|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:16-22 Moses found shelter in Midian. He was ready to help Reuel's daughters to water their flocks, although bred in learning and at court. Moses loved to be doing justice, and to act in defence of such as he saw injured, which every man ought to do, as far as it is in his power. He loved to be doing good; wherever the providence of God casts us, we should desire and try to be useful; and when we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can. Moses commended himself to the prince of Midian; who married one of his daughters to Moses, by whom he had a son, called Gershom, a stranger there, that he might keep in remembrance the land in which he had been a stranger.
Verse 21. - Moses was content to dwell with the man. Moses had fled from Egypt without any definite plan, simply to save his life, and had now to determine how he would obtain a subsistence. Received into Reuel's house, or tent, pleased with the man and with his family, he consented to stay with him, probably entered into his service, as Jacob into Laban's (Genesis 29:15-20), kept his sheep, or otherwise made himself useful (see Exodus 3:1); and in course of time Reuel gave Moses his daughter, accepted him for his son-in-law, so that he became not merely a member of his household, but of his family, was adopted probably into the tribe, so that he could not quit it without permission (Exodus 4:18), and, so far as his own intention went, cast in his lot with the Midianites, with whom he meant henceforth to live and die. Such vague ideas as he may previously have entertained of his "mission" had passed away; he had been "disillusioned" by his ill-success, and now looked forward to nothing but a life of peaceful obscurity.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Moses was content to dwell with the man,.... After he had been called and brought into the house, and had had some refreshment, and after some conversation had passed between them, and perhaps after some days' stay in Reuel's house; Reuel having observed his disposition and behaviour, and being delighted therewith, proposed to him to take up his residence with him, with which motion Moses was well pleased, and accepted of it:
and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter; to be his wife. It is not to be supposed that this was done directly; though both Philo (u) and Josephus (w) intimate as if it was done at first meeting together; but it is not likely that Reuel would dispose of his daughter so suddenly to a stranger, though he might at once entertain an high opinion of him; nor would Moses marry a woman directly he had so slender an acquaintance with, so little knowledge of her disposition, endowments of mind and religion. The Targum of Jonathan says it was at the end of ten years; and indeed forty years after this a son of his seems to have been young, having not till then been circumcised, Exodus 4:22. The author of the Life of Moses says (x), that he was seventy seven years of age when he married Zipporah, which was but three years before he returned to Egypt. This circumstance of Moses's marrying Reuel's daughter is confirmed by Artapanus (y) an Heathen historian; and also by Demetrius (z), and expressly calls her Sapphora, who he says was a daughter of Jother or Jethro; and likewise by Ezekiel the tragedian (a).
(u) De Vita Mosis, l. 1. p. 611. (w) Antiqu. l. 2. c. 11. sect. 2.((x) Chronicon Mosis, fol. 9. 1.((y) Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 9. c. 27. p. 434. (z) Ib. c. 29. p. 439. (a) lb. c. 28.
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