Oreb and Zeeb

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Oreb (/ˈɔːrɛb/)[1] is a Hebrew Old Testament name, meaning raven.[2]

By the time of the Judges, the Midianites, led by two princes Oreb (Hebrew: עֹרֵב, Orev) and Zeeb (Hebrew: זְאֵב, Z'ev) (wolf)[2] were raiding Israel with the use of swift camels, until they were decisively defeated by Gideon (Judges 7:20-25). Many of the Midianites perished along with him (Psalm 83:12; Isaiah 10:26). These later references reflect the importance ascribed to the victories as symbols of God's power mediated through his chosen people.[3]

The place where Gideon slew Oreb after the defeat of the Midianites was called the Rock of Oreb. It was probably the place now called Orbo, on the east of Jordan, near Bethshean. Zeeb was killed at "the wine press of Zeeb".

The historicity of the names is in doubt, Coggins postulates the names of geographical features were attached to the leaders in retrospect.[3]

The modern Hebrew male first name Ze'ev, also meaning "wolf," is not connected with the Midianite leader.


  1. ^ LDS.org: "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «ōr´ĕb»
  2. ^ a b Peake's Commentary, Judges, p 310, 256g
  3. ^ a b Who's Who in the Bible, Richard Coggins, Batsford, London, p 122. 1981 ISBN 0-7134-0144-3

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEaston, Matthew George (1897). "article name needed". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.