Moses father in law

Moses father in law

Exodus gives three names for Moses' father in law.

One is "the priest of Midian", one is "Reuel" and the other is "Jethro".

Exo 2:16 And the priest of Midian had seven daughters. And they came and drew, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.

Exo 2:18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, Why have you hurried to come today?

Exo 3:1 And Moses kept the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back side of the desert. And he came to the mountain of God, to Horeb.

From Strongs Dictionary:

From the same as H7466 and H410; friend of God; Reuel, the name of Moses’ father in law, also of an Edomite and an Israelite: - Raguel, Reuel.

From H3499 with pronominal suffix; his excellence; Jethro, Moses’ father in law: - Jethro. Compare H3500.

The way I understand it is that the names give a higher meaning to his relationship to the tribes of Israel ( priest from the tribes of Israel), his relationship to God (Freind of God) and His relationship to man (his excellence) as he was highly respected amongst men because of the first two names.

Some explanations say that Reuel was the father of Jethro, but how could they both have the same title as the priest of Midian? In Numbers and Chronicles the bible states who the sons of Reuel where but never mentions Jethro?

1Ch 1:35 The sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.

1Ch 1:37 The sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.

Num 10:29 And Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law: We are going to the place of which Jehovah said, I will give it to you. Come with us, and we will do you good. For Jehovah has spoken good concerning Israel.
His Names.

—In Rabbinical Literature:
The different names of Jethro puzzled the Talmudists: some thought that his real name was "Hobab," and that Reuel was his father (see Hobab); others thought that his name was "Reuel," interpreting it "the friend of God" (see Jethro—Biblical Data, and comp. the view of some modern scholars, who hold that his name was "Reuel," and that "Jethro" was a title, "his Excellency"). According to Simeon b. Yoḥai, he had two names, "Hobab" and "Jethro" (Sifre, Num. 78). It is, however, generallyaccepted that he had seven names: "Reuel," "Jether," "Jethro," "Hobab," "Heber," "Keni" (comp. Judges i. 16, iv. 11), and "Putiel"; Eleazar's father-in-law (Ex. vi. 25) being identified with Jethro by interpreting his name either as "he who abandoned idolatry" or as "who fattened calves for the sake of sacrifices to the idol" (Ex. R. xxvii. 7; Mek., Yitro, 'Amaleḳ, 1; Tan., Shemot, 11; comp. Targ. pseudo-Jonathan to Ex. vi. 25 and Soṭah 44a).

JETHRO in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE (Bible History Online)

Jethro was also called Reuel. Reuel meant friend of God, while Jethro meant excellence. Reuel was apparently his personal name, while Jethro may have been a more official or honorary name.



:cool: Interesting , thanks Kev. I love Bible names for people, towns , etc- they are rich and full of meaning.:D


My husband and I name our children very carefully as their name will define who they are. Not only do we have to like the name, the meaning has to be significant to us.
Has anybody here heard of the Jethro principle?

It is a leadership style which is often taught in secular university.

After the Israelites had fled Egypt, Moses was the sole judge over them and he was quite harsh and kept them waiting all day. Jethro came along and told Moses how to set up leaders over the people. He taught Moses how to deligate.

I think it is quite cool that biblical leadership styles are taught in universties!

Exo 18:13 And on the next day it happened that Moses sat to judge the people. And the people stood by Moses from the morning to the evening.
Exo 18:14 And when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing which you do to the people? Why do you sit alone by yourself, and all the people stand by you from morning to evening?
Exo 18:15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, Because the people come to me to inquire of God.
Exo 18:16 When they have a matter, they come to me. And I judge between one and another, and I make known the statutes of God and His Laws.
Exo 18:17 And Moses' father-in-law said to him, The thing that you do is not good.
Exo 18:18 You will surely wear away, both you and this people that is with you. For this thing is too heavy for you; you are not able to perform it alone.
Exo 18:19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you. You be for the people toward God, that you may bring the causes to God.
Exo 18:20 And you shall teach them ordinances and laws, and shall make them know the way in which they must walk, and the work that they must do.
Exo 18:21 And you shall look out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain. And place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
Exo 18:22 And let them judge the people at all times. And it shall be, every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they shall judge. And make it easier for yourself, and they shall bear with you.
Exo 18:23 If you will do this thing, and God command you, then you shall be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.
Exo 18:24 And Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said.
Exo 18:25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
Exo 18:26 And they judged the people at all times. The hard causes they brought to Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.