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Midian (mĬd´ēən) or Midianites (–īts), in the Bible, a nomadic Bedouin people of N Arabia in what is S Jordan. They were associated with the Moabites and the Israelites. Moses took refuge with them and married the daughter of their priest Jethro. They were defeated by the Hebrews after they gave refuge to Balaam, whose advice to the Midianites led to the disastrous Baal-peor incident. The defeat of the Midianites by Gideon became the precedent for God's final victory over his enemies. In the Acts of the Apostles, they are called Madian.

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Madian (măd´ēən), variant of Midian.