Who were the Descendants of Midian?
(25 July, 2018, 13 Av, 5778)
1. Who are the Midianites Today? Arabia?
The Midianites today may be identified with part of the Arab People, especially those of Arabia. According to Rabbinical Tradition the Ishmaelites intermixed with Midianites so that the two became one. There may be Midianites elsewhere as well. In addition the Ancient Israelites from the Ten Tribes included descendants of the KENI who attached themselves to them and will return to the Land of Israel with them. Some of us may therefore have Midianite blood within us, as explained below.
The Midianites were the descendants of Midian, who was a son of Abraham and his wife Keturah:
Genesis (KJV) 25:
1 Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.
Descendants of Keturah are sometimes associated with inhabitants of India, especially the Brahmins, as well as with peoples who intermixed with the Arabs.
See Also: Concubines of Abraham, Ishmael, Esau, Keturah
The Midianites were divided into two sections:
a. Those who attached themselves to Israel in the time of Jethro or through being conquered and their young women spared.
These in turn were divided into two:
1. Those who identified completely with Israel.
2. Those who identified more loosely with Israel and led a nomad type existence. These were possibly those known as the KENI.
b. Those who remained separate altogether from Israel. A portion of these were exterminated by Israel but other, who were located elsewhere, have survived. They became a great people.
These had intermixed with the Cushim and were somewhat darkish.
They also intermerged with descendants of Ishmael and became part and parcel of the Arab Peoples especially those in Arabia etc.
When the brothers of Joseph turned against him they sold him to Midianites who may also have been Ishmaelites!
Genesis (NASB) 35:
28 Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt.
The Commentories are divided concerning the meaning of this verse. Some say Midianites first pulled Joseph out of the pit and then they sold him to the Ishmaelites.
Others say the Midianites and Ishmaelites were the same people. We later find the Midianites to have intermixed with the Ishmaelites. This intermixing may have begun in part much earlier than supposed. The verse would therefore be saying that the Midianites (who were also Ishmaelites) pulled Joseph out of the pit and then the brothers sold Joseph to them.
2. Midianites and Israel
The Israelites went down to Egypt and were enslaved. Moses grew up in the Egyptian court, went out to view his Israelite brethren and say an Egyptian striking one of them. Moses killed the Egyptian and then fled to Midian (Exodus 2: 11-15). The Land of Midian is presumed to have been just east of the Red Sea. In Midian Moses married Zipporah the daughter of Jethro (also known as Reuel). Jethro was a priest of Midian. Jethro was also known as Hobab (also pronounced as "Chovev"). When the Israelites came out of Egypt they passed close by Midian and Jethro joined himself to them. Jethro later departed (Numbers 10:29-31) but later returned together with some of his people.
At one stage the rulership of Moses was challenged by his brother and sister because he had married a Cushite woman (Numbers 12:1). This is assumed to refer to Zipporah the Midianite wife of Moses.
Color Prejudice Forbidden
Isaac Abarbanel (1437-1509):
# She was a Cushite as black as a raven. Zipporah was from Midian and they are Ishmaelites who are black because of effects of the sun and its heat.. #
The Midrash Seder Olam says that the Midianites intermixed with Cushites.
The Israelites continued journeying through the Wilderness. When the Hebrews drew close to the Land of Canaan the peoples of Midian and Moab became fearful of them (Numbers 22:4). They hired Bilaam son of Beor from Pethor on the Euphrates River to come and curse them (Numbers 22:5). Balaam however was forced by God to utter blessings instead of curses. Bilaam later advised the Midianites and Moabites to cause the Israelites to sin through fornication in order to remove Divine Protection from them and make them vulnerable. Later, under Joshua, Balaam would be killed because of this (Joshua 13:22). Midianite and Moabite women began to openly fornicate with the Hebrews. A plague came up and threatened to destroy the Israelite people. Pinchas (Phineas) took a spear and ran an Israelite Prince through together with his Midianite Princess Paramour when they were entwined. The plague was stopped.
Subsequently the Israelites attacked Midian and wiped out all the men and women apart from 32,000 girls who had never slept with a man (Book of Numbers 31:35). What happened to these females is not clear. They may have becoem part of the Israelites or they may have joined the Clan of Jethro.The Midianites however still existed as a people. Gideon went to war with them since they together with Ishmaelite were oppressing Israel (Judges 6:1-9).
In the End times Midian along with other peoples will come to pay homage to the God of Israel:
Isaiah (NASB) 60:
6 A multitude of camels will cover you,
The young camels of Midian and Ephah;
All those from Sheba will come;
They will bring gold and frankincense,
And will bear good news of the praises of the LORD.
Descendants of Jethro who lived among the Jews or close by them remaining loosely attached were known as KENI i.e. Kenites.
We find them associated with the city of Jericho and with the Wilderness of Judah:
16 The descendants of the Kenite, Moses' father-in-law, went up from the City of Palms [i.e. Jericho] with the sons of Judah, to the wilderness of Judah which is in the south of Arad; and they went and lived with the people.
55 The families of scribes who lived at Jabez were the Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites. Those are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.
The Sages said that among the descendants of Jethro were to be found great scholars some of whom became members of the Sanhedrin (Zohar Chadash 196;2. see Chasida).
We find Kenites in the north of Israel. Jael (Yael) whi=o killed the Canaanite general Sisera in the story of Barak and Deborah was the wife of Hebrew Kenite.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the sons of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.
We also find descendants of Jethro dwelling besides the Amalekites
6 Saul said to the Kenites, Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, so that I do not destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the sons of Israel when they came up from Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
The Druze Community of Israel also consider themselves associated with both Ancient Israel and with Jethro and with Britain and France.
The Rechabites are recalled in Jeremiah ch.35. They too were associated both with Judah and with the Ten Tribes. The Rechabites were descended through Jonadab from Jethro.
Hebrew Isles. Ancient Knowledge and Josephus
The Jews spoke of the Lost Ten Tribes. They associated the Ten Tribes with the Sons of Moses and the Rechabites.
Jewish legends and traditions from the Second Temple period and shortly afterwards said that the Lost Ten Tribes, Rechabites, and Sons of Moses were in the Islands of the Blessed.
The Kenites (Rechabites) would be exiled along with the Ten Tribes and return alongside them (Numbers 24:22 see Rashi).
The Prophecy of Balaam
Balaam prophesier concerning the End Times:
[Numbers 24:22] NEVERTHELESS THE KENITE SHALL BE WASTED, UNTIL ASSHUR SHALL CARRY THEE AWAY CAPTIVE.
This verse may be interpreted differently as the Rabbinical Commentators have done:
## EVEN IF YOU SHALL BE WIPED AWAY KEIN FOR A PERIOD WHEN ASHUR [ASSYRIA] TAKES YOU CAPTIVE [YOU SHALL RETURN WITH THE TEN TRIBES! #
The Kenites here are those who were to convert together with Jethro and attach themselves to the Children of Israel. They always remained as a somewhat separate group. They were exiled by the Assyrians with the Ten Tribes. They are destined to return with them (Rashi). The Rechabites were part of the Kenites descended from Jethro. Jewish Tradition in 2nd Temple Times believed the Rechabites were together with the Ten Tribes and to be found in the Isles of the Blessed which usually meant Ireland but could mean both Ireland and Britain.
Numbers (NASB) 24:
21 And he looked at the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said,
'Your dwelling place is enduring,
And your nest is set in the cliff.
The Talmud (Sanhedrin 106;a) explains this verse to mean:
You settled in the strength and surety of the Fortress of Israel.
22 'Nevertheless Kain will be consumed;
How long will Asshur keep you captive?'
Rashi explains this verse to mean that the Kenites will be exiled with the Ten Tribes and also return with them to the Land of Israel.
6. Sons of Moses
The sons of Moses may also be linked with the Rechabites and Kenites who went into Exile with the Ten Tribes. They would have been related to them through Zipporah the wife of Moses.
They too were said to have been very numerous. Some of them remained with Judah whereas others went into Exile with the Ten Tribes. They were to be found in the same areas the Ten Tribes were to be found. This included the region of Gaul (France and the north etc) and the Blessed Isles of Britain and Ireland.
Children of Moses
7. Serpent Seed and the Kenites
We need to relate to the Doctrine known as Serpent Seed. This teaching is not so important in its own right but it has been imitated and made more perverse than it initially was by others.
The serpent seed and the Kenites by Matt Slick
The Serpent Seed doctrine is the teaching that in the Garden of Eden, the serpent (the devil) had sexual relations with Eve. The result was that she bore Cain. The descendants of Cain are called Kenites.
He states that the Kenites survived the flood (he denies the global flood) and are found in the lineage of Israel, not Judah, (Newsletter #179, Sept. 1993). Eventually, the Kenites permeated the nation of Israel and are the ones who shouted "Crucify Him," in reference to Jesus, (Newsletter #179, Sept. 1993).
Here the Kenites descendants of Jethro are identified with Kain brother of Abel and are related to as Evil Incarnate. The Jews are then somehow equated with these same Kenites descendants of Cain. Therei s NO Biblical Basis for these ideas. They are vain imnaginings with malicious intent emanating from evil people.
Other Groups who hate the Jews have adopted, adapted, and taken this doctrine to an extreme.
They are in effect enemies not only of Judah i.e. the Jews but also of the Lost Ten Tribes.
Through the identification of the Kenites and the children of Moses and Legends surrounding them we have achieved additional confirmation of the Israelite origin of Western Peoples especially those of Ireland and Britain.
For more information and sources see:
Ancient Testimony. The Agreement of Celtic, Arab, and Jewish Sources Concerning the Ten Tribes