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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Medes

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Medes and Media (mç'di-ah), name. The same as Madai, "middle land," one of Japheth's sons. Genesis 10:2. The Hebrew word thus translated "Madai" is also rendered "Medes," 2 Kings 17:6, etc., and "Media," Esther 1:3, etc., and also "Mede." Daniel 11:1. In the period of which Herodotus writes the people of Media were called Aryans. Its greatest length from north to south was 550 miles, its average breadth 250 to 300 miles, and its area 150,000 square miles. Media was divided originally into six provinces, which in Greek and Roman times were reduced to two. The early history of the Medes is very obscure. Their origin is given in Genesis 10:2, and they were connected with the captivity of Israel. 2 Kings 17:6; 2 Kings 18:11. Isaiah, in his prophecy against Babylon, reveals the agency and character of the Medes. Isaiah 13:17-18; Isaiah 21:2. But Media was not incorporated with Assyria, although Sargon, and afterward Sennacherib, subdued its people and exacted tribute. In b.c. 633 an independent kingdom was set up by Cyaxares, who in b.c. 625 took a leading part in the destruction of Nineveh. Media then became a great and powerful monarchy, comprising, besides Media proper, Persia, Assyria, Armenia, and other adjoining countries. The empire was 1500 miles long, 450 miles wide, and had an area of 600,000 square miles. Under Cyrus the two kingdoms of Babylonia and Media were united, b.c. 538. There are references in Scripture to this kingdom under the title of the "Medes and Persians." Daniel 5:28; Daniel 6:8; Daniel 6:12; Daniel 6:15; comp. Esther 1:19. The only city in Media alluded to in Scriptures is Achmetha, or Ecbatana. Ezra 6:2. This region was absorbed in the Macedonian empire of Alexander the Great Later an independent Median kingdom held sway until the Christian era, after which it became a part of the Parthian empire. Medes are mentioned in connection with Parthians, etc., in the New Testament, Acts 2:9.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Medes'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/m/medes.html. 1893.

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