Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zipporah

zi por e (or) zip ere

"Sparrow or Swallow"

So much is read and said of Moses that many times we forget that there was a Mrs. Moses. In addition to being the wife of Moses she played a significant part in his life which actually resulted in the saving of his life.

When Moses was grown, or had come of age and was a man by the Egyptian rites of passage, he chose to visit his people, the Hebrews. Apparently his adopted mother, Pharaoh's daughter, and quite possibly Mose's mother did not keep the fact that Moses was a Hebrew secret from him. While out and about from the palace and amongst his own people Moses saw an Egyptian fighting with one of Moses' homies. Moses chose to defend the man and killed the Egyptian. Somehow it came to the Pharaoh's attention and Moses had to skedaddle out of town. Moses fled to the desert where he met the daughters of a man named Reuel. Reuel must has taken a liking to Moses because he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses as his wife. Moses married Zipporah and took up residence there.

Reuel and his family lived in Sinai in northern Arabia near the Gulf of Agabah. Reuel was the priest of Midian. Zipporah was one of the seven daughters of Reuel. Zipporah was a descendant of Abraham through his wife Keturah. She  became the mother of two little boys named Gershom and Eliezer.   (Genesis 25:1.)

Zipporah is most remembered for saving the life of her husband Moses during an attack by God on Moses. Moses was returning to Egypt from the desert to confront Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and he was attacked by God. The reason for the attack is not very clear. Zipporah, it seems, surmised that the attack had something to do with the Abrahamic covenant. She seems to have concluded that the covenant had been violated in some manner. She immediately proceeded to circumcise her son. When she completed the circumcision the attack on her husband ceased. (Exodus 4:19-28)

Moses, on his way to deliver Israel from bondage had forgotten the very foundational sign of the covenant between Jehovah God and the people of Israel, namely circumcision. Without circumcision an Israelite was cut off from the covenant and from God. God used a Midianite to remind Moses of God's Word and to save the life of the great liberator of His people.

At some point Zipporah and the boys were sent back to her father's house in Midian. Then at some point after  Moses had led the people of Israel out of Egypt, she and the boys rejoined Moses. We don't know why they were sent home. Some surmise that Moses was concerned for their safety in the event something went wrong with the confrontation with Pharaoh or with the exodus.

It is interesting to note that she must have been gone for quite some time. Many scholars speculate that while she was gone Moses married an Ethiopian women. They think this is the women that both Aaron and Miriam "spoke against" and despised in Numbers 12:1.

2010 A-Z Challenge:  Z is for Zacchaeus
2011 A-Z Challenge:  Z is for Zipporah


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Congrats Gregg for completing the challenge, Todays blog is every bit as good as the other 25.

Enjoy your week-end.

Darlene said...

Yay, we made it to Z! I always like the name Zipporah. I had forgotten about that "little" incident. Thanks for the reminder. It's amazing how God uses people to get his will accomplished.

Cathy M. said...

Good old Zipporah... (she was also my Great-Grandmother.) I didn't know it meant "sparrow." How sweet.

Penned Pebbles said...

You've finished the challenge with another great post, Gregg! Congratulations! I'm glad to have found your blog. You're an awesome teacher! I will be back after my much anticipated cyber/blogging break (starting tomorrow). Blessings to you, brother!

Kansas Bob said...

Interesting tidbit about Moses and the Ethiopian. Thx for sharing.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Gregg, we did it! Congratulations! I have an award for you!!

Trisha said...

Great job finishing this challenge, Gregg! Aaah, Zipporah. I have to say she reminds me of many frustrated Christian women who wish their husbands would do what they're supposed to do.....:)

I didn't know that she wasn't the woman Moses' siblings were upset with...

Always learning something new here. Have a joyous weekend!

Joel the Immerser said...

Good post, brother. Congratulations on completing the challenge!

Brianna said...

Great minds think alike, Gregg! I chose Zipporah for my 'Z' post too :)

I think it must have been hard being the wife of Moses.

Congratulations on finishing the challenge! Twice now, right? Wow!

I'm glad to have met you through the challenge and plan on continuing to visit regularly.

N. R. Williams said...

It amazes me that on the one hand you have God's commandment to avoid and even kill the people that are not Israelite. We know Solomon made some bad choices in this regard. But every once in awhile, along comes a woman who breaks the mold (a man too), and God approves of them. This speaks to the importance of man's heart toward God.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Robyn Campbell said...

You've shown me something new here. Zipporah must have been an awesome woman. I guess I never knew Moses had married another. Where do we learn that Moses married this Ethiopian woman?

You always teach me something. Wonderful end to the challenge. See you soon.

*The Old Geezer said...

Zipporah is a great "Z" word to end your A to Z challenge on. You did an excellent job :-)

I just finished reading another blog that was involved in the A to Z challenge and I had to laugh the way she ended her post.

Ze end!

Pk Hrezo said...

What an informative blog you have. Congrats on completing the challenge!

Nice to meet you. :)

Anonymous said...

Hooray Gregg! You made it from A to Z in excellent fashion dear brother!

You are a true teacher of God's Word and may He bless you with the desires of your heart!

Mercy a.k.a Rogue said...

Congratulations on finishing the challenge.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that story about Z. saving Moses was so bizarre. I wish we would've been given more details.

Arlee Bird said...

An apt end to the A to Z Challenge. You introduced us to many characters of the Bible of whom we don't often hear much. It's interesting to think about these more obscure personalities since they all played a role in Biblical history.

Congratulations on another year of successfully blogging from A to Z.

Don't forget to pick up your Winner's Badge at my site.
Tossing It Out