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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Oreb

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(Heb. Oreb', עוֹרֵב [Judges 7:25; Isaiah 10:26, עֹרֵב , a raven; Sept. ᾿Ωρήβ v. r. Ο᾿ρήβ; Josephus, ᾿Ωρηβός , Ant. v. 6, 5), the name of a sheik of the Midianites, who, with Zeeb ("the wolf"), invaded Israel and was defeated and driven back by Gideon. B.C. cir. 1362. (See GIDEON). The title given to them ( שָׂרַים, A. V. "princes") distinguishes them from Zebah and Zalmunna, the other two chieftains, who are called "kings" (מלכים ), and were evidently superior in rank to Oreb and Zeeb. "They were killed, not by Gideon himnself, or the people under his immediate conduct, but by the men of Ephraim, who rose this entreaty and intercepted the flying horde at the fords of the Jordan. This was the second act of that great tragedy. ''It is but slightly touched upon in the narrative of Judges, but the terms in which Isaiah refers to it (Isaiah 10:26) are such as to imply that it was a truly awful slaughter. He places it in the same rank with the two most tremendous disasters recorded in the whole of the history of Israel the destruction of the Egyptians in the Red Sea, and of the army of Sennacherib. Nor is Isaiah alone among the poets of Israel in his reference to this great event. While it is the terrific slaughter of the Midianites which points his allusion, their discomfiture and flight are prominent in that of the author of Psalms 83. In imagery both obvious and vivid to every native of the gusty hills and plains of Palestine, though to us comparatively unintelligible, the Psalmist describes them as driven over the uplands of Gilead like the clouds of chaff blown from the threshing-floors; chased away like the spherical masses of dry weeds which course over the plains of Esdraelon and Philistia flying with the dreadful hurry and confusion of the flames that rush and leap from tree to tree and, hill to hill when the wooded mountains: of a tropical country are by chance ignited (Psalms 83:13-14). The slaughter was concentrated around the rock at which Oreb fell, and which was long known by his name (Judges 7:25; Isaiah 10:26). This spot appears to have been in the valley of the Jordan, from whence the heads of the two chiefs were brought to Gideon to encourage him to furtler pursuit after the fugitive Zebah and Zalmunna." See below.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Oreb'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/o/oreb.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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