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Exodus 2:18

Context
2:18 So when they came home 1  to their father Reuel, 2  he asked, “Why have you come home so early 3  today?”

Exodus 3:1

Context

3:1 Now Moses 4  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 5  and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. 6 

1 tn The verb means “to go, to come, to enter.” In this context it means that they returned to their father, or came home.

2 sn The name “Reuel” is given here. In other places (e.g., chap. 18) he is called Jethro (cf. CEV, which uses “Jethro” here). Some suggest that this is simply a confusion of traditions. But it is not uncommon for ancients, like Sabean kings and priests, to have more than one name. Several of the kings of Israel, including Solomon, did. “Reuel” means “friend of God.”

3 tn The sentence uses a verbal hendiadys construction: מִהַרְתֶּן בֹּא (miharten bo’, “you have made quick [to] come”). The finite verb functions as if it were an adverb modifying the infinitive, which becomes the main verb of the clause.

sn Two observations should be made at this point. First, it seems that the oppression at the well was a regular part of their routine because their father was surprised at their early return, and their answer alluded to the shepherds rather automatically. Secondly, the story is another meeting-at-the-well account. Continuity with the patriarchs is thereby kept in the mind of the reader (cf. Gen 24; 29:1-12).

4 sn The vav (ו) disjunctive with the name “Moses” introduces a new and important starting point. The Lord’s dealing with Moses will fill the next two chapters.

5 tn Or “west of the desert,” taking אַחַר (’akhar, “behind”) as the opposite of עַל־פְּנֵי (’al-pÿne, “on the face of, east of”; cf. Gen 16:12; 25:18).

6 sn “Horeb” is another name for Mount Sinai. There is a good deal of foreshadowing in this verse, for later Moses would shepherd the people of Israel and lead them to Mount Sinai to receive the Law. See D. Skinner, “Some Major Themes of Exodus,” Mid-America Theological Journal 1 (1977): 31-42.



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