When we joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we were at times an "object of curiosity", and endured a frequent barrage of strange questions that bordered on rude. ): It is possible that Zipporah, Moses’ wife, could have died by this point in the Exodus story and that Moses married another woman who happened to be of Ethiopian heritage. The Greatest Champion Of Woman And Womanhood Is Jesus Christ – James E. Talmage. We know from Exodus 2:21 that Moses married Zipporah, the daughter of the Midianite priest, Jethro (also known as Reuel). Zipporah, Moses’ wife, was a Midianite woman. He already had one wife, the daughter of Jethro…Did the Lord join in with them?…Did he say…It is sinful! Miriam and Aaron had a bad case of spiritual ego that was incubating way before this event happened. Moses’ second wife is unnamed and referred to as an Ethiopian in the KJV and a Cushite in most other translations (Numbers 12:1). I think that one of the most important things that we can learn from her story is that God is no respecter of persons, and that he loves and is aware of women no matter what color their skin. Some have tried to speculate that the later reference to Moses' wife as being a Cushite was still in reference to Zipporah. Artist Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), in his painting “ Moses and his Ethiopian wife Sephora,” depicts Zipporah as a Black woman. Amanda, that is a great quote by Orson Pratt. Another possible scenario for this Ethiopian wife is that Moses took multiple wives, and that he married this woman at the same time he was married to Zipporah. opposed to the idea of polygamy, or they may have just found the whole situation a bit too unconventional… which it certainly may have been. In Moses' case, he probably married Zipporah because he thought he would never be returning to Egypt. He was reverenced by ancient Hebrews as among the mightiest of their prophets and seers. Zipporah’s father was actually a Midianite (Ex. “Moses married an Ethiopian woman” is a common statement made in defense of interracial marriage. period they may have viewed Moses’ marriage to the Ethiopian woman as delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Still, it is strange to me As I listen to various Bible documentaries and some other teachings, the point is made that Moses married an Ethiopian woman. There is always the possibility that this Ethiopian wife is the same woman as Zipporah. If this woman was indeed Moses’ first wife, before Zipporah, then it is beautiful to me that God intervened on her behalf and recognized the validity of her claim upon Moses as her husband. Two children, and they were circumcized as Jews. It was customary for the daughter of the conquered King to be married into the family of the winner, and if the conquered gave trouble she was basically a hostage for their good conduct. We've updated our privacy policy to include the most recent GDPR updates. The Midianites descended from Midian, the son of Abraham through his wife Keturah (Gen. 25:1-2) and while it is possible that the Midianites worshiped idols and false Gods, it does seem like Jethro (and perhaps Zipporah as well) had a sound understanding and testimony of the God of Abraham because in Exodus 18: 9-11 it states, “And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Lord had done to Ethiopians). Sinai: Ex.22:16,17. N12-2: Who Exactly Was Moses’ Ethiopian Wife? The Messianic Generations of Joseph and Mary, 33. But it seems that eventually her heart was softened to it after her leprosy episode. Moses and his brother Aaron came of goodly parents. 13:23). But he wa angry that they should make light of a thing which he himself esteemed as very sacred; and, as a consequence, he smote Miriam with leprosy." Moses' Midianite wife was of Cushite ethnicity. They were not the children of Ham, Cushites (i.e. 2 Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zippo’rah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her away, 3 and her two sons, of whom the name of the one was Gershom (for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land”), 4 and the name of the other, Elie’zer (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”). The idea that Moses and Aaron struggled with the concept of Moses's polygamy and the situations of his marriages seems to be an appropriate foil for current day struggles with Joseph Smith and his polygamy. Besides that, his experiences run the gamut from prince to shepherd to servant of God, so there is a great deal to tell.A strange chapter of his life deals with his two wives, a situation that sparked the events of Numbers 12. I think that this Ethiopian woman’s presence among the children of Israel tells us that she had joined them, and that she had accepted the God of Abraham as her own. Cecil B. DeMille included a snippet of this story in his famous “Ten Commandments” movie! Moses' Ethiopian Wife. For Moses remembered how Abraham made his servant Eliezar swear, saying unto him, Thou shalt not take a woman from the daughters of Canaan for my son Isaac. So he laid siege to the city and gained a wife; he who could neither marry a Hebrew at that stage, nor an Egyptian.”. Your email address will not be published. While these anecdotes are not in the Bible itself, the authority for their truth is based on the historical records of the Jewish writers and Roman historians and at least one of the Church Fathers, Ireneus. So Moses was in reality married to two women, the Ethiopian Princess “Tharbis” and the Midianite Princess “Zipporah”. I was thinking it was probably a political marriage as well, between kingdoms. My husband is white and I am black or "African American". And when he did return to Egypt, he probably felt uncomfortable because his Ethiopian wife was from a different time in his life. Ramona, Thank you so much for your comment. This woman married Moses, the prophet who led the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. In  Bible times this was a powerful kingdom, sometimes rivaling Egypt in technology and power,  and one in which women often held the highest roles in government. As you observed, we hear earlier of Moses marrying the daughter of Jethro the Midianite. While these anecdotes are not in the Bible itself, the authority for their truth is based on the historical records of the Jewish writers and Roman historians and at … Moses first Marriage was to Adoniah as previously mentioned and his second marriage was to Reuel (Jethro) the Midianite’s daughter Zipporah. Though this Ethiopian woman’s identity is largely a mystery, there are several possibilities about who she could have been that add depth and understanding to this story. Apollos: Integrity Tested in a Godly Man, 37. Like Ayn brought up, there's a really great parallel between this situation of Moses and Miriam and the Prophet Joseph and Oliver Cowdery — how eerie that Moses' entering into plural marriage and Miriam's subsequent questioning his status as a true prophet mirrors what happened between Joseph and Oliver. “Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman”. They follow this up, with a challenge to his leadership. We can recognize him by the table of the law in his left hand. the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath   Book of Mormon, Study Guides The marriage between Moses and the Ethiopian woman was probably a political marriage, and they loved each other.And as in your post about Miriam, her reaction may have been one of misplaced jealousy and spite. No. Moses fled from Egypt to this area. The Greek LXX translates Kush this way here: And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on account of the Ethiopian woman whom Moses had taken, because he had taken an Ethiopian woman. Just an interesting thought. 1. Moses had two sons. Who was this Cushite and where did she come from? It is likely that she may have been among the Kushite slaves brought to Egypt, and was delivered from her slavery along with the children of Israel when Moses led them out of Egypt. Obadiah’s Widow and God’s Deliverance, 36. Moses’ first wife was Adoniah (Tharbis) and his second wife was Zipporah. 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