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Women of the Bible - Zipporah


John 21:25 says that everything we would like to know is not written in the Bible for the world would not be able to hold the book if it were.

Today’s lesson is a classic example of this statement for there are many things in the story of Zipporah that are not written in this account of her.

First of all let’s look at what facts we are given:

  1. She was the wife of Moses and Mother of his 2 sons, Gershom and Eliezar. Ex. 18: 2-4.
  2. She was a Midianite and so we need to stop our story here and see what that means.
    • Both Moses and Zipporah had a common ancestor, Abraham.
    • We know from scripture that Abraham had three wives: Sarah, Gen. 17:19, Hagar Gen.16:3. and Keturah Gen. 25:1.
    • Moses was from the line of Sarah and Zipporah was from the line of Keturah;
    • Notice that Keturah bore 6 sons to Abraham and one of them was named Midian who became the father of the Midianites and Jethro was of that linage.
    • Jethro was the father of Zipporah.

As the story of Moses continues we see that Moses had fled from Egypt because his life was threatened. Ex 2:15. He fled to the land of Midian for safety. There he meets Jethro who gave him work as a shepherd and also gives him one of his seven daughters, Zipporah as his wife.

In process of time God commissions Moses to return to Egypt and confront Pharaoh about letting the Israelites go free from their bondage as slaves.

Zipporah and the two sons accompany Moses at the start of the journey. Along the way something very strange happens and scholars are sill debating about it.

Ex. 4:24) At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met {Moses} and was about to kill him. 25) But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and threw it at {Moses'} feet. "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me," she said. 26) So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said "bridegroom of blood," referring to circumcision).

Here are the debatable questions being asked by scholars:

  • Who was the Lord about to kill? Was it Moses or their son?
  • If Moses, then why was the Lord about to kill him when He had just sent him with orders to Pharaoh?
  • Was the reason for this encounter the fact that the child had not been circumcised or was it something else?
  • Was Zipporah supposed to be cognizant of the fact of circumcision when the Midianites were not under the law and covenant of Israel?
  • Was Moses dilatory in performing the rite of circumcision?

Since the Bible is silent concerning the reason…. then one major detail of importance is the action and the courage of Zipporah. She was a woman who took charge and averted the death of either her husband or her son.


  1. Was Zipporah failing to be in subjection to her husband?
  2. Do you think what she did was a good thing?
  3. Do you see her anger at Moses?
  4. Why do you think she felt that way?

This concludes this series and next week we will begin:


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