Gideon was the son of Joash, from the Abiezrite clan in the tribe of Manasseh and lived in Ephra (Ophrah). As a leader of the Israelites, he won a decisive victory over a Midianite army despite a vast numerical disadvantage, leading a troop of 300 “valiant” men.
/: Who was Gideon family? What tribes were judges from?
Midianite, in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), member of a group of nomadic tribes related to the Israelites and most likely living east of the Gulf of Aqaba in the northwestern regions of the Arabian Desert.
Meaning & History Means “feller, hewer” in Hebrew. Gideon is a hero and judge of the Old Testament. He led the vastly outnumbered Israelites against the Midianites, defeated them, and killed their two kings.
His name means “Crimson worm” or “scarlet stuff.” The son of Puah and the grandson of Dodo from the tribe of Issachar, he had the same name as one of the sons of Issachar who migrated to Egypt with Jacob his grandfather in Genesis 46:13. Of all the biblical judges, the least is written about Tola.
Jewish: from the Biblical name meaning ‘one who cuts down ‘ in Hebrew. It was borne by an Israelite leader appointed to deliver his people from the Midianites (Judges 6:14).
Samuel is portrayed as a judge who leads the military, as the judges in the Book of Judges, and also who exercises judicial functions. In 1 Sam 12:6–17, a speech of Samuel that portrays him as the judge sent by God to save Israel may have been composed by the Deuteronomists.
Judges mentioned in the Hebrew Bible The Book of Judges mentions twelve leaders who are said to “judge” Israel: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Samson.
The Midianites themselves were later on depicted at times in non-Biblical sources as dark-skinned and called Kushim, a Hebrew word used for dark-skinned Africans. One interpretation is that the wife is Zipporah and that she was referred to as a Cushite though she was a Midianite, because of her beauty.
Today, the former territory of Midian is located in western Saudi Arabia, southern Jordan, southern Israel, and the Egyptian Sinai peninsula.
Jethro, also called Reuel, or Hobab, in the Old Testament, priest of Midian of the Kenite clan, with whom Moses took refuge after he killed an Egyptian and whose daughter Moses married (Exodus 3:1).
Gideon, also spelled Gedeon, also called Jerubbaal, or Jerobaal, a judge and hero-liberator of Israel whose deeds are described in the Book of Judges.
Jephthah lived in Gilead and was a member of the Tribe of Manasseh. His father’s name is also given as Gilead. Unknown outside of the Bible, Jephthah is remarkable for several reasons. First, his birth was anything but a noble one, being identified as the son of a harlot.
He was a contemporary and associate of the prophetess and judge Deborah. Barak led an Israelite army against Sisera, commander of King Jabin’s Canaanite army. Sisera had the advantage with 900 iron chariots, but Barak defeated the Canaanite oppressor despite overwhelming odds.