Moses’ Ethiopian Wife Does She Even Exist?

There is an understanding about Moses, which says that he was married to an Ethiopian lady. This is something that I’ve always wondered about, because when I checked the background of Moses’ wife I never found this to be true.

The most popular incident is when Moses is challenged by Aaron and Miriam, because of his marriage to an Ethiopian woman.

After researching this, I have found this statement was true, but not in the way that most people think.

When reading the scriptures you’ll find that Moses was married to Zipporah at the time, that he was accused of being married to an Ethiopian. So everybody naturally assumes that she was the Ethiopian.

Exodus 2:21

21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

When we look at the birth lineage of his wife, we see that it goes back to the  Midianites. As this is the land that Moses dwelt in, when he took refuge from Pharaoh. Exodus 2:15 This means that his wife would have been a descendant of Abraham.

Genesis 25:1-4

1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.

3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.

4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

So as you can see Abraham’s second wife Kenturah gave birth to children and one of them was the father of the Midianites. This is quite confusing as it can be proven that Moses’ wife was not an Ethiopian at the time that Moses was accused by Aaron and Mariam, as Midianites were not Ethiopians.

While reading an historical book called The works of Josephus I found the answer. Here more insight is given into Moses’ time in Egypt and the wars which he was a part of. We are told that Moses led the Egyptians in battle against the Ethiopians during which time he made an alliance with the Ethiopians by marrying the Ethiopian queen.


However, while Moses was uneasy at the army’s lying idle, (for the enemies durst not come to a battle,) this accident happened: – Tharbis was the daughter of the king of the Ethiopians: she happened to see Moses as he led the army near the walls, and fought with great courage; and admiring the subtility of his undertakings, and believing him to be the author of the Egyptians’ success, when they had before despaired of recovering their liberty,

and to be the occasion of the great danger the Ethiopians were in, when they had before boasted of their great achievements, she fell deeply in love with him; and upon the prevalency of that passion, sent to him the most faithful of all her servants to discourse with him about their marriage.

He thereupon accepted the offer, on condition she would procure the delivering up of the city; and gave her the assurance of an oath to take her to his wife; and that when he had once taken possession of the city, he would not break his oath to her. No sooner was the agreement made, but it took effect immediately; and when Moses had cut off the Ethiopians, he gave thanks to God, and consummated his marriage, and led the Egyptians back to their own land.

It was very interesting to find this information, and it shed a light on the question, whether or not Moses was married to an Ethiopian? Further studies supports this information about Moses fight against the Ethiopians on behalf of the Egyptians.

Jasher 76:2

2 And all the children of Cush loved Moses all the days that he reigned over them, and all the inhabitants of the land of Cush were greatly afraid of him.

So here we see that Moses reigned over the people of Cush. Cush being another name for Ethiopia. So the answer to the question of whether or not Moses married an Ethiopian, is yes!

Something even more interesting I have learned from reading the scriptures, is the fact that the Father has made it so that we as believers have no choice but to look at other credible sources if we want to get a full picture.

Josephus was a devout Jew, who lived just after the death of the Messiah, and he had knowledge of all the historical information about Israel. And the book of Jasher is mentioned in the scriptures twice (Joshua 10:13, 2 Samuel 1:18).

Peace and Shalom.

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