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Reference: Zipporah


Daughter of Jethro, wife of Moses, and mother of Eliezer and Gershom. When Moses fled from Egypt into Midian, and there stood up in defense of the daughters of Jethro, priest or prince of Midian, against shepherds who would have hindered them form watering their flocks, Jethro took him into his house, and gave him his daughter Zipporah in marriage, Ex 2:15-22; 4:25; 18:2-4.

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a female bird. Reuel's daughter, who became the wife of Moses (Ex 2:21). In consequence of the event recorded in Ex 4:24-26, she and her two sons, Gershom and Eliezer, when so far on the way with Moses toward Egypt, were sent back by him to her own kinsfolk, the Midianites, with whom they sojourned till Moses afterwards joined them (Ex 18:2-6).

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Daughter of Reuel, priest of Midian; wife of Moses; mother of Gershom and Eliezer (Ex 2:21; 4:25; 18:2,6). (See MOSES.) The Cushite wife mentioned in Numbers 12 as the object of Miriam's jealousy can hardly have been Zipporah who was then long before married to Moses, but probably a second wife taken after Zipporah's death. Josephus (Ant. 2:10, Section 2.) makes him marry at Meroe one Ethiopian princess. Zipporah as a Midianitess had delayed the circumcision of her son; her perversity well nigh brought divine vengeance on Moses. With reluctance and anger she circumcised him, exclaiming, "A bloody husband art thou to me because of the circumcision," which binds thee to me afresh.

Zipporah recovered her husband's life at the cost of her child's blood. This event at the inn seemingly induced Moses to send her back to her father as one unable to brave the trials of God's people. Jethro brought her back to Moses in Rephidim during the first year's sojourn in the wilderness, the last time she is mentioned. Miriam's jealousy was in the second year. Zipporah's marriage must have been between the first and the second years. Habakkuk (Hab 3:7) connects Midian and Cushan, so that some think Zipporah is meant by the Cushite wife; but probabilities are on the other side. Only Canaanite wives were forbidden (Ex 34:11-16). Moses' marriage to a Midianitess and a Cushite successively typifies the extension of God's covenant to the Gentiles (Ps 45:9, etc.; Song 1:4, etc.); Miriam's and Aaron's murmuring answers to that of the Jews at the comprehension of the Gentiles (Lu 15:29-30).

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One of the daughters of the priest of Midian, Ex 2:21-22 (Jahwist), wife of Moses and mother of Gershom. According to Ex 18:2 (Elohist), she had another son. For the incident of Ex 4:24 ff. see Moses, p. 632.

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Daughter of Reuel, or Jethro, and wife of Moses. Apparently she circumcised her second son, and declared that Moses was 'a husband of blood' to her. She had been sent back during the tribulation and deliverance of Israel, and then was brought by Jethro with her two sons to Moses. Jethro is a type of the Gentile rejoicing in the deliverance of Israel, and bringing back the loved remnant thereof in the last days. Ex 2:21; 4:25; 18:2.

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