Book of Mormon, Study Guides Aaron’s Grandson the Other Jericho Spy, 17. \"And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman\" (Num. He already had one wife, the daughter of Jethro…Did the Lord join in with them?…Did he say…It is sinful! They sometimes refer to the parallel of this minor prophet: Habakkuk 3:7 I saw the tents of Cushan in … Verse 22 tells us that Zipporah bore Moses a son, whose name was Gershom. 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”). In this painting Moses is depicted with his Nubian or Ethiopian wife. She is called an Ethiopian, which can also be translated as  Kushite, meaning she was from the ancient African kingdom of “Kush”, which is where modern day Sudan now is. I blew it off , but a few years ago I found a reference to a past church policy "against" interracial marriage. Still, it is strange to me 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. Jim Cole-Rous researched background information on Lesser Known Bible People beginning in 2008. However these people were the descendants of Abraham and Keturah Gen.25:2. While it was not uncommon for men to have multiple wives in this time The only wife of Moses known by name is Zipporah. Eventually this opposition to Moses resulted in Miriam being stricken with leprosy. Now the sister and brother challenge Moses about his wife. Trophimus: Whose Praise is in the Churches. Now the sister and brother challenge Moses about his wife. Miriam and Aaron against Moses' Ethiopian wife; Miriam punished by God with leprosy. inappropriate because she was a non-Israelite, they may have been I just wanted to stop by and say that on Sunday a lady in my ward gave a talk and quoted something from a book of yours. By looking at the lineages we can safely conclude that Moses had at least two wives mentioned in scripture. 12.1). . Required fields are marked *. Like I said, this woman’s identity is a mystery, but I think there are three different situations in which she could have become Moses’ wife (if you happen to think of any more let me know! It is mentioned several times in the Bible and can be referred to by several names including: Ethiopia, Kush or Cush, and sometimes Nubia. one wife. The reasoning to support this idea is that Tzippora was a very dark-skinned person who was racially categorized as a Cushite but tribally as a Midianite. There is no word of any kind against Moses or his Ethiopian wife. I can't think of any other reason Miriam would be bothered by it. They were Midianites living in North West Arabia, just South of the Eastern arm of the Red Sea, known to us as the gulf of Aquaba. Moses could have ruled all of Egypt. Yet, she repented of her mistake and after seven days outside of the camp she was healed and returned to travel with the children of Israel. revelation from the Lord. They follow this up, with a challenge to his leadership. How might this story be especially meaningful to men and women of color? Let us know about your decision. We know very little about this woman except that she, at some point was married to Moses, and that there was something about her, and the circumstances of her marriage to Moses, that upset Miriam and Aaron. that if the author had known that the Ethiopian woman was Zipporah that he didn’t use her name. Today this would encompass Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Hi HeatherThis is a great synopsis, and I had a random thought once that Moses had more than one wife. The Ethiopians gave the Egyptians a lot of trouble, they invaded South Egypt repeatedly. I also read that historically Egyptians normally had at least 1 wife which was the norm, but royalty and wealth dictated a possibility of more.On the subject of race, it is unfortunate that we in this society (21st century) seem to want to impose our "norms" on ancient societies.Was Moses a "white man", were Egyptians "white". “The rivers of Ethiopia” (Zeph.3:10) are the two branches of the Nile and the Astabbras (Tacazze). This possibility might explain why Moses “sent back” Zipporah to her father’s house instead of taking her with him to Egypt (Exodus 18:2- 3). Just an interesting thought. These people were known to have very dark black skin and Jeremiah even alluded to this when he wrote: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? 30.   Old Testament Let us know your thoughts or concerns and we’ll connect with you. The Other Disciple on the Emmaus Road. 40. They argue that she may have had darker skin or that her family had migrated from Northern Africa, which may have been the reason that she would be referred to as Ethiopian. But, Heather, I think you can predict my opinion, that just as I went through a Miriam phase, most covenant women will have to have their "Miriam moment" before they are willing to accept that the righteous/authorized practice of plural marriage is of God, and to not mock, or belittle it or we will find ourselves outside the camp of Israel. He lived a long, full life during an exciting and eventful period of history. 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. I’ve never really understood why Moses would have sent Zipporah away, apparently with no intention of going to get her as it was her father, Jethro, who finally brought her and her sons back to Moses when he was the wilderness. In 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. Artist Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), in his painting “ Moses and his Ethiopian wife Sephora,” depicts Zipporah as a Black woman. We don’t know what happened to her after Moses left Egypt. It appears that jealousy of the power and influence of Moses was the real cause of their complaint; though his having married an Ethiopian woman-האשה הכשית haishshah haccushith = ‘That Woman, the Cushite’, – was the ostensible cause.”, Numbers 12:4 “And the LORD spoke suddenly…”. 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. I guess I've never seen a good picture of you! Numbers 12:1 - an Ethiopian woman - Hebrew "a Cushite woman" - Arabia was usually called in Scripture the land of Cush, its inhabitants being the descendants of that son of Ham (see on Exodus 2:5) and being accounted generally a vile and contemptible race (see on Amos 9:7). Some argue that this woman could have been Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro whom Moses married when he was in Midian (Exodus 2: 16-22).   Matthew - John We know historically that around this time period that. 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. Yet in the Book of Numbers Moses’s sister Miriam is upset about his having taken a “Cushite” wife. Moses wife was named Zipporah. 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. As I studied the story I was really impressed with the idea that Miriam's opposition to Moses had to do with Polygamy. In fact, given the scripture in D&C 132:38 I am inclined to believe that Josephus’s account of Moses marrying an Ethiopian woman while he was an Egyptian prince (before his marriage to Zipporah) is true. We know that he married a girl named ‘Zipporah’ the daughter of Reuel/Jethro. This possibility is supported by the scripture found in, What’s Working and What Isn’t– A Homeschool Update, Walking With the Women of the Old Testament, Walking With the Women of the New Testament, Miriam and Aaron had a bad case of spiritual ego. We hope you’ll come back again and again! Whoever she was, and however she ended up being married to Moses, it appears that her situation was highly usual and prompted hard feelings between Moses and his siblings. Did Moses have a child? period they may have viewed Moses’ marriage to the Ethiopian woman as Even though Zipporah may have been married to Moses for almost  40 years by this point, Miriam and Aaron may have just recently met her. Then, when he was commanded to return to Egypt, I could see how that might put him in a hard place, knowing that he already had a wife there as well. Moses, Prince of Egypt CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh. Adam Clarke comments: Num 12:1 “Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses. He was reverenced by ancient Hebrews as among the mightiest of their prophets and seers. Hebrew: kushiyth (Koo-sheeth’) a Cushite woman (Strongs Hebrew Dictionary). I think you are right that sometimes it can be tempting to put our modern day perspectives on ancient scripture. Moses stands out as one of the greatest men ever to grace the earth. And when he did return to Egypt, he probably felt uncomfortable because his Ethiopian wife was from a different time in his life. Amanda, that is a great quote by Orson Pratt. I was thinking it was probably a political marriage as well, between kingdoms. in Habakkuk 3.7 "I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction and Today there are marriages although the assumption that Moses had married before he left Egypt The Midianites lived in the Sinai region and in northern Arabia. Shortly after this Moses was forced to flee Egypt, and spent the next 40 years in Midian. I thought OK , this is why.In light of our recent observance of the life of Dr Martin Luther King, I would paraphrase that one day I would love to live in a world where people are not judged on the color of their skin but in the content of their character. Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. Apollos: Integrity Tested in a Godly Man, 37. The House of Abinadab and the Ark of God. indicator of what D&C 132:38 teaches us is true–that Moses had more than Moses had two sons. Numbers 12:1. In this case He honors the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law, which is what Christ would teach centuries later. We learn in Numbers that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman (Num. Regardless of who this woman was, and what the situation of her marriage to Moses was, she has a fascinating story. Given that this story involves a woman with black skin, do you see any possible significance in the fact that Miriam is cursed with leprosy and becomes as. Cush is generally translated as Ethiopia (probably the entire region south of Egypt – see Shemot Rabbah 10:2), a place inhabited by blacks. Much more likely is that Zipporah had died (although her death is not recorded in Scripture) and that Moses had remarried. No. Cecil B. DeMille included a snippet of this story in his famous “Ten Commandments” movie! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. And yet, I can see how if Moses had been married before to the Ethiopian woman, that he might feel honor bound to cancel his second marriage. How fun! I believe words have the power to change the future and heal the past. think that we are dealing with two different women. Even With her right hand she points to her heart. The merits of this line of reasoning are examined herein, and the Biblical and profane record of Moses’ Ethiopian wife are explored. Moses’ adoptive grandfather was Pharaoh Osirtasin I (Sesostris, Herodotus, 2:110), of the 12th dynasty, the first Egyptian king to rule Ethiopia, as a result of Moses victory. However when he led Israel out of Egypt, in the Exodus, it seems he also claimed his wife of the Egyptians, and took her with him. Zipporah’s father was actually a Midianite (Ex. However, the source for Josephus’s information about Moses’ action in Ethiopia and his marriage to an Ethiopian woman is unknown. 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. They were not the children of Ham, Cushites (i.e. all the other passages where she is mentioned she is called by her name. Jasher 73:32-34 states that the marriage was not consummated because: “Moses feared the Lord God of his fathers, so that he came not to her, nor did he turn his eyes to her [his wife]. Take the Challenge Life is a journey we can travel together! Given this view of things, I can see how this whole situation would have rubbed Miriam and Aaron the wrong way and could have promoted them to question Moses and his authority. Stephen, at his martyrdom, said of Moses that he “. Ramona, Thank you so much for your comment. then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”  (Jer. We can recognize him by the table of the law in his left hand. “Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman”. was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt and mighty in words and deeds.” Acts 7:22. Certainly if he had left her, she would have either been killed or used to pressure him to surrender. Moses' Ethiopian Wife. The City of Saba, later named Meroe by Cambyses, is situated there, north of present day Khartoum. Kush is the Hebrew name for Ethiopia (modern day Sudan and Ethiopia). She, and her marriage to Moses, a prophet of the Lord, is a beautiful testament to the truth taught in 2 Nephi 2:26, “and he[the Lord] denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.”. Here we see God intervening in the attack. ): 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. So Moses was in reality married to two women, the Ethiopian Princess “Tharbis” and the Midianite Princess “Zipporah”. African Nations(and by extension Africans) mentioned in the Bible are Egypt,and Ethiopia(Moses' wife was at least half Ethiopian ). “Moses married an Ethiopian woman” is a common statement made in defense of interracial marriage. We’re here to help you find ways to make sense of tough life issues, discover insights from God’s Word, the Bible and connect with others who are experiencing life’s journey. Hebrew: kushiyth (Koo-sheeth’) a Cushite woman (Strongs Hebrew Dictionary). It seems logical that he would have been "married" as an Egyptian. 49. Questions are good! It therefore seems we must look for another wife! #2. 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