He was a fugitive, a wanted man. Therefore, we must conclude that in Numbers 12 Moses was remarrying after having become a widower, not taking multiple wives. [2] A) Moses’ Second Wife Was an Ethiopian Princess. Nevertheless, nothing in the Bible suggests that Moses was married to these two women simultaneously . I don't believe Moses' second wife was named in The Bible. Along the way, God came without warning to kill Moses. In the wilderness, did Jesus have supernatural power to resist temptation? Terms and Conditions, ©2021. A strange chapter of his life deals with his two wives, a situation that sparked the events of Numbers 12. No sooner was the agreement made, but it took effect immediately; and when Moses had cut off the Ethiopians, he gave thanks to God, and consummated his marriage, and led the Egyptians back to their own land. Word of Egypt's devastation and humiliation raced through the surrounding countries. Wife is singular, and there is no mention of any other wife or wives that Moses had. The daughters inform their father about what occurred and he invites the man of God for a meal. Promotional Images & Ministry Logos They show, however, that God works to prepare His servants as is necessary to bring about His purpose. In Num 12:1 Miriam and Aaron speak against Moses because of the “Cushite woman” whom he married, but they do not mention her name. No, Moses did not have a second wife. ... Later, they reunite, but he may have taken a second wife, a "Cushite" or Ethiopian woman. We see in Numbers 12 that it got Aaron and Miriam into deep trouble with God because they criticized Moses for a sin he committed long before he was converted. His Hebrew name, “Mosheh,” means “drawn” as in “drawn out of water.” Hebrews 11:23 says “Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the chil… Exodus 18:1-3 shows that Zipporah, though she did not participate in the Exodus from Egypt, rejoined Moses at Sinai, so she was probably there when all the events occurred in Numbers 12. Copyright Restrictions 12.1). Attention is drawn to the … Josephus writes: Tharbis was the daughter of the king of the Ethiopians: she happened to see Moses as he led the army near the walls, and fought with great courage; and admiring the subtlety of his undertakings, and believing him to be the author of the Egyptians' success, . Because Saba was highly fortified and situated on an island, it was nearly impregnable, and this worried Moses. “Moses and his Nubian wife” by Jacob Jordaens ((1593-1678) Numbers 12:1 Her Story: This woman married Moses, the prophet who led the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. 12:2  and they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? We read that Moses had taken a Cushite woman as a wife. The Bible does not give her reaction. Moses (/ ˈ m oʊ z ɪ z,-z ɪ s /), also known as Moshe Rabbenu (Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ ‎ lit. Since his first wife had died, Moses was able to marry again. These details support the conclusion that Moses married after Zipporah's death, though her death is not recorded in scripture. Commentators have suggested two possible answers to the question of the Kushite woman’s identity: either this is a reference to a second wife of Moses or to Zipporah herself. Moses's wife, Zipporah, was from Midian in Arabia. Other interpreters see the Cushite woman as a second wife, with Miriam and … News would quickly reach Ethiopia that their conqueror, Moses, was alive and leading a new army of Israelites. In Ex., ii, 10, a derivation from the Hebrew Mashah (to draw) is implied. Kush is the Hebrew name for Ethiopia (modern day Sudan and Ethiopia). The Bible consistently condemns taking multiple wives, and even Jesus Himself declared that when one man and one woman come together in marriage to become one flesh, and any additional marriage relationship is sin. On the way to Egypt, Zipporah circumcised their son and thus saved her husband’s life—Moses had neglected to obey the Lord in this matter, and the Lord would have killed Moses … The subsequent events—Moses' demands of Pharaoh, the plagues, the Exodus, and the Red Sea crossing—did not occur in a vacuum. Hobab the Kenite, who gave his Ethiopian daughter to Moses, and is the second father-in-law to Moses, cannot possibly be a descendant of Median, who was the son of the 140 year- old Abraham and his second wife ‘Keturiah.’ Kenites are born from Kenite fathers, Midianites are … Now the sister and brother challenge Moses about his wife. Having done that in a decisive battle, he took the offensive, gaining victory after victory. Evidently, arriving after the Israelites had already entered the wilderness, she followed their trail until she finally caught up with them at Hazeroth, and proclaimed herself to be Moses' wife. Moses is such an interesting subject that his life demands at least one more essay! Moses’ first wife was Adoniah (Tharbis) and his second wife was Zipporah. Your question refers to Numbers 12:1 which states his wife was a Cushite. A Cushite is from Cush, a region south of Ethiopia, where the people are known for their black skin. What a furor that caused! Moses was a great man, but only because God Himself forged him in the royal household of Pharaoh and in the deserts of Sinai and Midian to lead Israel out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. We know this because of Jeremiah 13:23: Can the Ethiopian [the same Hebrew word translated Cushite in Numbers 12:1] change his skin or the leopard his spots? Where he found her it is useless to conjecture; she may possibly have been one of the "mixed multitude" that went up out of Egypt. She is called an Ethiopian, which can also be translated as Kushite, meaning she was from the ancient African kingdom of “Kush”, which is where… These are intriguing stories, pieced together from the sparse historical evidence that remains of those times. (2:252-253). I don't believe Moses' second wife was named in the Bible. It’s important that we study the scriptures our self, even the scripts we are told are not part of the sixty-six books, we’re left with. By looking at the lineages we can safely conclude that Moses had at least two wives mentioned in scripture. Join over 150,000 other subscribers. Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. There is no mention of Moses being married a second time or any mention of Zipporah's death in the scriptures. Did Moses Have a Second Wife? Nevertheless, nothing in the Bible suggests that Moses was married to these two women simultaneously. This was a risky journey, which Zipporah courageously joined. Further circumstantial evidence for Zipporah's death is found in the conflict between Miriam, Aaron and Moses. It probably made for interesting mealtimes! Zipporah his first wife was a Midianite and his second wife was a Cushite (Numbers 12:1). Adam Clarke comments: Num 12:1 “Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses. With that introduction, I will present some of the explanations given of Moses’s Cushite wife. "But Moses stood up and … "4 1 Biography 1.1 Marriage to Moses 1.2 Journey to Egypt 2 Behind the scenes 3 References Sephora was the most dutiful and stalwart of … Cushites were descendants from the line of Ham through his son Cush. Zipporah his first wife was a Midianite and his second wife was a Cushite (Numbers 12:1). Forty years passed while Moses led Jethro's flocks, during which he took Zipporah as his wife and fathered two sons. The synonymous parallelism between Cushan and Midian in Habakkuk 3:7 suggests that the words Cushite and Midianite are identical. Finally, he laid siege to their royal city, Saba. The events of Numbers 12 occur when Moses is already over 80 years old, so it's very likely that Zipporah had died by that time. . Then, after the Pharaoh's death, God called Moses to be His prophet and sent him back to Egypt. When Moses returned to Egypt from Midian, Moses brought Zipporah and his sons with him (Exodus 4:19-20). A perplexing account involving Moses, his wife, and their son Gershom is found in Exodus 4:24–26. Therefore, the Arizal explains that Cain reincarnated in Jethro, and Abel in Moses. Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, II.10.1-2) records that, as a general of Egypt, Moses was sent with an army to turn back an Ethiopian incursion into Egypt. Hebrew: MSH Mosheh (M. T.), Greek: Mouses, Moses. Zipporah May be Obscure, but the Wife of Moses Mattered The woman who stood up to god. The women were trying to water their father's flocks, but a group of shepherds drove them away. Midrashic tradition assumed they were discussing Moses’ neglect of Zipporah. In Exodus 18:1:4 we read that Moses father in law Jethro, was a Midian and so was his daughter Zipporah. It is not improbable that his Ethiopian wife, now upwards of her mid-fifties, returned to Egypt to rejoin her husband. . After being instructed by God to return to Egypt and free the Israelites, in Exodus 4:20 Moses loads his wife and sons (plural) onto a donkey and hits the road. It is the Torah’s style only to add detail when necessary. Moses was born at a time when Pharaoh was trying to have all the male babies killed. Zipporah or Tzipora (/ ˈ z ɪ p ər ə, z ɪ ˈ p ɔːr ə /; Hebrew: צִפֹּרָה ‎, Tsippōrāh, "bird") is mentioned in the Book of Exodus as the wife of Moses, and the daughter of Reuel/Jethro, the priest and prince of Midian. This is why Jethro gave his daughter Tzipporah to Moses, thus rectifying his past sin by “returning” the wife that he had stolen. Is it true Moses had multiple wives? Zipporah was the wife of Moses. His siblings had a superior, judgmental attitude that God did not like at all, because it was His prerogative to judge His servant Moses. Besides that, his experiences run the gamut from prince to shepherd to servant of God, so there is a great deal to tell. When I was reading in Numbers 12, it seems Moses took a second wife from Ethiopia late in his life. See Judges 4: 11. His Ethiopian wife, no longer in favor among the Egyptians, likely returned to her native land. The second son was Eliezer, meaning “God is my help” because Moses said “the God of my father was my help and delivered me from the sword of Pharoah.” In this family and in the marriage, Moses had exchanged his feeling of strangeness for one of security and confidence in the Almighty. Moses, Hebrew liberator, leader, lawgiver, prophet, and historian, lived in the thirteenth and early part of the twelfth century B.C.. NAME. The natural supposition undoubtedly is that Moses (whether after the death of Zipporah, or during her lifetime, we cannot tell) had taken to himself a second wife of Hamite origin. On the contrary, the evidence suggests Moses married the Cushite woman after Zipporah's death. In the Book of Chronicles, two of her grandsons are mentioned: Shebuel, son of Gershom, and Rehabiah, son of Eliezer (1 Chronicles 23:16-17 Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the Lord heard it. He was given the former king’s widow as a wife but he refused to live with her or worship the Cushite god (Yalkut Shimoni Shemot 168). Moses stands up for the virgins and chases away the rude and unkind shepherds. Zipporah was not a descentant of Cush, the son of Ham,Cush was the forefather of the Ethiopians. Moses first served the king of Cush and then upon his death became king himself, ruling for 40 years. This is a term often used in the Bible to refer to African nations. Hobab the Kenite, was the brother-in-law to Moses, having also married one of Reuel=Jethro's seven daughters, but Hobab the Kenite, was later to become the second FATHER-IN-LAW to Moses who took the Ethiopian daughter of Hobab the Kenite as his second wife. Sephorawas aMidianite shepherd girlandthe eldest daughterof Jethro, the sheik of Midian.1She was the second wife of Moses, and the mother of Gershom.23She was also a fervent believer of theGod of Abraham, known to her people as "He who has no name. Following the death of his beloved Sarah, Abraham wed a second time. Now you know that Moses was in fact married to an Ethiopian, you can go and educate others. Num. They follow this up, with a challenge to his leadership. After Moses was informed by G‑d that he would be the redeemer of the Jewish people, Moses, together with his wife and children, left the comfort of Midian to travel down to Egypt where the Jews were enslaved. 12:1). And if He prepared Moses for his job, will He not do the same for His Son's bride (Revelation 19:7-9)? The only other reference found in the Bible pertaining to Moses’ wife is found in Numbers 12:1. He lived a long, full life during an exciting and eventful period of history. Moses’s marriage to Jethro’s daughter, Zipporah, and the birth of their first son, Gershom, are recorded in Exodus 2:21-22. * Moses’ other spiritual twin was the Cushite woman. Much of them is historical conjecture, but they are engaging nonetheless. Moses' decision to (re)marry became Aaron's and Miriam's excuse to discredit Moses in an attempt to usurp his authority over Israel. The Greek LXX translates Kush this way here: Is this a reference to Zipporah, his only recorded wife, or does it refer to a new wife? Then, after the Pharaoh's death, God called Moses to be His prophet and sent him back to Egypt. Privacy Policy We learn in Numbers that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman (Num. Bible commentaries disagree whether Numbers refers to the race or originating people of Moses' first wife or a second one he had after Zipporah died. As Moses was fleeing Egypt at around the age of forty, he met Zipporah and her six sisters in the land of Midian. He thereupon accepted the offer, on condition she would procure the delivering up of the city; and gave her the assurance of an oath to take her to his wife; and that when he had once taken possession of the city, he would not break his oath to her. The story begins sometime during the first forty-year period of his life, during the time before he fled to Midian. God had obviously forgiven him of it, an act of political strategy done before Moses' calling. Josephus and the Fathers assign the Coptic mo (water) and uses (saved) as the constituent parts of the name. Somehow, Moses survived by keeping him hidden and then by God’s providence, his mother floated him down the Nile and Pharaoh’s daughter found him. Forty years passed while Moses led Jethro's flocks, during which he took Zipporah as his wife and fathered two sons. Cush is the ancient name for the region called Ethiopia today. Midian and Cush are different places in the Bible, so this Cushite woman must be a different wife than the one Moses took while in Midian. Yet in Numbers 12 we read God coming to Moses' defense, which strongly suggests that Moses had done nothing wrong in God's eyes by marrying the Cushite. \"And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman\" (Num. After receiving God’s call to return to Egypt to lead the Hebrew people out of bondage (Exodus 3:7—4:9), Moses took Zipporah and their two children and began to travel to Egypt. Both views above try to affirm that Zipporah was the Cushite woman and that Moses had only one wife. Sign up for The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. Moses ends up dwelling with the family and eventually takes as a wife one of the priest's daughters named Zipporah (Exodus 2:15 - … However, before a long siege could reduce both morale and his army's strength, the Ethiopians offered him a deal. The Torah records it this way, “Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah” (Gen. 25:1). The subsequent events—Moses' demands of Pharaoh, the plagues, the Exodus, and the Red Sea crossing—did not occur in a vacuum. Moses’ second wife is unnamed and referred to as an Ethiopian in the KJV and a Cushite in most other translations (Numbers 12:1). Otherwise, it is up to the reader to discern the import of … As for Zipporah, she, too, would not have been happy to find out Moses had an Ethiopian wife (unless Moses had told her of his life in Egypt). All rights reserved. Cain ultimately killed Abel over that second wife. she fell deeply in love with him; and upon the prevalence of that passion, sent to him the most faithful of all her servants to discourse with him about their marriage. How was Jesus healing the leper a Messianic miracle. Designed and developed by VBVMI in partnership with Giles-Parscale. Verse By Verse Ministry International. Moses's wife, Zipporah, was from Midian in Arabia. Midian and Cush are different places in the Bible, so this Cushite woman must be a different wife than the one Moses took while in Midian. Several years later, Moses fled from Egypt after killing the Egyptian. Moses did not have a second wife Revelation 19:7-9 ) married the Cushite woman after Zipporah death. Descentant of Cush, the son of Ham, Cush was the forefather of the.! And there is no mention of Zipporah are accustomed to do evil are accustomed to do.... * Moses ’ other spiritual twin was the Cushite woman as a.! 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