• Num. 22:4

4 So Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this company will lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. NKJV, 1982

  • Num. 25:1

1 Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, a and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. NKJV, 1982

  • Num. 25:16–17

16 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 17 “Harass the Midianites, and attack them; 18 for they harassed you with their schemes by which they seduced you in the matter of Peor and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a leader of Midian, their sister, who was killed in the day of the plague because of Peor.” NKJV, 1982

Were the Midianites and the Moabites the same people?

  • 1
    They were not the same people. Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 19:48
  • 3
    Midian & Moab.
    – Dɑvïd
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 21:26
  • @user34445 I suppose we could think about the Midians & Moabs to be be similar to today's relationship between the Scottish, English and Welsh who are 3 separate people groups who reside close to each other in the United Kingdom(UK) Commented Oct 3, 2020 at 21:22
  • No. But the Midianites acted ON BEHALF of Moabite interests hence why the terms Midianite and Moabite get conflated. Evidence: Deuteronomy 23:3-6. Here, it says that the Moabites wanted to curse Israel but they had to hire Balaam, a Midianite, to do it for them. So Moab didn't play a direct role in cursing and eventually killing the Israelites. Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 7:11

2 Answers 2


Moab and Ammon were born to Lot and Lot's elder and younger daughters, respectively, in the aftermath of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The Moabites and Ammonites were referred to Biblically as:

sons of Lot, born of incest with his daughters [Gen 19:37-38]

The Midianites, however, were descendants of Midian, one of the sons of Abraham through Keturah:

"… again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah" [Gen 25:1–2]

Accordingly the Moabites and the Medianites were not the same people.


This is a good question and my answer is way too late, yet I still felt compelled to answer what I think was behind the original question. Yes these were two different people as is accurately answered above, but when the judgment came on them for their enticing Israel into sin in one place God specifically mentions the women of Moab and in another the Midianite woman named Cozbi. So in reality God exacted judgment on both lands since both were part of the original consultation with Balaam and both followed through with Balaam's advice to entice the Israelites into sexual sin and idolatry.

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