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Was Moses Father-in-Law a Magi Priest


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Moses father-in-law was a Medianite priest? Was he from the Magi tribe of Midian?


Here is what I know.


Moses father-in-law, Jethro was a Midianite priest.




Medan was the son of Abraham and Keturah. I am looking for a connection Medan to the Madan people of Iran and Iraq.


1 Chronicles 1


1:32 The sons to whom Keturah, Abraham’s concubine, gave birth:

Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, Shuah.

The sons of Jokshan:

Sheba and Dedan.


1:33 The sons of Midian:

Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah.



Isaiah 7


25:1 Abraham had taken another wife, named Keturah.


25:2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.


25:3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. The descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites.


25:4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.


Rabbinical Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391–1271 BC.


JETHRO (Heb. יֶתֶר ,יִתְרוֹ), Midianite priest and father-in-law of Moses. Jethro had seven daughters who served as his shepherdesses. When Moses fled from Egypt he came to the well in Midian where he witnessed local shepherds mistreating the girls. He saved them and watered their flocks for them. In return, Jethro welcomed Moses into his home and gave him one of his daughters, *Zipporah, as a wife. He also appointed Moses as shepherd of his flocks (Ex. 2:16–21; 3:1). Jethro is next mentioned after the incident of the burning bush when Moses, having decided to return to Egypt, asked and received his father-in-law's permission to do so (4:18).



Exodus 2


2:21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.


2:22 When she bore a son, Moses named him Gershom, for he said, “I have become a resident foreigner in a foreign land.


Moses knew that Midian was not where he is supposed to be.


Exodus 3


3:1 Now Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb.


3:2 The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from within a bush. He looked – and the bush was ablaze with fire, but it was not being consumed!


3:3 So Moses thought, “I will turn aside to see this amazing sight. Why does the bush not burn up?”


3:4 When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to look, God called to him from within the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”


3:5 God said, “Do not approach any closer! Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”


3:6 He added, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.





The Medes (from Old Persian Māda) were an ancient Iranian people who lived in Iran in an area known as Media and spoke a northwestern Iranian language referred to as the Median language.


2 Kings 17


17:1 In the twelfth year of King Ahaz’s reign over Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria for nine years.


17:2 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not to the same degree as the Israelite kings who preceded him.


17:3 King Shalmaneser of Assyria threatened him; Hoshea became his subject and paid him tribute.


17:4 The king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was planning a revolt. Hoshea had sent messengers to King So of Egypt and had not sent his annual tribute to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria arrested him and imprisoned him.


17:5 The king of Assyria marched through the whole land. He attacked Samaria and besieged it for three years.


17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea’s reign, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the people of Israel to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, along the Habor (the river of Gozan), and in the cities of the Medes.


Daniel 8


9:1 In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, who was of Median descent and who had been appointed king over the Babylonian empire


9:2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, came to understand from the sacred books 6 that, according to the word of the LORD disclosed to the prophet Jeremiah, the years for the fulfilling of the desolation of Jerusalem were seventy in number.



Isaiah 13


13:1 The Lord Will Judge Babylon

This is a message about Babylon that God revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz:

13:2 3 On a bare hill raise a signal flag, shout to them,

wave your hand, so they might enter the gates of the princes!

13:3 I have given orders to my chosen soldiers; I have summoned the warriors through whom I will vent my anger,

my boasting, arrogant ones.

13:4 7 There is a loud noise on the mountains – it sounds like a large army! There is great commotion among the kingdoms – nations are being assembled!

The Lord who commands armies is mustering forces for battle.

13:5 They come from a distant land, from the horizon.

It is the Lord with his instruments of judgment, coming to destroy the whole earth.

13:6 Wail, for the Lord’s day of judgment is near; it comes with all the destructive power of the sovereign judge.

13:7 For this reason all hands hang limp, every human heart loses its courage.

13:8 They panic – cramps and pain seize hold of them like those of a woman who is straining to give birth.

They look at one another in astonishment; their faces are flushed red.

13:9 Look, the Lord’s day of judgment is coming; it is a day of cruelty and savage, raging anger, destroying the earth and annihilating its sinners.

13:10 Indeed the stars in the sky and their constellations no longer give out their light; the sun is darkened as soon as it rises, and the moon does not shine.

13:11 24 I will punish the world for its evil, and wicked people for their sin. I will put an end to the pride of the insolent, I will bring down the arrogance of tyrants.

13:12 I will make human beings more scarce than pure gold,

and people more scarce than gold from Ophir.

13:13 So I will shake the heavens, and the earth will shake loose from its foundation, because of the fury of the Lord who commands armies, in the day he vents his raging anger.

13:14 Like a frightened gazelle or a sheep with no shepherd,

each will turn toward home, each will run to his homeland.

13:15 Everyone who is caught will be stabbed, everyone who is seized will die by the sword.

13:16 Their children will be smashed to pieces before their very eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives raped.

13:17 Look, I am stirring up the Medes to attack them; they are not concerned about silver, nor are they interested in gold.

13:18 Their arrows will cut young men to ribbons; they have no compassion on a person’s offspring, they will not look with pity on children.

13:19 Babylon, the most admired of kingdoms, the Chaldeans’ source of honor and pride, will be destroyed by God just as Sodom and Gomorrah were.

13:20 No one will live there again; no one will ever reside there again. No bedouin will camp there, no shepherds will rest their flocks there.

13:21 Wild animals will rest there, the ruined houses will be full of hyenas. Ostriches will live there, wild goats will skip among the ruins.

13:22 Wild dogs will yip in her ruined fortresses, jackals will yelp in the once-splendid palaces. Her time is almost up, her days will not be prolonged.

14:1 The Lord will certainly have compassion on Jacob; he will again choose Israel as his special people and restore them to their land. Resident foreigners will join them and unite with the family of Jacob.


The Medes had an Ancient Iranian Religion (a form of pre-Zoroastrian Mazdaism or Mithra worshipping) with a priesthood tribe named "Magi". Magi would be considered similar to the priestly tribe of Levi in Judaism designated for a special role of Divine service. The name Magi implies a link with the Sumerians, who called their language Emegir, over time becoming simplified to Magi. Hungarian tradition also traces pre-European Magyar (Hungarian) ancestry back to the Magi. In time, the Sumerian-influenced religion of the Magi was suppressed in favor of a more purely Iranian form of Zoroastrianism, itself evolved from its somewhat dualist beginnings into the monotheistic faith that it is today (also known as Parsi-ism).


Other Median tribes were the Busae, Paretaceni, Struchates, and Arizanti, Budii.


By 549 B.C.E., Cyrus the Great removed the Mede Astyages, who was his maternal grandfather, from power and conquered the Medes, establishing the Achaemenid Empire in its place.


Persian Jews claim descent from the Tribe of Ephraim. Persian Jews (also called Iranian Jews) are members of Jewish communities living in Iran and throughout the former greatest extent of the Persian Empire.


The Pashtuns are a predominantly Muslim people, native to Afghanistan and Pakistan, who adhere to their pre-Islamic indigenous religious code of honor and culture Pashtunwali. A thirteenth century Persian book, the Tabaqat-i-Nasiri, states that in the 7th century a people called the Bani Israel settled in Ghor, southeast of Herat, Afghanistan, and then migrated south and east. These Bani Israel references are in line with the commonly held view by Pashtuns that when the twelve tribes of Israel were dispersed, the tribe of Joseph, among other Hebrew tribes, settled in the region. Hence the tribal name 'Yusef Zai' in Pashto translates to the 'sons of Joseph'. This is also described extensively in great detail by Makhzan-i-Afghani, a historical work from the 17th Century by Nehamtullah, an official in the royal court of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. A similar story is told by Iranian historian Ferishta.




The Midianites were the descendants of Midian, who was a son of Abraham through his wife Keturah. Historically, the Medanites dwelt alongside the Mitanni and they formed a kingdom in the 10th and 9th centuries BC. It is for this reason that historians call the Mitanni the "early Medes". The empire of the Medanites or Medes is often referred to in textbooks as the Amadai-Mada-Medes empire (Madai, Midian, and Medan were closely associated with each other). The Amadai were descendants of Madai who were subject to the Medes, the ruling class of the Empire.





7:9 That night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up! Attack the camp, for I am handing it over to you.


7:10 But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with Purah your servant


7:11 and listen to what they are saying. Then you will be brave and attack the camp.” So he went down with Purah his servant to where the sentries were guarding the camp.


7:12 Now the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people from the east covered the valley like a swarm of locusts. Their camels could not be counted; they were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore.


7:13 When Gideon arrived, he heard a man telling another man about a dream he had. The man said, “Look! I had a dream. I saw a stale cake of barley bread rolling into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent so hard it knocked it over and turned it upside down. The tent just collapsed.


7:14 The other man said, “Without a doubt this symbolizes the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God is handing Midian and all the army over to him.”


7:15 When Gideon heard the report of the dream and its interpretation, he praised God. Then he went back to the Israelite camp and said, “Get up, for the Lord is handing the Midianite army over to you!


7:16 He divided the three hundred men into three units. He gave them all trumpets and empty jars with torches inside them.


7:17 He said to them, “Watch me and do as I do. Watch closely! I am going to the edge of the camp. Do as I do!


7:18 When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, you also blow your trumpets all around the camp. Then say, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’”


7:19 Gideon took a hundred men to the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guards. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars they were carrying.


7:20 All three units blew their trumpets and broke their jars. They held the torches in their left hand and the trumpets in their right. Then they yelled, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”


7:21 They stood in order all around the camp. The whole army ran away; they shouted as they scrambled away.


7:22 When the three hundred men blew their trumpets, the Lord caused the Midianites to attack one another with their swords throughout the camp. The army fled to Beth Shittah on the way to Zererah. They went to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.


7:23 Israelites from Naphtali, Asher, and Manasseh answered the call and chased the Midianites.


7:24 Now Gideon sent messengers throughout the Ephraimite hill country who announced, “Go down and head off the Midianites. Take control of the fords of the streams all the way to Beth Barah and the Jordan River.” When all the Ephraimites had assembled, they took control of the fords all the way to Beth Barah and the Jordan River.


7:25 They captured the two Midianite generals, Oreb and Zeeb. They executed Oreb on the rock of Oreb and Zeeb in the winepress of Zeeb. They chased the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was now on the other side of the Jordan River.


8:1 The Ephraimites said to him, “Why have you done such a thing to us? You did not summon us when you went to fight the Midianites!” They argued vehemently with him.


8:2 He said to them, “Now what have I accomplished compared to you? Even Ephraim’s leftover grapes are better quality than Abiezer’s harvest!


8:3 It was to you that God handed over the Midianite generals, Oreb and Zeeb! What did I accomplish to rival that?” When he said this, they calmed down.


8:4 Now Gideon and his three hundred men had crossed over the Jordan River, and even though they were exhausted, they were still chasing the Midianites.


8:5 He said to the men of Succoth, “Give some loaves of bread to the men who are following me, because they are exhausted. I am chasing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”


8:6 The officials of Succoth said, “You have not yet overpowered Zebah and Zalmunna. So why should we give bread to your army?”


8:7 Gideon said, “Since you will not help, after the Lord hands Zebah and Zalmunna over to me, I will thresh your skin with desert thorns and briers.”


8:8 He went up from there to Penuel and made the same request. The men of Penuel responded the same way the men of Succoth had.


8:9 He also threatened the men of Penuel, warning, “When I return victoriously, I will tear down this tower.”


8:10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their armies. There were about fifteen thousand survivors from the army of the eastern peoples; a hundred and twenty thousand sword-wielding soldiers had been killed.


8:11 Gideon went up the road of the nomads east of Nobah and Jogbehah and ambushed the surprised army.


8:12 When Zebah and Zalmunna ran away, Gideon chased them and captured the two Midianite kings, Zebah and Zalmunna. He had surprised their entire army.


8:13 Gideon son of Joash returned from the battle by the pass of Heres.


8:14 He captured a young man from Succoth and interrogated him. The young man wrote down for him the names of Succoth’s officials and city leaders – seventy-seven men in all.


8:15 He approached the men of Succoth and said, “Look what I have! Zebah and Zalmunna! You insulted me, saying, ‘You have not yet overpowered Zebah and Zalmunna. So why should we give bread to your exhausted men?’”


8:16 He seized the leaders of the city, along with some desert thorns and briers; he then “threshed” the men of Succoth with them.


8:17 He also tore down the tower of Penuel and executed the city’s men.


8:18 He said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “Describe for me the men you killed at Tabor.” They said, “They were like you. Each one looked like a king’s son.”


8:19 He said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. I swear, as surely as the Lord is alive, if you had let them live, I would not kill you.”


8:20 He ordered Jether his firstborn son, “Come on! Kill them!” But Jether was too afraid to draw his sword, because he was still young.


8:21 Zebah and Zalmunna said to Gideon, “Come on, you strike us, for a man is judged by his strength.” So Gideon killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and he took the crescent-shaped ornaments which were on the necks of their camels.


8:22 The men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us – you, your son, and your grandson. For you have delivered us from Midian’s power.


8:23 Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.”


8:24 Gideon continued, “I would like to make one request. Each of you give me an earring from the plunder you have taken.” (The Midianites had gold earrings because they were Ishmaelites.)


8:25 They said, “We are happy to give you earrings.” So they spread out a garment, and each one threw an earring from his plunder onto it.


8:26 The total weight of the gold earrings he requested came to seventeen hundred gold shekels. This was in addition to the crescent-shaped ornaments, jewelry, purple clothing worn by the Midianite kings, and the necklaces on the camels.


8:27 Gideon used all this to make an ephod, which he put in his hometown of Ophrah. All the Israelites prostituted themselves to it by worshiping it there. It became a snare to Gideon and his family.


8:28 The Israelites humiliated Midian; the Midianites’ fighting spirit was broken. The land had rest for forty years during Gideon’s time.


I found this legend



According to this legend the Medes lived quiet lives of peace such as Zoroaster had taught them, dwelling in little farming villages. Even among these simple farm folk, quarrels sometimes arose, which were usually brought for decision to the wisest and most peaceful man of the community. In this capacity as umpire, Deioces, a peculiarly grave and moderate villager, became noted and honored through all the country, until finally many of the Medes urged him to act as their permanent leader or king.


At first Deioces refused; then he asked if they would give him a guard of soldiers to enforce his judgments. This being promised, he asked if they would build him a strong castle where he would be secure against the revenge of any he must punish. When he had thus obtained both soldiers and a fortress, Deioces assumed a very different, more commanding tone. He told the Medes of the weakness of other nations and bade them set out to seize by force that leadership of the world which was theirs by reason of their strength and courage. They obeyed with eagerness, and the Aryan career of victory began.


Read about Medes and Persians in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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I asked Chaim Bergstein, author of the video "midian the paradigm of a quibbler " the following question.




This was very enlightening for me. There is just one other piece of the puzzle I cannot understand. Are the Medes the same people as Midianites? Thank you in advance for your answer.



Chaim Bergstein 1 week ago


no the medes were in what is today western iran midian is southern jordan



I then asked the following:




First, thank you Chaim for taking the time to answer my question. Was Darius from Southern Jordan?



9:1 In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, who was of Median descent and who had been appointed king over the Babylonian empire –




Immediately after seizing the kingship, Darius I of Persia (son of Hystaspes) married Atossa (daughter of Cyrus the Great). They were both descendants of Achaemenes from different Achaemenid lines. Marrying a daughter of Cyrus strengthened Darius's position as king.


Darius was an active emperor, busy with building programs in Persepolis, Susa, Egypt, and elsewhere. Toward the end of his reign he moved to punish Athens, but a new revolt in Egypt (probably led by the Persian satrap) had to be suppressed. Under Persian law, the Achaemenian kings were required to choose a successor before setting out on such serious expeditions. Upon his great decision to leave (487-486 BC), Darius prepared his tomb at Naqsh-e Rostam and appointed Xerxes, his eldest son by Atossa, as his successor.


In the third year of King Cyrus of Persia an angel revealed to Daniel (who was also called Belteshazzar) the future destruction of Persian Empire.


Darayavahush I or Darius the Great was the first Emperor of the Achaemenid Empire whom can be said to be Zoroastrian. Darius, in his great rock inscriptions, actively testifies to his faith and speaks almost unceasingly about his ‘great lord’, Ahura Mazdah. Darius speaks of how he sees Ahura Mazdah as a friend and how this friend rewarded his faith and piety by making him the Achaemenid Emperor and giving dominion of the world to Persia. Darius mentions how without Ahura Mazdah he would be nothing and that everything he succeeded was because of Ahura Mazdah making his will clear through him. Darius the Great also painted his wars with a heavily Zoroastrian brush.





Daniel 11


11:1 And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood to strengthen him and to provide protection for him.)


11:2 Now I will tell you the truth. “Three more kings will arise for Persia. Then a fourth king will be unusually rich, more so than all who preceded him. When he has amassed power through his riches, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece.


11:3 Then a powerful king will arise, exercising great authority and doing as he pleases.


11:4 Shortly after his rise to power, his kingdom will be broken up and distributed toward the four winds of the sky – but not to his posterity or with the authority he exercised, for his kingdom will be uprooted and distributed to others besides these.



Also found a tidbit of information on Moses.


Both Zoroastrianism and Judaism are revealed religions: in the one Ahuramazda imparts his revelation and pronounces his commandments to Zarathustra on "the Mountain of the Two Holy

Communing Ones"; in the other Yhwh holds a similar communion with Moses on





These are humata (good thought), hukhta (good word), and havarshta (good deeds).


Exodus 18



18:1 Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard about all that God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.


18:2 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Moses’ wife Zipporah after he had sent her back,


18:3 and her two sons, one of whom was named Gershom (for Moses had said, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land”), 18:4 and the other Eliezer (for Moses had said, “The God of my father has been my help 6 and delivered 7 me from the sword of Pharaoh”).


18:5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, together with Moses’ sons and his wife, came to Moses in the desert where he was camping by the mountain of God.


18:6 He said to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you, along with your wife and her two sons with her.”


18:7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him; they each asked about the other’s welfare, and then they went into the tent.


18:8 Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to Egypt for Israel’s sake, and all the hardship that had come on them along the way, and how the Lord had delivered them.


18:9 Jethro rejoiced because of all the good that the Lord had done for Israel, whom he had delivered from the hand of Egypt.


18:10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord who has delivered you from the hand of Egypt, and from the hand of Pharaoh, who has delivered the people from the Egyptians’ control!


18:11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods, for in the thing in which they dealt proudly against them he has destroyed them.”


18:12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron and all the elders of Israel came to eat food with the father-in-law of Moses before God.


Here is the Islamic story of Jethro and the people of Midian.



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This is a message that I received from a practicing Zoroastrian.


The Midianites were a Semitic nomadic tribe known to be marauders and slave traders. The Medes or Mada were a Western Iranian Confederation of mostly, or perhaps totally, Aryan tribes. They went from being Vassals to the Assyrians to defeating them and establishing their own Empire , an Empire, which Cyrus, a Persian, conquered. Similar sounding names across languages which are not directly related do not mean that they are the same.




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In the Bible, the "Midianites" are an Arab tribe descended from Abraham, and Midian itself is where Moses spent his forty-year exile from Egypt. The biblical Midianites take their name from Midian, a son of Abraham, and one of his concubines. Today, the former territory of Midian is found through small portions of western Saudi Arabia, southern Jordan, southern Israel and the Sinai. The people of Midian are also mentioned extensively in the Qur'an, where the name appears in Arabic as Madyan.


Darius was born as the eldest of five sons to Vishtaspa Iknown under his Hellenized name Hystaspes) a Persian satrap (governor) of Bactria and Persis.


According to some writers, Bactria was the homeland of Indo-European tribes who moved south-west into Iran and into North-Western India around 2500–2000 BC. Later, it became the north province of the Persian Empire in Central Asia.


Persis, Persian Parsa, ancient country in the southwestern part of Iran, roughly coextensive with the modern region of Fārs. Its name was derived from the Iranian tribe of the Parsua (Parsuash; Parsumash; Persians), who settled there in the 7th century bc.

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I get it now. Midian and Median are two regionally and historically different people. The Midians were also known as the Midianites. The Medians were also known as the Medes.


The Midians or Midianites were a tribe that was around 1162 BC. Median Empire or Median Confederation (Mādai) lasted from 678 BC through 549 BC.

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