Whom Did Moses Marry?
You are all familiar with the saying, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. A little knowledge is never enough. It never gets beyond half truths which mislead people into false beliefs. This is consistently true in the field of religion, more than in all other areas. They think they have found a fallacy in the Bible ’s great truth that God’s people Israel are known today as the Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and Teutonic people.
Israel is, and always has been, under God’s command to keep their race pure. One challenge I frequently get is, “Why shouldn’t whites marry negroes, when Moses married an Ethiopian woman?” They base this on the way Numbers 12:1 reads in the King James Bible. “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman.”
Christianity has never labored under a greater curse than the many mistranslations in the King James Bible. Some of these mistranslations are even followed in some other translations because these errors have become traditional. Bible scholars know that there are many thousands of mistranslations in the King James Bible. The eminent scholar Robert Young, author of Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible and of Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible, says in the preface to his Literal Translation, “In the King James Bible, there are scarcely two consecutive verses where there isn’t some departure from the original.
These variations may be counted by the tens of thousands, as admitted on all hands. ”When you think you have found some discrepancy in God’s word, which can be used as the foundation for conflicting doctrines, we can never safely rely upon what we find in the English translation, until you have checked it in a good lexicon. The best reference is the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries used in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, which is more thorough than most of the others. We often find that defective scholarship in early translations has become accepted as doctrine. It is continued, although the original word will not support the meaning given it in the translation.
Let’s get back to Moses and his wife. In Numbers 12:1, the Hebrew does not say Ethiopian it says Cush, a descendant of Cush, or a resident of the land of Cush. Remember that Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. Genesis 10:6 tells us the sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan, Noah and his wife were both white, so all their children naturally were of the same race. One of Ham’s sons was Mizraim, meaning Egyptian. We know from all the Egyptian art, including their marvelously fine portrait sculpture, during all the many centuries of Egypt’s greatness, they were a pure white people. In fact during this time, any negro found in Egypt, other than a slave working in chains in the fields, was summarily killed on sight.
Ham ’s other son Cush was, without question, also white. What about the land of Cush? There were two different countries named Cush in Bible times, one was Ethiopia, lying south of the Sudan in Africa. There was another Cush that was in eastern Mesopotamia, or what at other times was part of the Babylonian empire. These people were not a black race at any time. This Cush flourished about 1500 B.C., during the time of Moses, the exodus from Egypt occurred in 1486 B.C.. Who can we expect to find living in this Cush, on the east side of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, from what people that lived there did Moses take his wife?
Note there is absolutely nothing anywhere in the Bible which says, or even hints, that Moses was ever in Ethiopia or anyplace else where he could have found a negro woman to marry. The Bible does tell us where Moses got his wife, or who she was.
Remember Moses had killed an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite. In Exodus 2:15-21 we read, “Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well. And the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon today? And they said, an Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us and watered the flock. And he said unto his daughters, Why is it that ye have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread. And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.” We know positively from this, that Moses married the daughter of the priest of Midian. His name Reuel means, friend of God, it is given in the variant form of Raguelin one or two places. Sometimes he is called Jethro. Jethro is the Hebrew word Yithro and means is excellency, this is a title of respect, not a name.
Who were the Midianites, from whom Moses got a wife? Genesis 25:1-2 tells us that after the death of his wife Sarah, “Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore him Zimram, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.” Midian was a son of Abraham. Abraham had been told by the LORD God the great promises would be fulfilled by his son Isaac, not through any of his other sons. Therefore he gave his inheritance only to Isaac, but he loved his other sons also and dealt fairly with them. Genesis 25:6 tells us, “But unto the sons of the concubines which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward into the east country.” Logically, he would want them to move more than just a few miles away, as the whole idea was to send them far enough away that they would not be neighbors o fIsaac, and perhaps quarrel with him over the inheritance.
The next place of any importance to which they could go was Cush. Cush was in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the same country which at other times was part of the important Babylonian empire. So Midian and his descendants became Cushites, people living in the kingdom of Cush. Remember though, that by race they were descendants of Abraham, closely related to Isaac and his descendants the Israelites. However, they remained a separate nation and never became part of Israel.
Since this is the only wife the Bible tells us Moses had, it is clear she was a Midianite, whose family lived in Cush in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys. This is where Moses would logically have found his wife. Moses fled for his life because the Pharaoh of Egypt wanted to kill him. Moses could not have gone to just some tiny neighboring kingdom to stay. A neighboring kingdom would not have dared to give Moses shelter, but would have turned him over to Pharaoh as soon as the Egyptians learned he was there and made a demand for him. Therefore, Moses fled a safe distance, to a land where the people did not live in fear of the powerful Egyptian empire. He went to Cush, among whose people were the Midianites.
We may be certain Moses never married a negro. Remember he was brought up in Pharaoh ’s palace as the adopted son of Pharaoh ’s daughter. He was educated as an Egyptian of the royal family. The Egyptians considered the negroes as wild animals, to be killed on sight. The son of royalty would not take a wife from the negro Cush in Africa. It was while Moses was guarding the flocks of his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, that Yahweh appeared to him in the burning bush. This was when Moses was commissioned by Yahweh to go to Egypt to set Yahweh ’s people Israel free.
When Moses returned to his own people, he taught them their proud heritage as God’s people Israel. He also taught them that they must keep their race pure. His brother Aaron and his sister Miriam taunted Moses about his marriage outside the strictly limited group of Israel. It is true Moses had married a woman who was not an Israelite. However, she was not only a white woman, but a descendant of Abraham, a close relative of the Israelites. So this matter of the wife of Moses can’t be used as a justification for race-mixing. Moses did not marry outside the white race, just outside his nation.