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  • Writer's picturePatricia

Zipporah Mose's Wife

Updated: Jul 11, 2022

Word of the Day: Wife

A married woman


Moses had grown up in Egypt with Pharaoh's daughter as his adopted mother. Moses was from the tribe of Levi and was saved from Pharaoh's edit, which was to kill all Jew's babies.


Moses dwelt in the land of Midian; when he arrived there, he was 40 years of age; Midian was the desert region between Sinai and the Arabian desert. Midian is one of Abraham's sons with Ketura, the Midianites later on in Scripture appear in confederation with the Moabites and the Amorites. By the time of Gideon, they were in alliance with the Amalekites.


Exodus 2:11-12

And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.

12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.


Judges 6:1-5

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.

2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.

3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;

4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.

5 For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.


This is the moment when Moses meets his wife Zipporah, and her name means "little bird" the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and those daughters drew water for their flocks. Moses became their savior that day; he met them and saved them from the shepherds who drove them away. Midian offered hospitality to Moses as gratitude for defending his daughters, and it came at the right moment due to Moses being a fugitive from Pharaoh.


Exodus 2:15-20

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.

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.

16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.

17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?

19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.

20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.


Moses marries Zipporah and they have one son; this son is called Gershom which means "stranger". Later on, they have a second son which they called Eliezer, and his name meant "friend of God".


Exodus 2:21-22

And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.


Exodus 18:4

And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh:


Zipporah being born in Midian means that she did not share the same spiritual values as Moses, including his traditions. Zipporah's name appears in scripture three times only by her name, and the second time her name appears is when she argues with Moses about the male circumcision. The Bible does not explain why Moses had not circumcised his second son Eliezer. Moses was sick with an illness that could have taken his life. Moses had broken God's covenant; maybe he was too busy doing the Lord's ministry to have neglected to perform this action. We don't know.

Once again, we have to remember that Zipporah came from a different background, and she was probably not pleased with the whole thing about circumcising her children. Moses could not lead His people and still be disobedient to God. Moses did not take the initiative to circumcise his son, so Zipporah did it for him, but she obeyed like a little child forced to attend such a thing and called her husband, "Surely a bloody husband art thou to me." When Moses fully recovers, he returns to Egypt, and Zipporah and the two boys return to their home in Midian.


Genesis 17:14

And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.


Exodus 4:24-25

And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him.

25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.


Jethro Moses' father-in-law brings Zipporah and the two boys to meet Moses. It is very mysterious, but we don't get to hear from Zipporah or the boys ever again after this reunion. This marriage was bizarre; Moses was known to be the great deliverer of the Jews but not at his house; he was a total stranger to his wife and children. We get to see a great leader who did not serve alongside his family; he was acting independently. The Bible does not tell us what happened in their marriage, but we can see that Zipporah was not a woman of faith. Zipporah was not a helpmeet to her husband, and her story ends with a sudden disappearance from the Scriptures. Her husband was such an excellent figure for the Jews, she was the wife of a great figure, and her children were the sons of a great figure, but her name does not remain.


Exodus 18:2-7

Then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back,

3 And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land:

4 And the nam;e of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh:

5 And Jethro, Moses' father in law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God:

6 And he said unto Moses, I thy father in law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her.

7 And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent.


Conclusion: What did we learn from this lady? The answer is nothing:( what can our kids learn from our legacy? That is up to us. Let's remember always to obey our leaders.



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