.

  • Round the outside of the wall, therefore, like the Midianite in the rather comical hymn, did Clare prowl and prowl.

    A Rough Shaking George MacDonald
  • The Midianite Oppression (Judges 6-8) was the most severe, thus far, in the history of the judges.

    The Rand-McNally Bible Atlas Jesse L. Hurlbut
  • The words are not the words of a Midianite at all, but such as a Jew would be more apt to utter.

    The Bible: what it is Charles Bradlaugh
  • There he married the daughter of the Midianite priest Reuel.

    A Brief Bible History James Oscar Boyd
  • This young upstart Gideon would soon be sorry enough when he butted his head against the experienced Midianite leaders.

    Quiet Talks on Service S. D. Gordon
  • A little more and it will sink under the wave of the Midianite invasion.

    Judges and Ruth Robert A. Watson
  • The Midianite merchantmen to whom Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver—about a dozen dollars—were from Arabia.

Midianite in the Bible

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 ØT0003427; OG ØT0002771), 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.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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