Talk:Midian

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NPOV or not[edit]

This is not very NPOV.... it assumes biblical events & explanations as fact... fundies may so believe, but many think thats a crock

Although I understand your reasoning, the article mentions multiple times that information on Midian and the Midianites comes largely from the Bible. --Merovingian (t) (c) 01:19, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

On the contrary, it is very NPOV. For such characters of such antiquity the ONLY information we have of them is legend, deduction and what is believed to be holy writ. You must either prove the current sources wrong or find another. The only thing is that achaeology is confirming these sources. I would dare suggest that the reader may be the one who needs to consider if they have a neuteral point of view. --Avanduyn (talk) 09:43, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I disagree. In instances where the Bible is the only source of information, the Wiki page must include, "according to the biblical book of Numbers..." or words to that effect. For NPOV, one cannot take ANY single source as factual, even if that single source is the Bible... especially if it's the Bible! --Edward-F (talk) 03:19, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
P.S. When writing or editing an encyclopaedic article, the onus is not on the editor to prove the current source wrong. The source has to be proven right for it to be presented as fact.--Edward-F (talk) 03:21, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Just out of interest, which books/sources would you consider to be proven right from around this period, or indeed any period before the printing press? Epideme (talk) 01:15, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree. This article is a farce. It even speculates about Abraham's motives while he fulfilled god's commission. As the existence of Abraham is very much unproven, never mind his god, this is nowhere near the standard required for an encyclopaedia. It has to go. FergusM1970 (talk) 16:40, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Moses' Orders[edit]

Ive added to the section describing Moses' prescribed punishment for the Midianites. According to the Book of Numbers, he ordered his soldiers to kill all male children, and all non-virgin females. He then allowed the Israelite men to take the virgin women.

Marcadams99 05:23, 21 July 2007 (UTC) Marcus, July, 20th, 2007


"Citation Needed" Tags[edit]

I've added {{citation needed}} tags on three paragraphs that really kicked off some questions. If we've only tentatively identified the Midianites with the Hyksos, it seems odd for the article to claim that they have a specific geographic location, economy, or archaeological finds. I won't be able to take a look at this stuff until towards the end of the month, but if no one's addressed these citations, I'll start digging into my archaeology journals. Justin Eiler 23:28, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and removed those sections--they're quoted below. Anyone who has a citation for these assertions is more than welcome to re-add the sentences and plug in the citations.

From "Midian#Geographical_Position"

Further evidences of the geographical position of the Midianites appear in a survey of their history. [citation needed]

From "Economy" (section header removed)

For a time during the decline of Egyptian power in the Levant, the Midianites controlled the copper mines at Timna. They were a sophisticated people whose territory sat astride several important trade routes of the ancient world- including the King's Highway. Rolls of fine cloth and beads have been discovered at Midianite sites, as well as fine objects of worked copper. [citation needed]

From "Midian#Religion"

Copper sculptures of serpents from Midianite sites are reminiscent of the Biblical story of Nahushtan (Numbers 21:6-9), a bronze snake statue created by Moses to stave off snake attacks. This has led to speculation of an ophidian cult among the Midianites, as existed among other ancient people, such as the Marsi. [citation needed]

Justin Eiler 16:26, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Article moved[edit]

For reference during the discussion:

This article was moved from Midian to Midian (son of Abraham) with the edit summary "for consistency". I don't understand that. Of the sons of Abraham, only Medan has a more significant meaning and that son's article is therefore located at Medan (son of Abraham). There was no need to move the others, as they are not ambiguous. See WP:NAME. Please comment below as I am inclined to move it (and the others) back. - Fayenatic (talk) 19:47, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

You seem right! I cannot find any reason as well! --Submitter to Truth (talk) 08:23, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

  • It's odd that this article makes no mention of the person Midian or of any connection between the Midianites and Abraham; therefore, I have take the "son of Abraham" page and turned it into a bio page for the person. This page can then remain focused on the region and the people. Aristophanes68 (talk) 15:35, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

ODD RESULTS ON FIREFOX[edit]

The printable version, when Viewed on Firefox, looks normal, but when printed via Firefox the Hebrew words are reversed -- the correct letters but running left-to-right instead of right-to-left. This does not happen with IE7, which prints the Hebrew correctly. Darndest thing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.178.242.140 (talk) 23:38, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Why does it say the name in Arabic?[edit]

Why does it say the name in Arabic? If we were to put it in more languages, then Greek would probably take a bigger priority. The Arabic version of the Bible came much later. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 35.11.56.20 (talk) 07:10, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Because the People of the Book, Christians Jews and Islamics speak different languages. In the time of Midian the languages of western Arabia were Afroasiatic Beja, Cushitic, Berber and Omotic [1] rather than semitic. The writing originated in Arabia and did not come from outside, was not western semitic, Canaanite, Akkadian or Egyptian but rather an Arabian language written in Thamudic script (wasums) developed from rock art.[2] The language at Elat was Egyptian and in Edom was Canaanite c 1450 BC

And because Midyan is an area in Greater Arabia, and its history part of Arabian lore. Asking this question presupposes certain biases and a POV. Have you looked at Midian on a map lately? Putting the Arabic for a place name that is considered in Arabia is as proper as it gets. In any case for non-original research examine Richard Burton's travels through Midian. - Anonymous 208.65.192.1 (talk) 04:07, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Missing detail in reference[edit]

In the time of Midian the languages of western Arabia were Afroasiatic Beja, Cushitic, Berber and Omotic [13] rather than semitic. "Loprieno "Ancient Egyptian" p5"

Does anyone have an actual reference to this comment? I looked the mentioned book up in Google books und could not find anything on p5.

Google Books Ancient Egyptian "Loprieno" http://books.google.com/books?id=5OkIeaxGg2sC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Loprieno+Ancient+Egyptian&hl

August09 (talk) 11:25, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Religious Speculation around Mouth Horeb[edit]

--Avanduyn (talk) 03:56, 19 October 2009 (UTC)I personally found this section to be speculative in it's current form and believe it needs extensive clarification and referencing before entering the main article again. I have left it here to aid in it's development.

The Midianites also seem to have been centered around a cultic site at Mount Horeb.[citation needed] This has led some scholars to speculate that the worship of YHWH (a name of God in Judaism) may have actually begun among the Midianites to be adapted later by the Israelites, a claim contested by many Christian scholars. Josephus, in "Antiquities Of The Jews," BK IV, Chapter VI, clearly contradicts this claim as he portrays in extensive narrative the seduction of young men of the Israelite Army, during the time of Moses, by Midianite women who enticed the Israelites through lewdness and idolatry to worship their gods in return for their remaining with them.[3] An Egyptian inscription refers to "Yhw in the land of the Shasu" as a tribe or people living in what would later become Midianite territory.

New Bible References Secton[edit]

It seems to me that the Bible References in it's current form is an attempt at retelling every bible story with midian in it in as condensed a version as possible. I believe this article needs to be encyclopedic and far more objective in telling us about Midian. Hence I will use this page as a developmental section as I work toward a replacement section... which may take some time.

Yet it may yet prove that this section will have to be merged with 'History' due to the fact that much of what we know of them comes mostly from the Hebrew scriptures.--Avanduyn (talk) 03:41, 20 October 2009 (UTC)


Beginnings[edit]

At the first we find Abraham begetting Midian by his concubine[4][5] and then some time later Issac by his wife Sarah; from Issac we find Esau who went and dwelt in Mt. Seir[6][7] and lived with the troglodytes, to found the race of Edomites.[8] This land came to be known by the Hebrews as Edom,[9] which Esau and those after him ruled.[10] Yet various people populated this vast land, namely the Children of Midian and the incestuous product of Lot and his older daughter, the Moabites, along with a sprinkling of Amorites to Lot's younger daughter.[11] These races live seperately but contemporaniously; but the book of Genesis clearly shows how the Moabites came to the dominance in a singular battle "in the field of Moab" against the forces of Midian.[12] Some five hundred years later when the children of Israel return we still find the continuance of this contemporaneous co-existance with dominance of Moab in Balak's and the Midianites collusion to exterminate Israel.[13]

Location and Lifestyle[edit]

Archeaology grants us with a spread of 'Midianite wares' rangeing from Iraq, Jordan, Arabia to the Negev desert in southen Israel, presenting us with a spread population not just limited to the domains of Edom. Yet their own lands cannot be easily defind, but available evidence indicates that it must have extended from the eastern shores of the Sinai peninsula to the deserts east of the Gulf of Aqabah, Edom and Moab.[14]

This race of tent-dwellers[15][16] were led by five kingsCite error: The <ref> tag has too many names (see the help page). [17], each representing one of Midian's five son, of which the tribe of Epher seems to have been the wealthiest, typified by the copious trade in camels an dromidaries.[18]. The story of Joseph also presents them as unscrupled traders, willing to sell their second or third half cousin into slavery.[19]


The enterance of several million hostile people into Palastine, mustered every fiber of cowardice or of desperate resistance.

<? --- more to come on use of 'Swift Camels' - Judges 6-8 two princes Oreb (Hebrew: עֹרֵב, Orev) and Zeeb (Hebrew: זְאֵב, Z'ev)



  1. ^ Loprieno "Ancient Egyptian" p5
  2. ^ Dr. Muhammed Abdul Nayeem, Prehistory and Protohistory of the Arabian Peninsula. Hyderabad. 1990.  p 167
  3. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Madianites" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
  4. ^ 1 Chronicles 1:32
  5. ^ Genesis 25:1-6
  6. ^ Genesis 36:8,9
  7. ^ Strong, James, Strong's Concordance of the Bible
    8165 - Sê'îyr, saw-eer; formed like 8163; rough, Seir; a mountain in Idumæa and its aboriginal inhabitants
    8163 - Sê'îr, saw-eer; from 8175; shaggy; as noun, a he-goat; by anal. a faun:- devil, goat, hairy, kid, rough, satyr.
  8. ^ Strong, James, Strong's Concordance of the Bible,
    2725 - Chôrîy kho-ree'; from 2356, cave-dweller, or troglodyte; a Chorite, or aboriginal Idumæan: Horims, Horites
  9. ^ in association with the Hebrew word for 'red', refering to the red lentil soup which Esau sold his birthright for
  10. ^ Genesis 36:1
  11. ^ Genesis 19:36,37
  12. ^ Genesis 36:35
  13. ^ Numbers 22:4,7
  14. ^ Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary, Midian, Review & Herald Publishing Association (Washington D.C., USA) 1960
  15. ^ Habakkuk 3:7
  16. ^ Numbers 10:29-31
  17. ^ Numbers 31:8
  18. ^ Isaiah 60:6
  19. ^ Genesis 37:28,36
    N.B. Midian would have been Joseph's great uncle, therefore Midian's sons would have been Joseph's second cousins

Any connection to Midian (son of Abraham)?[edit]

I noticed that this article makes no mention of any connection between the Midianites and the son of Abraham. So, I removed the redirect from "Midian (son of Abraham)" and made that a separate article on the person. But I also notice that the article on Abraham says he is the founder of the Midianites. If this is correct, then I think it should be mentioned in this article; if it's not correct, it needs to be removed from the Abraham article. Aristophanes68 (talk) 15:32, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

I would like to add that though there has been vigorous studies on The Bible, the information given is incomplete and lacks substance in a lot of cases. The midianites a tribe from Abrahams marriage to Keturah Genesis 25:1-2 have been placed geographicaly in present day Yemen and this is incorrect from The Bible. Midianites were a tribe that belonged to ethiopia Numbers 12:1. from whom Moses married his wife Ziporah. This would mean that Moses met GOD first on the mountains of Ethiopia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.177.106.230 (talk) 00:09, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Do nomadic shepherds grow corn?[edit]

The section Geographical location and culture says that "The Midianites were nomadic shepherds who ... lived in tents of goat hair and ate mostly bread ...". Being nomadic, presumably they got their bread from Greggs the Bakers? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.97.218.33 (talk) 18:30, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Midianite pottery[edit]

Maybe I am missing something, but shouldn't there be a section on Midian pottery? Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midianite_pottery http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-midianite-pottery.htm RANDOM78 (talk) 20:45, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

median?[edit]

i know it seems anachronistic, slightly, but considering that abraham probably never actually existed, i'd just like to throw out the idea of associating this person with the medes, rather than an arabic tribe, and if anybody is willing to tie that to the brahma/abraham similarity.

It is not just anachronistic, it makes no sense and exhibits a certain bias. Whether you think or modern scholarship thinks Abraham existed or not is irrelevant. The character, his name, and his linkage with origin stories for the Midianites and their region, Midian, is part of the lore of the Semitic speaking peoples of the region, both Arab and Israelite, and has been for thousands of years. There is absolutely no base from antiquity to even more tendentiously and tenuously link him to the Medes outside of modern linguistic speculation, mostly of a Hindu/Aryan/Iranian nationalist religio/nationalistic bent. - Anonymous 208.65.192.1 (talk) 04:12, 11 September 2014 (UTC)