|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
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 (Genesis 37:28, 36). The next notice of them is in connection with Moses' flight from Egypt (Exodus 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 (Numbers 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 (Numbers 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 (Joshua 13:21, 22). Balaam also perished by the sword, receiving the "wages of his unrighteousness" (Numbers 31:8; 2 Peter 2:15). The whole of the country on the east of Jordan, now conquered by the Israelites (see SIHON; OG), 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 (Judges 6:1-ch. 7). Frequent allusions are afterwards made to this great victory (Psalm 83:10, 12; Isaiah 9:4; 10:6). They now wholly pass away from the page of history both sacred and profane.
Midianite (11 Occurrences)
Genesis 37:28 Midianites who were merchants passed by, and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. They brought Joseph into Egypt. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Numbers 10:29 Moses said to Hobab, the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are journeying to the place of which Yahweh said,'I will give it to you.' Come with us, and we will treat you well; for Yahweh has spoken good concerning Israel." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Numbers 25:6 Behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the Tent of Meeting. (WEB YLT NAS NIV)
Numbers 25:14 Now the name of the man of Israel that was slain, who was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a fathers' house among the Simeonites. (WEB YLT NAS NIV)
Numbers 25:15 The name of the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head of the people of a fathers' house in Midian. (WEB YLT NAS NIV)
Numbers 25:18 for they harass you, by their wiles wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the plague in the matter of Peor.' (See NIV)
Numbers 31:9 And the children of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones; and all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods, they took for a prey. (See NIV)
Judges 7:13 And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man telling a dream unto his follow, and saying: 'Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came unto the tent, and smote it that it fell, and turned it upside down, that the tent lay flat.' (See NIV)
Judges 7:15 And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped; and he returned into the camp of Israel, and said: 'Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.' (See NIV)
Judges 7:25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan. (Root in KJV WBS NIV)
Judges 8:3 God hath delivered into your hand the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and what was I able to do in comparison with you?' Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that. (See NIV)