Exodus 3:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

New Living Translation
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God.

English Standard Version
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

New American Standard Bible
Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

King James Bible
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Meanwhile, Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

International Standard Version
Meanwhile, Moses continued tending the sheep that belonged to his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the sheep to the western desert and came to Horeb, God's mountain, where

NET Bible
Now Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Moses was taking care of the sheep of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. As he led the sheep to the far side of the desert, he came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now as Moses shepherded the sheep of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, he led the flock to the backside of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

King James 2000 Bible
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the west side of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

American King James Version
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

American Standard Version
Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God, unto Horeb.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now Moses fed the sheep of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Madian: and he drove the flock to the inner parts of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, Horeb.

Darby Bible Translation
And Moses tended the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock behind the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God -- to Horeb.

English Revised Version
Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God, unto Horeb.

Webster's Bible Translation
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

World English Bible
Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to God's mountain, to Horeb.

Young's Literal Translation
And Moses hath been feeding the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, priest of Midian, and he leadeth the flock behind the wilderness, and cometh in unto the mount of God, to Horeb;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-6 The years of the life of Moses are divided into three forties; the first forty he spent as a prince in Pharaoh's court, the second as a shepherd in Midian, the third as a king in Jeshurun. How changeable is the life of man! The first appearance of God to Moses, found him tending sheep. This seems a poor employment for a man of his parts and education, yet he rests satisfied with it; and thus learns meekness and contentment, for which he is more noted in sacred writ, than for all his learning. Satan loves to find us idle; God is pleased when he finds us employed. Being alone, is a good friend to our communion with God. To his great surprise, Moses saw a bush burning without fire to kindle it. The bush burned, and yet did not burn away; an emblem of the church in bondage in Egypt. And it fitly reminds us of the church in every age, under its severest persecutions kept by the presence of God from being destroyed. Fire is an emblem, in Scripture, of the Divine holiness and justice, also of the afflictions and trials with which God proves and purifies his people, and even of that baptism of the Holy Ghost, by which sinful affections are consumed, and the soul changed into the Divine nature and image. God gave Moses a gracious call, to which he returned a ready answer. Those that would have communion with God, must attend upon him in the ordinances wherein he is pleased to manifest himself and his glory, though it be in a bush. Putting off the shoe was a token of respect and submission. We ought to draw nigh to God with a solemn pause and preparation, carefully avoiding every thing that looks light and rude, and unbecoming his service. God does not say, I was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but I am. The patriarchs still live, so many years after their bodies have been in the grave. No length of time can separate the souls of the just from their Maker. By this, God instructed Moses as to another world, and strengthened his belief of a future state. Thus it is interpreted by our Lord Jesus, who, from hence, proves that the dead are raised, Lu 20:37. Moses hid his face, as if both ashamed and afraid to look upon God. The more we see of God, and his grace, and covenant love, the more cause we shall see to worship him with reverence and godly fear.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - Moses kept the flock. The Hebrew expresses that this was his regular occupation. Understand by "flock" either sheep or goats, or the two intermixed. Both anciently and at the present day the Sinaitic pastures support these animals, and not horned cattle. Of Jethro, his father-in-law. The word translated "father-in-law" is of much wider application, being used of almost any relation by marriage. Zipporah uses it of Moses in Exodus 4:25, 26; in Genesis 19:12, 14, it is applied to Lot's "sons-in-law;" in other places it is used of "brothers-in-law." Its application to Jethro does not prove him to be the same person as Reuel, which the difference of name renders improbable. He was no doubt the head of the tribe at this period, having succeeded to that dignity, and to the priesthood, when Reuel died. He may have been either Reuel's son or his nephew. The backside of the desert, i.e. "behind" or "beyond the desert," across the strip of sandy plain which separates the coast of the Elanitic Gulf from the mountains, to the grassy regions beyond. He came to the mountain of God, even Horeb. Rather, "the mountain of God, Horeb-way," or "towards Horeb." By "the mountain of God" Sinai seems to be meant. It may be so named either by anticipation (as "the land of Rameses" in Genesis 47:11), or because there was already a sanctuary there to the true God, whom Reuel and Jethro worshipped (Exodus 18:12).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian,.... Who was either the same with Reuel or Raguel, spoken of in the preceding chapter; or, as others think, a son of his, the father being now dead; seeing it was now forty years since Moses came into Midian, Acts 7:30. Demetrius (c), an Heathen writer, expressly says that Jothor a son of Raguel, and Zipporah or Sepphora, as he calls her, was his daughter, whom Moses married: now this was the business Moses was chiefly concerned in during his stay in Midian; keeping the sheep of his father-in-law, in which great personages have have employed, and who have afterwards been called to the kingly office, as David; and this was an emblem of his feeding and ruling the people of Israel, and in it he was an eminent type of Christ, the great shepherd and bishop of souls: no doubt there were other things besides this in which Moses exercised himself in this course of time, and improved himself in the knowledge of things, natural, civil, and religious, and which the more qualified him for the important work he was designed for: it is thought that in this interval he wrote the book of Genesis, and also the book of Job:

and he led the flock to the backside of the desert; of Sinai or Arabia, on the back part of which, it seems, were goodly pastures; and hither he led his flock to feed, which was about three days' journey from Egypt, Exodus 5:3 or rather into the desert (d), for Horeb or Sinai was not behind the desert, but in it:

and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb; so called either because of the appearance of God at this time, after related, or because of his giving the law and making the covenant with the people of Israel there; and it should be observed that that transaction was past when Moses wrote this book. Hither he led the sheep, they delighting in mountains, hence sometimes mountainous places are called (e), because sheep delight to feed upon them (f).

(c) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 29. p. 439. (d) , Sept. "in desertum", Syr. Samar, so Noldius, p. 11. No. 76. (e) Homer. Odyss. 11. prope finem. (f) , Theocrit. Idyll. 3.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 3

Ex 3:1-22. Divine Appearance and Commission to Moses.

1. Now Moses kept the flock—This employment he had entered on in furtherance of his matrimonial views (see on [15]Ex 2:21), but it is probable he was continuing his service now on other terms like Jacob during the latter years of his stay with Laban (Ge 30:28).

he led the flock to the backside of the desert—that is, on the west of the desert [Gesenius], assuming Jethro's headquarters to have been at Dahab. The route by which Moses led his flock must have been west through the wide valley called by the Arabs, Wady-es-Zugherah [Robinson], which led into the interior of the wilderness.

Mountain of God—so named either according to Hebrew idiom from its great height, as "great mountains," Hebrew, "mountains of God" (Ps 36:6); "goodly cedars," Hebrew, "cedars of God" (Ps 80:10); or some think from its being the old abode of "the glory"; or finally from its being the theater of transactions most memorable in the history of the true religion to Horeb—rather, "Horeb-ward."

Horeb—that is, "dry," "desert," was the general name for the mountainous district in which Sinai is situated, and of which it is a part. (See on [16]Ex 19:2). It was used to designate the region comprehending that immense range of lofty, desolate, and barren hills, at the base of which, however, there are not only many patches of verdure to be seen, but almost all the valleys, or wadys, as they are called, show a thin coating of vegetation, which, towards the south, becomes more luxuriant. The Arab shepherds seldom take their flocks to a greater distance than one day's journey from their camp. Moses must have gone at least two days' journey, and although he seems to have been only following his pastoral course, that region, from its numerous springs in the clefts of the rocks being the chief resort of the tribes during the summer heats, the Providence of God led him thither for an important purpose.

Exodus 3:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Moses at the Burning Bush
1Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.…
Cross References
Acts 7:30
"After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai.

Exodus 2:16
Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father's flock.

Exodus 2:18
When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, "Why have you returned so early today?"

Exodus 3:12
And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

Exodus 4:18
Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, "Let me return to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive." Jethro said, "Go, and I wish you well."

Exodus 4:27
The LORD said to Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him.

Exodus 17:6
I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Exodus 18:1
Now Jethro, the priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses, heard of everything God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, and how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt.

Exodus 18:5
Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, together with Moses' sons and wife, came to him in the wilderness, where he was camped near the mountain of God.

Exodus 18:12
Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses' father-in-law in the presence of God.

Exodus 19:2
After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.

Exodus 24:13
Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God.

Exodus 33:6
So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.

Numbers 10:29
Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out for the place about which the LORD said, 'I will give it to you.' Come with us and we will treat you well, for the LORD has promised good things to Israel."

Deuteronomy 1:2
(It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.)

1 Kings 19:8
So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
Treasury of Scripture

Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

A.M.

Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds…

Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, which he …

Amos 7:14,15 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither …

Matthew 4:18,19 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon …

Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, …

his father.

Exodus 2:16,21 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew …

Exodus 18:1-6 When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father in law, heard of …

Numbers 10:29 And Moses said to Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' …

Judges 4:11 Now Heber the Kenite, which was of the children of Hobab the father …

the mountain.

Exodus 3:5 And he said, Draw not near here: put off your shoes from off your …

Exodus 18:5 And Jethro, Moses' father in law, came with his sons and his wife …

Exodus 19:3,11 And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, …

Exodus 24:15-17 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount…

1 Kings 19:8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of …

Horeb.

Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you …

Deuteronomy 1:6 The LORD our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying, You have dwelled long …

Deuteronomy 4:10 Specially the day that you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, …

Psalm 106:19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image.

Malachi 4:4 Remember you the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded to him …

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