Zipporah: Saving Moses by the skin of…

There’s one more really important woman who steps up the first couple of chapters of Exodus.  She comes onto the scene after Moses has grown up.  Exodus 2:15 tells us:  Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. Now a priest of Midian…Exodus 2:15-16a

The Midianites were semi-nomadic tribes that lived in a wide area in the Near East.[1] Their history goes all the way back to Abraham.   You remember Abraham and Sarah, right?  After Sarah dies, he’s still got enough spring in his step that he remarries (sometime AFTER he’s 137 years old!)

Now Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore to him Zimran and Jokshan and Medan and Midian and Ishbak and Shuah. … Now Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac; but to the sons of his concubines, Abraham gave gifts while he was still living, and sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the land of the east. Genesis 25:1-6

We don’t usually think about the ‘other’ sons of Abraham, besides Ishmael.  But these boys grow up in a household that has seen the power and blessing of Yahweh, and that pledges allegiance to and prays to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and probably by the time they are all growing up: Jacob.  But since Isaac is the one who gets to take hold of the main inheritance of the family, which also means the land that is nearby, Abraham sends off his other sons to find alternate acreage where they can herd livestock, farm, and have families of their own.  One of those sons was Midian. 

You can imagine that that the traditions that were established in Abraham’s household, as the one who has pledged himself to Yahweh, are customs that, at least to some extent, honor and worship him as the one true God.  Circumcision is one of the covenant practices that were given to Abraham, which we’ll see later in this story. In whatever way these people worshiped Yahweh, these things were passed down to Abraham’s sons and then went with them into whatever areas they settled in. 

Moses is a part of the people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s lineage that have become slaves in Egypt.  He runs away into the desert, and comes into contact with another one of Abraham’s descendants, who is not just a priest, but later is described as a priest of Yahweh, where he offers burnt offerings and sacrifices to God in the presence of Moses. (Exodus 18:9-12)

Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock.  Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.  When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?” They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”  Exodus 2:16-19

We’ve heard this kind of story before, right?  Remember when Abraham’s servant goes and looks for a wife for Isaac, and Rebekah is at the well?  She gets water for his camels, talks a bit, finds out who he is… “oh, we’re related!” and RUNS back to tell her family about this guy at the well who wants her to marry his boss’ son,[2] leaving the servant by himself at the well. 

When Jacob runs away from home, he goes to a well, where some guys are hanging out with their flocks…and then Rachel comes to the well with her dad’s sheep.  Jacob rolls away the stone over the opening, tells her who he is: “oh, we’re relatives!” …and she RUNS back and tells her dad all about him,[3] leaving Jacob sitting at the well. 

Moses runs away from Egypt, sits down by a well, and seven sisters come down to get some water.  Moses gets rid of some sheepherding bullies, who have tried to send them away, and then HE waters their flock.  (Oh, THERE’S a difference).  Usually, women or slaves draw the water.  Then the young women RUN home and tell dad everything that happened.   And, by the way, they are relatives.  The family connection, as I mentioned earlier, comes from the kinship to Abraham and his son Midian.  Here, the text mentions Reuel as the father of the daughters, and in other places we see the name Jethro, or even Hobab.  There’s some debate on what his real name is, but Jethro could be his priestly title, meaning ‘his excellency’.[4] 

The seven daughters tell their father that Moses is an Egyptian.  Is it because of how Moses talks or acts, or by his clothing, makeup, or special markings?  It’s an important note.  It will take some time to turn Moses into someone who is on God’s side, and in line with God’s agenda.  Yet, there are already admirable glimpses of good and godly character in Moses, from this encounter at the well, as Moses ‘rescues’ these daughters. 

These young women are brimming with excitement about what this guy at the well did for them, but when they go back and tell their father, pop says: “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”  Exodus 2:20   (What were you thinking, girls?  Bring this guy back home before he gets away!)

Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”  Exodus 2:21-22 NIV

Well, that escalated quickly.  There’s a progression of life events here that takes place in the span of a couple of sentences.  Moses comes to dinner, gets a daughter for a wife, and has a son.  In essence, he has now become a permanent resident of Midian.[5] This is where we first encounter Zipporah.  Her name means, bird or ‘birdie.’Moses and Birdie.  There have been a few different women in Moses’ life so far.  The midwives, who could have been Egyptian midwives to the Israelites, or Israelites themselves.  Moses’ mom, who was an Israelite, and from the priestly tribe of Levi.  There has been the Pharaoh’s daughter, who was an Egyptian for sure.  And now, we have a woman from Midian, that Moses finds out in the desert. 

Moses is married off to Zipporah.  For her dad, he can’t be doing it because he has some hope of wealth and power.  Even if Moses dresses, talks, or acts like an Egyptian, he’s come by himself. He’s HIDING from Pharaoh.  Moses HAS shown off his muscles, though, which may be useful to a guy who has seven daughters.  And like Jacob, Moses may provide labor to work off a bride price.  There also may be a hope of passing on the sacred office of the priesthood, which in a way, Moses does[6], later on in the story.

When she first met Moses, Zipporah was a damsel in distress, and Moses saved her from the bullies at the well.  After they are married, they have a son whose name literally means, ‘a stranger there.’  It could also read: “a stranger I have been.”[7]  Consider this:  back in Egypt, he wasn’t really a Jew and he wasn’t really an Egyptian, and when he comes to Midian, he is in exile, running away from his sins and from the anger of the king.  But here, he gets taken in by a group of people and is able to establish a family.  In Midian, he has found a home.  Moses finds a place where the God of his fathers is also the God that Jethro worships.  What he experiences here in Midian is he later understands as God’s desire for his people to have a place where they can worship freely and have homes and families and a place they can call their own. 

Moses doesn’t get to stay in Midian, and he never really gets to settle down.  The writer of Hebrews describes many people in the famous ‘faith’ chapter and says that all of them were strangers and exiles on the earth.  They were looking for a heavenly country:[8] somewhere they could belong and settle down.

Some years go by while Moses establishes his home and family, but Moses is not far from God’s watchful eye, and in the desert, while he’s watching his father-in-law’s herds, Moses receives a call from God to go back to Egypt.  It happens by a burning bush.  For Zipporah, this means leaving ALL that is familiar to her: her father, her sisters, her way of life. 

Moses departed and returned to his father-in-law Jethro, and said to him, “Please, let me go, that I may return to my brothers who are in Egypt, and see if they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.”  Now the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.”So Moses took his wife and his sons and mounted them on a donkey, and returned to the land of Egypt. Moses also took the staff of God in his hand.  Exodus 4:18-20 NIV

God has called Moses and given him a task.  But in the calling and subsequent conversation with God, Moses has made a bunch of excuses as to why he shouldn’t go, why he’s unqualified, and why he really doesn’t WANT to go.  Moses is kind of obeying the call, but he’s reluctant. Pharaoh had wanted to kill him.  The Egyptians didn’t care for him. And none of them sent a card or care package when he ran away!  Come on! The slaves that he came from don’t really know him, even though they are all descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He left their neighborhood when he was very young.  Why would they even care about him anymore?  Moses HAS a family in Midian.  He has a future.  It’s a decent life—all tucked away by himself in the desert, no one to bother him.  Moses packs up, and Zipporah gets ready to leave her world.  But it’s all good, right?  They’ll just have a great time camping and find somewhere to go when they get to Egypt, and God is on their side.  Right?   

But it came about at the overnight encampment on the way, that the Lord met Moses, and sought to put him to death. So Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet; and she said, “You are indeed a groom of blood to me!” So He left him alone. At that time she said, “You are a groom of blood”— because of the circumcision.  Exodus 4:24-26

What is going on???  I dare say that this wasn’t found in my Sunday school Bible stories!!  It’s freakish and seems to come out of nowhere!  When Moses LEFT Egypt, Pharaoh was trying to kill him. Now, when he’s going BACK to Egypt, GOD is trying to kill him, even though Moses is going back to do what God had asked him to do!  But this may be a situation where Moses has not done the proper thing.  Let me explain:

When God called Abraham to pack up his tents and follow him, he made a covenant with him, and promised that he would be the father of many nations.  He said to Abraham: “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant… between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised …and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. …thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. … an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised … that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.” Genesis 17:9-14

Abraham had not just Ishmael and Isaac, but he had many other sons, as mentioned earlier.    Circumcision, for the descendants of Abraham, was a sign of God’s covenant.  It was a sign that Yahweh was their God and that they were Yahweh’s people.  The act of circumcision and the blood from the animal sacrifice that was put on the doors during the Passover are two things that were necessary for the survival and redemption of Israel.  It was a ritual required for all males in order to be a part of the community of Israel.  Let’s go back to what God speaks to Moses just before he takes off with Zipporah and his sons and is headed for Egypt:

The LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn. “So I said to you, ‘Let My son go that he may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’”  Exodus 4:21-23

Somehow, Moses had not performed the circumcision rite on his firstborn son, (or on his second son, because the text mentions ‘sons’).  But his firstborn is the issue here.  It seems to be a foreshadowing of the last plague that will come to the Egyptians, where their firstborn sons will die.  Here Moses comes face to face with that possibility himself.[9]

But why?  Here’s what I think is happening:  In the Old Testament, circumcision is more than just the surgical procedure of removing a piece of skin.  It is also the mark of God on someone’s heart, yielding ownership of the heart to God, surrendering the center of one’s being to God. (Jeremiah 4:4; Deuteronomy 30:6). Moses cannot deliver the message that God had given him to Pharaoh yet, because of his own failure to circumcise HIS firstborn son, Gershom.[10]  His own HEART is also hard, and he’s been unwilling to align himself with God’s ways, by giving his sons the outward and visible sign of God’s covenant.   The issue is: Is Moses still an Egyptian?  Or is he a Jew? 

This is a pivotal moment for Moses and Zipporah. In Genesis, there is a story of Jacob’s struggle, as he encounters God on a return journey to his homeland and back to his brother Esau. He wrestles with God[11] and becomes a changed man.  Here, God meets Moses in the night, and before he goes to his brothers, he must struggle with God; it is a test of wills.  Maybe this battle with God was not just a physical one, but something that was going on deep in Moses’ heart.  Moses needs to die to himself and accept fully what God wants to do in and through him.

James Bruckner writes: “Moses can’t lead the people without having a circumcised family.  Zipporah understood that, acted to save her family, and satisfied God’s concern.  As a Midianite, she proved her commitment to the God of Abraham who commanded circumcision as an “everlasting covenant”.  Her action resolved the ambiguity of Moses’ identity as a Hebrew who was raised in Pharaoh’s house and married to a Midianite woman.”[12]

Zipporah understands instinctively what is happening.  She is the daughter of a priest.  She is a distant blood relative to Abraham.  She, a woman, steps into this situation and performs a priestly action.[13]  Unheard of!  She grabs the knife and does the act that Moses should have done to his son to set him apart as part of God’s covenant people. In one quick and decisive moment, she changes the destiny of Moses and says “this is a JEWISH family”.  The girl at the well who once looked at Moses and thought he was an Egyptian man, now makes the family a Jewish family forever. And from then on, the crisis is over.[14]

Moses is saved by the smearing of blood. He who had once saved the damsel in distress is now being saved BY the damsel.  Zipporah saves Moses by the skin of his…

And in the future, if the people of Israel are also going to survive the wrath of Yahweh, it must be done by the spilling and smearing of blood.[15] Umberto Cassuto offers an interpretation of what Zipporah is saying in essence here: “I am delivering you from death—indeed I am restoring you to life—by means of our son’s blood; and your return to life makes you, as it were, my bridegroom a second time, this time a blood-bridegroom, a bridegroom acquired through blood.”[16]

Zipporah reminds Moses that he is not an Egyptian! He is part of God’s people, who are chosen by blood. The entire fate of Israel rests on Zipporah in that fateful moment when they camp on the road back to Exodus.  There, the daughter of a priests stands up to God and does what needs to be done.  She will DO WHAT IT TAKES TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT.

Because of what Zipporah does, God backs off from Moses.  And once again, Moses owes his life to a woman’s action.[17]  We’ve been studying how God is using women to begin the deliverance of Egypt…which begins with the protection and deliverance of Moses: Six women are all a part of the birth, near-death, and rescue images of Moses’ life.  –We began with Shiphrah and Puah, the midwives who delivered the children of Israel from the death decree of Pharaoh.  They were willing to DO WHAT IT TAKES TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT.  They feared God more than Pharaoh. –Then Moses is figuratively born twice: born to his mother and hidden for three months.  She saves him from being thrown in the Nile because she will DO WHAT IT TAKES TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT.  –Moses is reborn when the daughter of Pharaoh draws him from the water and names him—he is saved from a watery death and brought into the palace. She could have averted her eyes and thrown him back in the water, but against all odds, she also will DO WHAT IT TAKES TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT.  –Miriam stands firm and watches over Moses to see what God will do.  She is courageous and bold and she also will DO WHAT IT TAKES TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT. –Zipporah marries Moses, and bears him a son, and she saves him from being killed by God!! She will DO WHAT IT TAKES TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT.  She properly circumcises their son and dabs Moses with the blood.

I found it interesting (a little word nerdiness here—fair warning).  Shiphrah is the first woman who appears at the beginning of this whole section.  Her name in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of Exodus) is Sephorah. Shiphra–Sephorah.  The last woman to appear in this section is Zipporah.  In the Greek, yep, it’s also Sephorah!  The first Sephorah delivers the babies and perhaps Moses himself.  The second Sephorah gives birth to Moses’ son, and then delivers Moses from God’s hand. Pretty interesting! 

This may be a good reminder for us when we feel fearful, become passive, and perhaps experience God as the enemy.[18]  You might feel kind of strange about God going after Moses, but there is an element of death that is present in our own lives.  Sin and rebellion are gateways to spiritual and eternal death, and we were all destined for that end.  God, in his grace and mercy, offered us a pardon through his Son.  Jesus became God in the flesh, and then died in order to bring us life.  He calls all of his disciples to die, as we pick up our cross and follow him.  We are to be dead to the desires that fall in line with the philosophy of the mindsets of worldly systems, and we are to live according to the practices of God’s kingdom!  Unlike the children of Abraham, circumcision is not necessary to be part of God’s new kingdom people as Gentiles.  But the HEART is very important. 

Paul talks about this in Romans 2: …true circumcision is not only on the outside of the body. A person is a Jew only if he is a Jew inside; true circumcision is done in the heart by the Spirit, not by the written law. Such a person gets praise from God rather than from people. Romans 2:28b-29

After the coming of Jesus, we use baptism as a sacrament in the Christian church. Jesus took the wrath of God upon himself with the spilling and smearing of blood. He is our bridegroom—acquired through blood.  The one who pledges their allegiance to Christ is baptized as a symbol of the death and resurrection of Christ and the putting away of the old life and the putting on of the new.  Baptism is the ritual that we now use as a sign that is done to everyone who believes, male and female.  But it involves going ALL IN. 

I’ve watched in the couple of years and even recent months, where people who we thought were church leaders have been drastically exposed.  There are those who looked great on the outside, but their hearts and actions behind the scenes showed that they were not on God’s agenda, but their own.   They went in part-way, but they did things THEIR way.  Some of it makes me want to vomit.  And you can be assured, it leaves a bad taste in God’s mouth too. 

Brothers and sisters, like Zipporah, we must: Do what it takes to do what is right

–Maybe that means stepping in for someone who is not following God’s ways and getting them back on track before they lose their way.  –But more personally, it’s taking a heart check and asking: Is there something that I haven’t done that I KNOW I’m supposed to be doing?  Is it standing in the way of being right with God and being on the mission that he’s called me to do?  Am I going to be aligned with this world? Or are am I going to be one of GOD’S people?  When Zipporah first saw Moses, she called him an Egyptian. What would people call you when they look at you?  By your mannerisms, speech, clothing, actions?  Would you be identified by your political affiliation in this world, or with your affiliation with Christ?

Maybe you’ve been identifying as a Christian but have stepped into some of the practices of the world—and have become bitter about what’s going on around you. Your heart has become hard to what God is trying to do.  You’ve been hating your brother in your heart.  You’ve been avoiding any kind of true participation with God’s people.  You’ll watch a service online, but not participate in any kind of Bible study, or phone calls, or sending messages, because you just don’t want to be associated with THOSE people.  Like Moses, maybe you’re thinking, ‘I’ve already developed a decent life right where I am. I get out occasionally, but I’m all tucked away by myself with no one to bother me.  Why would I want to care about people who don’t know me well anyway?’  What does it look like to go to your brothers and sisters with the love of God?  What does it look like for YOU right now to do what God requires:  love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.  Can you say with certainty:  “I’m NOT a part of the worldly systems that are running rampant in my world right now.  From here on out, I will clearly identify as part of God’s family, God’s kingdom, and I will carry out God’s agenda for my life.”  Can you firmly identify yourself with God’s people?

Moses named his son, Gershom—‘a stranger there’.  He had no place to settle in his entire life.  But he DID have a place with the people of God, and God called him his friend.[19]  And according to Paul, YOU are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household…Ephesians 2:19

Moses took on God’s call and became a great man of faith.  It took his wife to get him on track and save him from God. Zipporah is our foremother in the faith.[20] She reminds us that we must Do what it takes to do what is right. I pray that we will have the courage to identify ourselves as people of God: as brothers and sisters, and as citizens of God’s kingdom and his ways.

PRAYER: O Lord God, You have called us to come out from the ways of the world and to be your people; people who are called by your name and live according to your purpose and your ways. We have certainly not lived up to that calling one hundred percent.  There are times we have been fearful, we have withdrawn ourselves.  We have been arrogant, we have been self-centered, and we have wanted to do things our own way.

God, in your mercy, look on us through the lens of Jesus’ sacrifice.  Forgive our weakness, our pettiness, and our stubbornness.  May we always do what it takes to do what is right…to stand visibly and unashamedly for you and for the ways of the cross that contradict the power grabs of this world.  Remind us again that we have a place with you, a home with you; that we are not strangers and aliens, but that we are part of your forever and eternal family.  God, you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love, Great is your faithfulness…

In Jesus’ name, we give you thanks and we praise you now…


Going Deeper Questions for Reflection

Read Exodus 2:15 –have you ever felt a lack of purpose or defeat and wanted to run away?  Explain. 

–Verse 16 begins: “Now the priest of Midian”…  Genesis 25:1-6 lists Abraham’s sons by his second wife, Keturah.  Had you ever read of these other children before?  What do you make of it that there are other tribes of people affiliated with Abraham, and are serving Yahweh, the same God that Abraham worshiped? (In Exodus 18:9-12, this same priest offers burnt offerings and sacrifices to God in the presence of Moses.)

Read Exodus 2:16-21. What do you think Moses learned in the desert versus what he learned by living in the palace in Egypt?  What would be the pros and cons of taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep in the desert?    (ie: pro=free from restrictions/con=not the same luxuries)

–Egyptians thought that a shepherd’s work was the most loathsome work one could do for a living.  But Moses married into a shepherding family.  As part of Zipporah’s family, he experienced: –new forms of worship; new foods; new customs; new life-style; new vocation; new language; new personal experiences; new expectations; new emotions; new family; and a new view of the world.[1]  Imagine what it would be like to adjust to a completely different lifestyle than you were used to. How well would you do?  

Read Exodus 2:22.  In one sense, Moses was hyphenated Egyptian.  Do you have a hyphenated identity?  (Irish-American, African-American Dutch-American, or Mexican-American) How has this hyphenated identity been a part of your life: in your family’s traditional foods, celebrations, jokes and language? 

–Moses spent 40 years in the Egyptian court of the Pharaoh even though he was born an Israelite.  Then he lived for 40 years as a refugee in the land of Midian.  At one point, he had to decide who he was going to be.  Read Exodus 4:19-26.  Have you ever heard this story before?  What are your first impressions? 

–In Genesis 17:9-14, God makes it clear that circumcision is a sign of God’s covenant that will define the children of Abraham and set them apart as followers of Yahweh.  Moses can’t give Pharaoh God’s message until he gives his own firstborn son the outward and visible sign of God’s covenant.  The issue is whether or not Moses still considers himself an Egyptian, or a descendant of Abraham, identified as an Israelite.  Why is integrity in personal matters and behind the scenes so important?  What private sins are you most likely to justify or downplay?

–Zipporah, the daughter of a priest, performs a priestly action (wow!) and sets their family apart as an Israelite family.  As our foremother in the faith, she reminds us that we must: Do what it takes to do what is right.

–You might feel kind of strange about God going after Moses in anger, but sin and rebellion are gateways to spiritual and eternal death for all of us.  Jesus took the wrath of God upon himself with the spilling and smearing of blood and offered us forgiveness. 

He is our bridegroom—acquired through blood.  Unlike the children of Abraham, circumcision is not necessary to be part of God’s new kingdom people as Gentiles.  There is more to it than just the surgical procedure of removing a piece of skin.  It is also the mark of God on someone’s heart, which shows itself in surrender and obedience. (see Jeremiah 4:4 and Romans 2:28b-29) Someone who pledges their allegiance to Christ is baptized as a SYMBOL of the death and resurrection of Christ and the putting away of the old life and the putting on of the new.  Baptism is the ritual that we now use as a sign that is done to EVERYONE who believes, male and female.  But it involves going ALL IN.  When Zipporah first saw Moses, she called him an Egyptian.  What would people call you when they look at you?  By your mannerisms, speech, clothing, actions?  Would you be identified by your political affiliation in this world, or with your affiliation with Christ?

–Moses named his son, Gershom—‘a stranger there’.  He had no place to settle in his entire life, but he did have a place with the people of God, and God called him his friend. (Exodus 33:11) According to the apostle Paul… you all are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household…Ephesians 2:19

–May we have the courage to identify ourselves as people of God; as brothers and sisters, and as citizens of God’s kingdom and his ways.   What does it look like for you go to the community of people that follow Jesus? What can you do to show that you care for and identify with them as part of the body of believers?  (make an effort, make a call, send a card, say hello)

–Even Moses’ mistakes sent him on a path to meet his wife and have his son, and be prepared for his future in leading the people of God out of Egypt. How can you utilize anniversaries or birthdays to be days of remembrance for God’s faithfulness?

Give thanks that: The LORD is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. Psalm 145:8




[1] Nahum M. Sarna, Exploring Exodus: The Origins of Biblical Israel, New York: Schocken Books, 1986, 35.

[2] Genesis 24:28

[3] Genesis 29:1-13

[4] Nahum M. Sarna, Exploring Exodus: The Origins of Biblical Israel, New York: Schocken Books, 1986, 36.

[5] Douglas K. Stuart, Exodus, Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2006, 100. 

[6] William H.C. Propp, Exodus 1-18; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999, 175.

[7] John I Durham, Word Biblical Commentary: Exodus, Waco: Word Books, 1987, 24.

[8] Hebrews 11:13-14

[9] James K. Bruckner, Exodus, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2008, 55.

[10] Cohen, Jeffrey M., Hatan damim- the bridegroom of blood, Jewish Bible Quarterly, 33 no 2 Apr-Jun 2005, 120-126, 124. 

[11] Robinson, Bernard P., Zipporah to the rescue- a contextual study of Exodus 4-24-6, Vetus testamentum, 36 no 4 Oct 1986, 447-461, 451.

[12] James K. Bruckner, Exodus, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2008, 54. 

[13] Meyer, Lauree Hersch, Zipporah our foremother, Brethren Life and Thought, 50 no 1-2 Wint-Spr 2005, 95-98, 95. 

[14] https://www.alephbeta.org/playlist/moshe-and-tziporah-origin-story

[15] Robinson, 457, 460.

[16] Ilana Pardes, “Zipporah and the Struggle for Deliverance”, chapter 5 in Countertraditions in the Bible: A Feminist Account (Cambridge, Mass,: Harvard University Press, 1992, 86.

[17] John Goldingay, Exodus & Leviticus for everyone, Louisville: John Knox Press, 2010, 26. 

[18] Carol Meyers, Exodus, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, 96.

[19] Exodus 33:11

[20] Meyer, Lauree Hersch, Zipporah our foremother, Brethren Life and Thought, 50 no 1-2 Wint-Spr 2005, 95-98, 95.

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