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Exodus 18:2-4

Context

18:2 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Moses’ wife Zipporah after he had sent her back, 18:3 and her two sons, one of whom was named Gershom (for Moses 1  had said, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land”), 18:4 and the other Eliezer (for Moses had said, 2  “The God of my father has been my help 3  and delivered 4  me from the sword of Pharaoh”).

1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity (also in the following verse).

2 tn The referent (Moses) and the verb have been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Now is given the etymological explanation of the name of Moses’ other son, Eliezer (אֱלִיעֶזֶר, ’eliezer), which means “my God is a help.” The sentiment that explains this name is אֱלֹהֵי אָבִי בְּעֶזְרִי (’eloheavi bÿezri, “the God of my father is my help”). The preposition in the sentiment is the bet (ב) essentiae (giving the essence – see GKC 379 §119.i). Not mentioned earlier, the name has become even more appropriate now that God has delivered Moses from Pharaoh again. The word for “help” is a common word in the Bible, first introduced as a description of the woman in the Garden. It means to do for someone what he or she cannot do for himself or herself. Samuel raised the “stone of help” (Ebenezer) when Yahweh helped Israel win the battle (1 Sam 7:12).

4 sn The verb “delivered” is an important motif in this chapter (see its use in vv. 8, 9, and 10 with reference to Pharaoh).



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