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Jethro was Moses’ Father-in-Law (the father of Zipporah).
So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. EXODUS 18:24 NASB
Once Jethro gave his daughter to Moses in marriage, he didn’t expect her to move back home. Moses had shown kindness to Jethro’s family, and Jethro welcomed him into his home and rewarded him with marriage to Zipporah, one of his seven daughters. The marriage gave Jethro confidence that his daughter would be cared for after he died. He must have been surprised when she arrived at his home while Moses was still alive and well.
Earlier in their story, they all lived together in Midian. At one point, God called Moses to return and lead the Hebrew people out of captivity.
Jethro blessed Moses, said good-bye to his daughter and grandchildren, and sent them all on their journey back to Egypt. Moses, his wife, and their children endured the journey, witnessed the plagues brought on the Egyptians, and walked through the Red Sea together.
Though we don’t know Moses’ reasons, we read that he sent his wife and children back to Midian to live with Jethro after God miraculously delivered the Hebrews from Egypt. Perhaps Moses felt the upcoming journey would be too difficult or too dangerous for his family. Or perhaps he felt his own responsibilities would keep him from caring for his family properly. While we don’t know his reasons, we do know that Jethro did not accept his daughter and grandchildren back as permanent guests but rather escorted them back to their proper place with Moses (Exodus 18).
Moses greatly respected Jethro and received his family back from him.
And while Jethro visited with Moses, he helped God’s leader prioritize and delegate (Exodus 18:13–23). Jethro’s wise counsel proved to be a valuable lesson early in Moses’ forty-year ministry of leading God’s people.
Jethro was also known as Reuel, which was probably his given name. The name Jethro was actually a title, which means “His Excellence.” Jethro is referred to by both names in Exodus and Numbers.