(2.) The elder of the two sons of Moses born to him in Midian (Ex 2:22; 18:3). On his way to Egypt with his family, in obedience to the command of the Lord, Moses was attacked by a sudden and dangerous illness (Ex 4:24-26), which Zipporah his wife believed to have been sent because he had neglected to circumcise his son. She accordingly took a "sharp stone" and circumcised her son Gershom, saying, "Surely a bloody husband art thou to me", i.e., by the blood of her child she had, as it were, purchased her husband, had won him back again.
(3.) A descendant of Phinehas who returned with Ezra from Babylon (Ezr 8:2).
(4.) The son of Manasseh (Jg 18:30), in R.V. "of Moses."
Gershon. 1Ch 6:1,16. Firstborn of Moses and Zipporah "a sojourner in a foreign land" (geer)," sojourner," is common to Hebrew and Egyptian; shom is not from Hebrew sham "there," as margin, but shem, Coptic, "a strange land"); alluding to Moses' sojourn in Midian "for, he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land" (Ex 2:22; 18:3). (See CIRCUMCISION and Ex 4:25.) Gershom was founder of a family, of which was "Jonathan, son (descendant) of Gershom," the "young man the Levite," who became Micah's priest to the image (Jg 17:7; 18:18-30), and subsequently the Danites' priest. His descendants held this priesthood until the taking of the ark by the Philistines, which is called "the day of the captivity of the land."
Gershom in the Hebrew text (kethib) is called "son of Moses." The name is altered into Manasseh with a hanging 'n' (raised above the line to show it might either be inserted or omitted) in the Masoretic keri, or margin Hebrew "He did the deeds of idolatrous Manasseh," says the Talmud (Baba bathra, 109 b.), "therefore Scripture assigns him to the family of Manasseh." Rabbabar bar Channa says "it would have been ignominious to Moses to have had an ungodly son; he was the son of Manasseh in impiety, of Moses in descent." But other of Moses' descendants through Gershom reflected the piety of "the man of God." Shebuel Gershom's descendant was "ruler of the treasures" dedicated in the sanctuary under David (1Ch 23:15-17; 26:24-28). One accompanied Ezra from Babylon (Ezr 8:2).
1. The elder of the two sons borne to Moses by Zipporah (Ex 2:22; 18:2-6; the explanation of the name given in these two passages is folk-etymology). According to 25'>Ex 14:25,25, the origin of circumcision among the Israelites was connected with that of Gershom; the rite was performed by his mother; this was contrary to later usage, according to which this was always done by a man. The son of Gershom, Jonathan, and his descendants were priests to the tribe of the Danites; but the fact that these latter set up for themselves a graven image, and that therefore the descendants of Gershom were connected with worship of this kind, was regarded as a grave evil by later generations, for which reason the word 'Moses' in Jg 18:30 was read 'Manasseh' by the insertion of an n above the text; it was thought derogatory to the memory of Moses that descendants of his should have been guilty of the worship of graven images. In Jg 17:7 there is a possible reference to Gershom, for the words 'and he sojourned there' can also be read 'and he (was) Gershom' (W. H. Bennett). In 1Ch 23:16; 26:24 the sons of Gershom are mentioned, Shebuel or Shubael being their chief. 2. A son of Levi (1Ch 6:16 [v. 1 in Heb.]); see Gershon. 3. A descendant of Phinehas, one of the 'heads of houses' who went up with Ezra from Babylon in the reign of Artaxerxes (Ezr 8:2).
W. O. E. Oesterley.
3. A descendant of Phinehas who returned from exile. Ezr 8:2.
(a stranger or exile).
1. The first-born son of Moses and Zipporah.
2. The form under which the name GERSHON--the eldest son of Levi--is given in several passages of Chronicles, viz.,
3. The representative of the priestly family of Phinehas, among those who accompanied Ezra from Babylon.