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Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

his excellence; his posterity

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(his excellence) was priest or prince of Midian. Moses married his daughter Zipporah. (B.C. 1530.) On account if his local knowledge he was entreated to remain with the Israelites throughout their journey to Canaan. (Numbers 10:31,33) (He is called RAGUEL, OR REUEL, REUEL in (Exodus 2:18) And RAGUEL, OR REUEL in (Numbers 10:29), The same word int he original for both). Reuel is probably his proper name, and Jethro his official title.--ED.)

ATS Bible Dictionary

"Moses' father-in-law," a shepherd-prince or priest of Midian, Exodus 3:1 4:18 18:1-27. When the Hebrews were at mount Sinai, he visited Moses, gave him some wise counsel as to the government of the tribes, and then returned to his own people. See HOBAB and RAGUEL. Jethro was a worshipper of God, Exodus 18:10,11, and some infer that he was a descendant of Abraham, through Midian, Genesis 25:2.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
His excellence, or gain, a prince or priest of Midian, who succeeded his father Reuel. Moses spent forty years after his exile from the Egyptian court as keeper of Jethro's flocks. While the Israelites were encamped at Sinai, and soon after their victory over Amalek, Jethro came to meet Moses, bringing with him Zipporah and her two sons. They met at the "mount of God," and "Moses told him all that the Lord had done unto Pharaoh" (Exodus 18:8). On the following day Jethro, observing the multiplicity of the duties devolving on Moses, advised him to appoint subordinate judges, rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens, to decide smaller matters, leaving only the weightier matters to be referred to Moses, to be laid before the Lord. This advice Moses adopted (Exodus 18). He was also called Hobab (q.v.), which was probably his personal name, while Jethro was an official name. (see MOSES.)
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

jeth'-ro, je'-thro (yithro, "excellence," Exodus 3:1; Exodus 4:18 b; 18:1-12 (in 4:18a, probably a textual error, yether, "Iether," the King James Version margin, the Revised Version margin); Septuagint always Iothor): The priest of Midian and father-in-law (chothen) of Moses.

1. His Relation to Reuel and Hobab:

It is not easy to determine the relation of Jethro to Reuel and Hobab. If we identify Jethro with Reuel as in Exodus 2:18; Exodus 3:1 (and in Ant, III, iii; V, ii, 3), we must connect "Moses' father-in-law" in Numbers 10:29 immediately with "Reuel" (the King James Version "Raguel"), and make Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses. But while it is possible that chothen may be used in the wider sense of a wife's relative, it is nowhere translated "brother-in-law" except in Judges 1:16; Judges 4:11 ("father-in-law," the King James Version, the Revised Version margin). If we insert, as Ewald suggests (HI, II, 25), "Jethro son of" before "Reuel" in Exodus 2:18 (compare the Septuagint, verse 16, where the name "Jethro" is given), we would then identify Jethro with Hobab, the son of Reuel, in Numbers 10:29, taking "Moses' father-in-law" to refer back to Hobab. Against this identification, however, it is stated that Jethro went away into his own country without any effort on the part of Moses to detain him (Exodus 18:27), whereas Hobab, though at first he refused to remain with the Israelites, seems to have yielded to the pleadings of Moses to become their guide to Canaan (Numbers 10:29-32 Judges 1:16, where Kittel reads "Hobab the Kenite"; Judges 4:11). It may be noted that while the father-in-law of Moses is spoken of as a "Midianite" in Exodus, he is called a"Kenite" in Judges 1:16; Judges 4:11. From this Ewald infers that the Midianites were at that time intimately blended with the Amalekites, to which tribe the Kenites belonged (HI, II, 44).

2. His Hearty Reception of Moses:

When Moses fled from Egypt he found refuge in Midian, where he received a hearty welcome into the household of Jethro on account of the courtesy and kindness he had shown to the priest's 7 daughters in helping them to water their flock. This friendship resulted in Jethro giving Moses his daughter, Zipporah, to wife (Exodus 2:15-21). After Moses had been for about 40 years in the service of his father-in-law, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush as he was keeping the flock at Horeb, commanding him to return to Egypt and deliver his enslaved brethren out of the hands of Pharaoh (Exodus 3:1). With Jethro's consent Moses left Midian to carry out the Divine commission (Exodus 4:18).

3. His Visit to Moses in the Wilderness:

When tidings reached Midian of "all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel" in delivering them from Egyptian bondage, Jethro, with a natural pride in the achievements of his relative, set out on a visit to Moses, taking Zipporah and her two sons with him (Exodus 18:1-12). On learning of his father-in-law's arrival at the "mount of God," Moses went out to meet him, and after a cordial exchange of courtesies they retired to Moses' tent, where a pleasant interview took place between them. We are told of the interest Jethro felt in all the particulars of the great deliverance, how he "rejoiced for all the goodness which Yahweh had done to Israel," and how the conviction was wrought within him that Yahweh was "greater than all gods; yea, in the thing wherein they dealt proudly against them" (Exodus 18:11). In this condition so expressed there is evidently a reference to the element by which the Egyptians thought in their high-handed pursuit they would be able to bring back Israel into bondage, but by which they were themselves overthrown.

It is worth noting that in the religious service in which Jethro and Moses afterward engaged, when Jethro, as priest, offered a burnt offering, and Aaron with all the elders of Israel partook of the sacrificial feast, prominence was given to Jethro over Aaron, and thus a priesthood was recognized beyond the limits of Israel.

4. His Wise Counsel:

This visit of Jethro to Moses had important consequences for the future government of Israel (Exodus 18:13-27). The priest of Midian became concerned about his son-in-law when he saw him occupied from morning to night in deciding the disputes that had arisen among the people. The labor this entailed, Jethro said, was far too heavy a burden for one man to bear. Moses himself would soon be worn out, and the people, too, would become weary and dissatisfied, owing to the inability of one judge to overtake all the eases that were brought before him. Jethro, therefore, urged Moses to make use of the talents of others and adopt a plan of gradation of judges who would dispose of all eases of minor importance, leaving only the most difficult for him to settle by a direct appeal to the will of God. Moses, recognizing the wisdom of his father-in-law's advice, readily acted upon his suggestion and appointed "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." Thereafter, Jethro returned to his own country.

5. His Character and Influence:

The story of Jethro reveals him as a man of singular attractiveness and strength, in whom a kind, considerate disposition, a deeply religious spirit, and a wise judgment all met in happy combination. And this ancient priest of Midian made Israel and all nations his debtors when he taught the distinction between the legislative and the judicial function, and the importance of securing that all law be the expression of the Divine will, and that its application be entrusted only to men of ability, piety, integrity and truth (Exodus 18:21).

James Crichton

Strong's Hebrew
3505. Yithri -- descendant of Jethro
... descendant of Jethro. Transliteration: Yithri Phonetic Spelling: (yith-ree') Short
Definition: Ithrite. ... of Jethro NASB Word Usage Ithrite (4), Ithrites (1). ...
/hebrew/3505.htm - 6k

3503. Yithro -- Moses' father-in-law
... 3502, 3503. Yithro. 3504 . Moses' father-in-law. Transliteration: Yithro Phonetic
Spelling: (yith-ro') Short Definition: Jethro. ... Jethro. From yether with pron ...
/hebrew/3503.htm - 6k

3500. Yether -- Moses' father-in-law, also the name of several ...
... NASB Word Usage Jether (8), Jethro (1). Jether, Jethro. The same as yether; Jether,
the name of five or six Israelites and of one Midianite -- Jether, Jethro. ...
/hebrew/3500.htm - 6k


That Moses Kindly Received-His Father-In-Law, Jethro, when He came ...
... That Generation. CHAPTER 3. That Moses Kindly Received-His Father-In-Law,
Jethro, When He Came To Him To Mount Sinai. Now when Raguel ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 3 that moses kindly.htm

The Voice from the Bush
... THE OLD TESTAMENT THE VOICE FROM THE BUSH. After a long time the king of Egypt died.
Moses was taking care of the flock of Jethro his wife's father. ...
/...// childrens bible/the voice from the bush.htm

The Development of the Earlier Old Testament Laws
... In 16, to his father-in-law Jethro, he states: whenever they have a matter of dispute
they come to me, that I may decide which of the two is right, and make ...
/.../viii the development of the.htm

The Seven Deacons
... of the theocracy, when Moses was endeavoring to carry alone burdens so heavy that
he would soon have worn away under them, he was counseled by Jethro to plan ...
/.../white/the acts of the apostles/lesson 9 the seven deacons.htm

The Ideal Statesman [Footnote: Preached on Occasion of Mr. ...
... My text is part of the sagacious advice which Jethro, the father-in- law of Moses,
gave him about the sort of men that he should pick out to be his lieutenants ...
/.../expositions of holy scripture k/the ideal statesman footnote preached.htm

... were treated, he tried to help them; but at last he was obliged to leave Egypt,
and became a shepherd, taking care of the flocks of a priest called Jethro. ...
// ones bible stories/moses.htm

The Blessing of God on Filial Piety.
... The Rechabites are said to have been a branch of the Kenites, and to have descended
from Hobab, the son of Jethro, Moses' father in law. *. ...
/.../lee/sermons on various important subjects/sermon xxiii the blessing of.htm

How to Tell a Story
... "Jethro," said the judge, "you are accused of stealing General Johnson's chickens. ...
"No, sah," old Jethro answered, haughtily; "I hab not, sah. ...
// on talking/how to tell a story.htm

The Marvels of Holy Scripture, --Moral and Physical. --Jael's Deed ...
... The head of that family was Jethro, the father-hi-law of Moses, high-priest of
Midian,"in which land the Lord, from the burning bush, had commissioned the ...
/.../burgon/inspiration and interpretation/sermon vii the marvels of.htm

Appendix xii. The Baptism of Proselytes
... R.27 Jethro is proved to have been a convert, from the circumstances that his original
name had been Jether (Exodus 4:18), an additional letter (Jethro). ...
/.../the life and times of jesus the messiah/appendix xii the baptism of.htm

Jethro (10 Occurrences)
... Moses spent forty years after his exile from the Egyptian court as keeper
of Jethro's flocks. While the Israelites were encamped ...
/j/jethro.htm - 17k

Father-in-law (25 Occurrences)
... Exodus 3:1 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 ...
/f/father-in-law.htm - 15k

Raguel (1 Occurrence)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Friend of God, (Numbers 10:29)=Reuel (qv), Exodus 2:18,
the father-in-law of Moses, and probably identical with Jethro (qv). Int. ...
/r/raguel.htm - 9k

Reuel (14 Occurrences)
... If he be identified with Jethro (qv), then this may be regarded as his proper name,
and Jether or Jethro (ie, "excellency") as his official title. ...
/r/reuel.htm - 12k

Moses's (15 Occurrences)
... Exodus 18:1 When Jethro the priest of Midian, Moses's father-in-law, heard of all
that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had ...
/m/moses's.htm - 11k

Midian (60 Occurrences)
... Moses, on fleeing from Egypt, found refuge in the land of Midian, and became
son-in-law of Jethro, the priest of Midian (Exodus 2:15, 21). ...
/m/midian.htm - 32k

Zipporah (3 Occurrences)
... zi-po'-ra, zip'-o-ra (tsipporah; Sepphora): The Midianite wife of Moses, daughter
of Jethro, also called Hobab, and probably grand-daughter of Reuel, a priest ...
/z/zipporah.htm - 9k

Midianites (30 Occurrences)
... Moses, on fleeing from Egypt, found refuge in the land of Midian, and became
son-in-law of Jethro, the priest of Midian (Exodus 2:15, 21). ...
/m/midianites.htm - 21k

Hobab (3 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Beloved, the Kenite, has been usually identified
with Jethro (qv), Exodus 18:5, 27; comp. Numbers 10:29, 30. ...
/h/hobab.htm - 10k

Kenites (8 Occurrences)
... Smiths, the name of a tribe inhabiting the desert lying between southern Palestine
and the mountains of Sinai. Jethro was of this tribe (Judges 1:16). ...
/k/kenites.htm - 13k

Bible Concordance
Jethro (10 Occurrences)

Exodus 3:1 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.

Exodus 4:18 Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, "Please let me go and return to my brothers who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive." Jethro said to Moses, "Go in peace."

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

Exodus 18:2 Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, received Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her away,

Exodus 18:5 Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses into the wilderness where he was encamped, at the Mountain of God.

Exodus 18:6 He said to Moses, "I, your father-in-law Jethro, have come to you with your wife, and her two sons with her."

Exodus 18:9 Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which Yahweh had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.

Exodus 18:10 Jethro said, "Blessed be Yahweh, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh; who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.

Exodus 18:12 Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God. Aaron came with all of the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God.

Exodus 18:27 Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way into his own land.
(See NIV)



Jethro: Moses Spent Forty Years of Exile With, and Married his Daughter

Related Terms

Father-in-law (25 Occurrences)

Raguel (1 Occurrence)

Reuel (14 Occurrences)

Moses's (15 Occurrences)

Midian (60 Occurrences)

Zipporah (3 Occurrences)

Midianites (30 Occurrences)

Hobab (3 Occurrences)

Kenites (8 Occurrences)

Kinsmen (74 Occurrences)

Freeing (9 Occurrences)

Turneth (249 Occurrences)

Eliezer (14 Occurrences)

Mid'ian (47 Occurrences)

Relations (92 Occurrences)

Jether (8 Occurrences)

Desert (322 Occurrences)

Egyptians (108 Occurrences)

Returned (328 Occurrences)

Alive (166 Occurrences)

Wilderness (304 Occurrences)

Zippo'rah (3 Occurrences)

Kiss (39 Occurrences)

Jethlah (1 Occurrence)

Jethur (1 Occurrence)

Jael (6 Occurrences)

Judge (297 Occurrences)

Leadeth (42 Occurrences)

Gershom (16 Occurrences)

Farthest (33 Occurrences)

Tended (7 Occurrences)

Rescuing (3 Occurrences)

Rescued (49 Occurrences)

Rejoiceth (39 Occurrences)

Encamped (115 Occurrences)

Encamping (24 Occurrences)

Delivering (35 Occurrences)

Delighted (56 Occurrences)

Midianite (11 Occurrences)

Pasturing (7 Occurrences)

Backside (3 Occurrences)

Burnt-offering (205 Occurrences)

Cattle (277 Occurrences)

Camped (100 Occurrences)

Courts (59 Occurrences)

Authority (326 Occurrences)

Parents (27 Occurrences)

Judicial (2 Occurrences)

Rejoiced (83 Occurrences)

Feeding (37 Occurrences)

Horeb (17 Occurrences)

Whether (239 Occurrences)

Please (324 Occurrences)

West (110 Occurrences)

Religion (23 Occurrences)

Ezra (28 Occurrences)

Mountain (298 Occurrences)

Chiefs (227 Occurrences)

Monthly (11 Occurrences)

Burnt (392 Occurrences)

Goodness (83 Occurrences)

Yoke (79 Occurrences)

Besides (178 Occurrences)

Sacrifices (186 Occurrences)

Burned (587 Occurrences)

Sanctuary (250 Occurrences)

Altar (343 Occurrences)


Behind (188 Occurrences)

Meal (288 Occurrences)

Offered (320 Occurrences)

Mount (311 Occurrences)

Keeping (282 Occurrences)

Flock (242 Occurrences)

Tent (333 Occurrences)

Elders (203 Occurrences)

Host (261 Occurrences)

Hospitality (9 Occurrences)

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