Midianites, a nomad or half-nomad people of northern Arabia, who in the time of the early history of the Hebrews dwelt in the vicinity of the Arabian gulf and Dead sea, especially between Mt. Sinai and Moab. They are derived in Scripture from Midian, the son of Abraham by Keturah, and appear occasionally as merchants, and more frequently, like Bedouins, making raids into the neighboring territories of the Hebrews. Moses, who was himself the son-in-law of a Midianite priest, Jethro, waged a war of extermination against those of their tribes who in conjunction with the Moabites had enticed the Hebrews to idolatry when they were approaching Canaan. Gideon seems to have broken their power by his great victory over them and their allies the Amalekites. Some critics, to remove difficulties arising from apparently contradictory Scriptural statements, distinguish between Abrahamite and Cushite tribes of the same name, the former of whom, descendants of the same Semitic stock, lived in hostility to the Hebrews, while the daughter of Jethro is identified with the Cushite wife of Moses, mentioned in another part of his history (Num. xii. 1).