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    Jethro & Moses – Yitro

    Moses & Jethro, by James Tissot

    Moses acquired a father-in-law when he married Zipporah. The father-in-law was Jethro, a (the?) priest of Midian (Ex. 3:1).

    Our problem is whether we can accuse Moses of entering into a mixed marriage by allying himself with Jethro’s tribe.

    The answer is that Judaism was not yet a distinctive faith, Moses was not yet Moshe Rabbenu, God had not yet entrusted him with a spiritual role, and the dedication to God’s service with which we associate him was a thing of the future.

    Jethro’s was not an anti-Jewish ideology. Having realised that idol-worship was foolish, he resolved to abandon it. He was punished for this heresy; no-one would now keep his flocks, and this is why his daughters were tending the sheep and why the shepherds tried to drive them away.

    In the final analysis it was not Moses who was influenced by Jethro but Jethro who was influenced by Moses.

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