Did Moses have 2 wives?

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Did Moses have 2 wives?

Postby WhiteH2OWoman on Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:52 pm

Can someone clear this up for me...I read in scripture about Moses marrying a Midianite woman...and then later on in Numbers Moses's sister Miriam and brother Aaron criticized him for having an Ethiopian wife.

I know that in recent decades Israel has recognized Ethiopian Jews as having been descended from Moses.

So my question is, did Moses have 2 wives? Was he married to them at the same time, or did one die? I don't think "Midian" is a synonym for "Ethiopian", but I don't know for sure.

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Re: Did Moses have 2 wives?

Postby Abiding in His Word on Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:27 pm

hmm...the only one I'm aware of was Zipporah, but others evidently speculate about the one in Numbers 12. I found this info in Fausset's Bible Dictionary:

The Cushite wife mentioned in Numbers 12 as the object of Miriam's jealousy can hardly have been Zipporah who was then long before married to Moses, but probably a second wife taken after Zipporah's death. Josephus (Ant. 2:10, Section 2.) makes him marry at Meroe one Ethiopian princess.

and it continues...

Zipporah's marriage must have been between the first and the second years. Habakkuk (Hab_3:7) connects Midian and Cushan, so that some think Zipporah is meant by the Cushite wife; but probabilities are on the other side. Only Canaanite wives were forbidden (Exo_34:11-16). Moses' marriage to a Midianitess and a Cushite successively typifies the extension of God's covenant to the Gentiles

And from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

Whether or not Zipporah was the “Cushite woman” (Num_12:1) is a much-mooted question. There is little ground for anything more than speculation on the subject.
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Re: Did Moses have 2 wives?

Postby CaryC on Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:26 am


I don't have any verses to back it up, but was under the understanding that the first wife died.
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