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WHERE WAS MIDIAN?

 

Shuayb

 

(shhyb) (KEY) , Qur’anic non-biblical prophet, appeared later than Hud and Salih among “the people of the thicket.” His preaching is said to have consisted of a call to monotheism and social honesty. The Qur’anic allusions to Shuayb as an inhabitant of Midyan led to later traditions associating him with the biblical figure of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. His presumed grave in Qarn Hattin (today in Israel) is the site of an annual Druze religious festival. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.  2001.

 

 

Shuayb

The Arab prophet Shuayb is mentioned by name in the Quran many times. He is said to have been sent to the people of Midian (Q 7:85, 11:84) and the people of the Tanglewood [Ar. al-aikah] (Q 15:78, 26:176). Muslim exegetes claim that Shuayb was the father-in-law of Moses, called "Jethro" in the Bible where he is called the "priest of Midian" (see Q 28:22-28).

According to al-Kisa'i: The letters of the alphabet are the names of the people of Shuayb: Abjad, Hawwaz, Huttiya, Kalaman, SaÔfas, and Qurishat. Qatadah says: These are the names of the people of the Tanglewood. It is also said that they are the names of the kings of the Amalekites, cousins of the people of Midian but have no relation to Shuayb the son of Zion, son of Anka, son of Midian, son of Abraham.

 

With this information it would be interesting if there were a Mountain on the Arabian peninsula that was named after this prophet. One would expect such a mountain to be in or close to the area commonly accepted as  Midian in the North West or even in or close to Sinai. After all, here  we have an “independent” tradition for Jethro and “a thicket”  and therefore Moses. It is therefore a surprise to find a mountain Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb (the mountain of the Prophet Shu'ayb) which having an elevation of 3760 m is the HIGHEST mountain in YEMEN.

 

Why is it taken for granted that Midian was in North Western Arabia? 

It starts with the flight of Moses from the “Pharaoh”. It continues with the assumption that Pi’ru and Mitzraim mean Pharaoh and Egypt. 

I would like to point to this Biblical statement. 

KJV Exodus 2:15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well. 

Let us investigate this event more closely. 

We are all familiar with a map of Egypt, Sinai and Saudi Arabia.  Have you any idea how difficult, if not impossible it would be for one man to travel from Egypt to Saudi Arabia. Why would anyone do so? Is there any evidence that it was a commonly known travelers route?  Ridiculous! 

Yet for hundreds of years, scholars have taken that statement at face value. 

IF and it is a very big IF, Moses actually did live in Egypt and did have to flee the Pharaoh, there are a number of places that he might have fled to. Midian is NOT one of them.

 

 

 




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