What Is the Name of Moses' Wife?

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What is the name of Moses' wife? How many children did they have?

Zipporah, the name of Moses' wife, is only referenced three times in the Bible (Exodus 2:21, 4:25, 18:2). The word Zipporah comes from the Hebrew tsipporah (Strong's Concordance #H6855) which means "a bird." Although her name is listed only a few times, her interactions with one of the most famous men in Scripture are worth studying.

Meeting his mate

How did Moses meet his future mate? He witnessed, at the age of about forty, an Egyptian taskmaster unjustly beating a Hebrew slave. Commentaries such as the JFB and Gill's Exposition of Scripture state the taskmaster actually beat the Hebrew to death. Greatly angered at one of his brethren being mistreated, He attacks and kills the Egyptian. Fearing for his life when it was discovered what he had done, he flees to Midian to escape the wrath of Pharaoh (Exodus 2:11 - 15).

Moses, while traveling through Midian, arrives at a well. Near the well are seven daughters of a priest who, while watering their father's flocks, are harassed by some local shepherds. He stands up for the virgins and chases away the rude and unkind shepherds. The daughters inform their father about what occurred and he invites the man of God for a meal. He ends up dwelling with the family and eventually taking as a mate one of the priest's daughters whose name is Zipporah (Exodus 2:15 - 21).

While living in Midian, for what would end up being forty years, Moses and his wife have two children. Their first child is named Gershom which means "a stranger in a strange land" (Exodus 2:22). Interestingly, the meaning of his name is used as the title of a best-selling science fiction book written in 1961 by Robert Heinlein. Her second son is called Eliezer, a name that means, "God is my help" (18:3 - 4).

Scripture is silent regarding further information on Zipporah's two sons. Nothing else seems to be known about them except that they were eventually married and had children.

Zipporah saves her husband!

What few people realize is that Zipporah was instrumental in saving her husband's life before he had a chance to save the Israelites! Evidence suggests his firstborn son was circumcised but his second son was not. Somewhere along their journey to Egypt the family stayed at an inn. The Lord, angered that Eliezer had not been circumcised, "met him and sought to kill him" (Exodus 4:24)! Zipporah, seeing the threat to her husband, circumcised her son herself. She then angrily stated, "Surely a bloody husband you are to me" (verse 25).

The Bible seems to indicate that Moses' wife Zipporah and her two sons were sent back to Midian after the event involving circumcision. Her name reappears one last time in Scripture when Jethro, her father, brings her and the sons to Mount Sinai where she can meet up with her husband and the children of Israel who are camped at its base (Exodus 18:1 - 4).

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