Exodus 18:6
And he said to Moses, I your father in law Jethro am come to you, and your wife, and her two sons with her.
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18:1-6 Jethro came to rejoice with Moses in the happiness of Israel, and to bring his wife and children to him. Moses must have his family with him, that while he ruled the church of God, he might set a good example in family government, 1Ti 3:5.And he said ... - Or according to the Greek Version, "And it was told to Moses, saying, Lo, thy father in law Jether is come." 6. and thy wife, and her two sons—See Ex 4:20. He spoke, not by word of mouth, as the next verse showeth, but either by a letter, or by a messenger, as that word is used, Matthew 8:6,8, compared with Luke 7:3,6. And he said unto Moses,.... By a messenger, as Jarchi: or by a written letter, as Aben Ezra: or, as the Septuagint version, "it was told to Moses, thy father", &c. for as yet he was not come to him, as appears by Moses going forth to meet him:

I thy father in law Jethro am come to thee: or, "am coming" (m); for, as yet, he was not in his presence, and they were not personally present face to face: the Targum of Jonathan adds, "to become a proselyte"; but it seems that before, as well as now, he had been a worshipper of the true God, and always speaks like one that had had the fear of God before him continually:

and thy wife, and her sons with her; this he thought fit to acquaint him of by messenger or letter, that he might be in expectation of them, and not be surprised at once with their appearance: besides, as some observe, and not amiss, after the late attack of the Amalekites upon their rear, guards or sentinels might be placed in the outer parts of the camp for its safety, and who would not easily, without order, let strangers pass into it, and therefore previous notice was necessary to get admission.

(m) "veniens", Montanus.

And he {c} said unto Moses, I thy father in law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her.

(c) That is, he sent messengers to say to him.

6. am come] rather, am coming (the ptcp.; cf. Genesis 29:6 cometh,’ lit is coming). ‘Said’ must mean here, ‘said by the hand of messengers’: see the next verse. Perhaps it is better, however, to read, with LXX. Sam. Pesh., הנה, ‘Behold,’ for אני, ‘I’; i.e. ‘And the said (Genesis 48:1 Heb.) unto Moses, Behold, thy father-in-law, Jethro, is come,’ &c.Verse 6. - And he said. It is suspected that the true reading here is, "and they said," - i.e., some one said - "to Moses, behold thy father-in-law" (or "brother-in-law"), "Jethro, is come unto thee." So the LXX., and many moderns, as Kennicott, Geddes, Boothroyd, Canon Cook, and others. But the explanation, that Jethro, on arriving in the vicinity of Moses, sent a messenger to him, who spoke in his name (Rosenmuller, Patrick, Pool, Kalisch, Keil, etc.) is at any rate plausible, and removes all necessity of altering the text. To praise God for His help, Moses built an altar, which he called "Jehovah my banner," and said, when he did so, "The hand on the throne (or banner) of Jah! War to the Lord from generation to generation!" There is nothing said about sacrifices being offered upon this altar. It has been conjectured, therefore, that as a place of worship and thank-offering, the altar with its expressive name was merely to serve as a memorial to posterity of the gracious help of the Lord, and that the words which were spoken by Moses were to serve as a watchword for Israel, keeping this act of God in lively remembrance among the people in all succeeding generations. כּי (Exodus 17:16) merely introduces the words as in Genesis 4:23, etc. The expression יהּ על־כּס יד is obscure, chiefly on account of the ἁπ λεγ. כּס. In the ancient versions (with the exception of the Septuagint, in which יה כץ is treated as one word, and rendered κρυφαία) כּס is taken to be equivalent to כּסּה (1 Kings 10:19; Job 26:9) for כּסּא, and the clause is rendered "the hand upon the throne of the Lord." But whilst some understand the laying of the hand (sc., of God) upon the throne to be expressive of the attitude of swearing, others regard the hand as symbolical of power. There are others again, like Clericus, who suppose the hand to denote the hand laid by the Amalekites upon the throne of the Lord, i.e., on Israel. But if כּס signifies throng or adytum arcanum, the words can hardly be understood in any other sense than "the hand lifted up to the throne of Jehovah in heaven, war to the Lord," etc.; and thus understood, they can only contain an admonition to Israel to follow the example of Moses, and wage war against Amalek with the hands lifted up to the throne of Jehovah. Modern expositors, however, for the most part regard כּס as a corruption of נס, "the hand on the banner of the Lord." But even admitting this, though many objections may be offered to its correctness, we must not understand by "the banner of Jehovah" the staff of Moses, but only the altar with the name Jehovah-nissi, as the symbol or memorial of the victorious help afforded by God in the battle with the Amalekites.
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