Who Is the God that Jethro the Priest of Midian Priest of?

jak2010 By jak2010, 5th Jun 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

The mystery remains unsolved: Who is the God Jethro the brother inlaw of Moses was priest to? This article attempts to answer this question using the biblical texts of the Old Tesatment as evdivence.

Revelation of Yahweh to Moses

The greatest mystery of Yahwism as the religion of the Israelites began at the burning bush encounter by Moses (Exodus 3). Yahweh introduced Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the patriarchs of the Israelites. It clearly showed Yahweh was a patron deity of these patriarchs. But who is then that Jethro, the priest from Midan? Whose priest was he? Was he a pagan priest? It raises a lot of question as to who really was Jethro the priest and who was his God? Jethro is referred as a priest from Midan already in Ex.2:16 and in Ex.3:13:1 before Moses encountered Yahweh in the burning bush. Moses’ meeting of his wife at the well resembled that of Abraham’s servants who came to Abraham’s own relatives to find a woman for his son, Isaac. God led the servant to choose Rebecca at the well. And it also was reminiscences of Jacob from his avenging brother who was met by the two daughters of his uncle, Laben. Moses was similarly met by seven daughters of a priest, by the name of Jethro.
Several names were used for Jethro. First, Reuel is in Exodus 2:18; then Jethro in Exodus 3:1. In the previous chapter Moses’ father-in-law was called Reuel, while here he is referred to as Jethro and in Numbers 10:29 as Hobab (see Judg 4:11). The difficulty can be resolved once the ambiguity of the terminology is recognized. The term designating male in-laws is non specific. The term referred to a woman’s male relatives and could be used for her father, brother or even grandfather. Most solutions take account of this. Perhaps Reuel is the grandfather head of the clan, Jethro is the father of Zipporah and technically the father-in-law of Moses, and Hobab is the brother-in-law of Moses, Jethro’s son. Alternatively, Jethro and Hobab could both be brothers-in-law, and Reuel the father.
He is a Midanite. The Medinites consisted of five families, linked to Abraham through Midian, son of the concubine Keturah. Abraham sent them away, with all his other sons by concubines, into the East(Gn. 25:1-6). Thus the Midianites are found inhabiting desert borders in Transjordan from Moab down past Edom. They were desert-dwellers associated with Ishmaelites and Medanites (Gn. 37:28, 36) when Joseph was sold into Egypt; for the partial overlap of these three terms, cf. Jdg. 8:24, where the Midianites defeated by Gideon are said to have been Ishmaelites because of their use of gold ear or nose-rings. Moses had a Midianite wife, Zipporah, father-in-law, Jethro/Reuel (Ex. 2:21; 3:1, etc.), and brother-in-law, Hobab (Nu. 10:29; Jdg. 4:11). As a man of the desert, Hobab was asked by Moses to guide Israel in travelling through the steppe (or ‘wilderness’) (Nu. 10:29-32).

Later, in the plains of Moab, the chiefs of Midian and Moab combined in hiring Balaam to curse Israel (Nu. 22ff.) and their people led Israel into idolatry and immorality (Nu. 25), and so had to be vanquished (Nu. 25:16-18; 31). The five princes of Midian were confederates of the Amorite king Sihon (Jos. 13:21). In the time of the judges, through Gideon and his puny band (Jdg. 6-8; 9:17), God delivered Israel from the scourge of camel-riding Midianites, Amalekites and other ‘children of the east’, an event remembered by psalmist and prophet (Ps. 83:9; Is. 9:4; 10:26). This is at present the earliest-known reference to full-scale use of camels in warfare.
The book of Exodus mentions Yahweh was unknown to Moses and his followers. Who then was Yahweh? Jethro as a priest, but is so silent on whose God did he serve as priest. To answer this question, another question needs to be asked as the proximity of the name Jethro, the priest and Yahweh the God appear in the space of few verses apart. Who was Yahweh? Was he the god of Midinite? The local deity of the sacred mountain? Some parts of Genesis give the impression that Yahweh was already known and worshipped under that name by the Amorite patriarchs. The Moses tradition, however, makes it clear that the name and to a large extend the role of Yahweh was unknown to Moses and his followers. Who then was Yahweh? Scholars attempted to determine the meaning and origin of the name Yahweh are numerous. One plausible theory states that Yahweh was a title of El from the cult of Midan, but that in time the title became detached and accepted as a separate name. In any case, Yahweh is clearly identified with El, the experience of Yahweh as a dynamic deity once associated with Moses ‘ancestors, became the impetus for Moses radical protest again Pharaoh.
It is now clear that Jethro was the priest of deity El, whose name was isolated and new name, taken up as Yahweh by Moses. Jethro is not a pagan priest, but the priest of the deity whose ancestors of Moses worshipped. This patron deity is now revealed to Moses as Yahweh, He is who He is, He was who he was and He is who He is to be. This solves the problem of the patriarchs who worshipped their God in different names with prefix El, for example, El Shaddai, El Ellyon and El Roi is amplified with new name Yahweh who exercised his greatness in the might work of the Exodus. Jethro is the priest of Yahweh who God of the universe.


God, Jethro Priest Of Midian, Moses, Yahweh

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A teacher from Papua New Guinea, English is my sixth language and love to write articles using my sixth language.

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author avatar Bisrat
18th Jun 2011 (#)

yitro was a pagan priest

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author avatar Nope
13th Mar 2013 (#)

Where is your evidence, bisrat?

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author avatar Larry Silverstein
1st Jun 2012 (#)


Moses saw the first Christmas tree. The lights made it look as if it was burning. Elementary, my dear Watson.

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author avatar Larry Silverstein
1st Jun 2012 (#)


Ezra wrote most if not all of the Jewish Bible in & around the 5th century. He learnt his myths in Babylon & "converted" them into Hebrew/Aramaic. He did what Joseph Smith did with the Book of Mormon. OK

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author avatar Uhhh
13th Mar 2013 (#)

Evidence please? Yeah, you have none.

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author avatar Larry Silverstein
23rd Feb 2014 (#)


Spend a year or two there educating yourself!

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author avatar Jonathan Lankford
6th Apr 2014 (#)


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author avatar Jonathan Lankford
6th Apr 2014 (#)

So much idiocy floating around in the world and in these comments too it seems. Ezra wrote the Hebrew Bible? He must have also created Joseph's palace in Egypt, the grain reservoirs, the Phoenician pillars on either side of the Red Sea crossing, the accurate depiction of the fall of Jericho, the fallen city walls of Jericho, the Moabite Stone that is an original source to the kingdom of
Israel in 850BC, the davidic artifacts constantly uncovered in Jerusalem, the silver amulets of the Aaronic blessing from 900BC, etc etc..... Ezra was a busy man.

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author avatar Uhhh
13th Mar 2013 (#)

@ Larry

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author avatar Agber Martins I.
18th Sep 2013 (#)

This explan ation looks rather too technical for me.

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author avatar Larry Silverstein
23rd Feb 2014 (#)


Have you never questioned the idea of killing a man to appease God?

Jesus says:


Go and learn what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.


And if you had known what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless.
The prophet says:
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings. . ..

The above are true witnesses. Now, here are some examples of the many false witnesses:

The likes of Billy Graham and Co state:

In ancient Judaism the shedding of blood was to make atonement for sin. The word "blood" in the Old and the New Testaments symbolized a life that was given. Jesus Christ became the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world for the sins of the world.

Another witness testifies as follows:

By His death on the cross, the Lord Jesus made a perfect atonement for sin, by which the wrath of God against sinners is appeased and a ground furnished upon which God can deal in mercy with sinners. He redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse in our place. He Who Himself was absolutely without sin was made sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

And yet another testifies:

Jesus—We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, was born of a virgin, was wholly God and wholly man, lived a sinless life, died in our place as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind, was buried, arose bodily from the grave, and ascended into Heaven.

Of the many false doctrines of Christendom, none can be more heinous to the Father than this -- that He required His innocent Son, Jesus of Nazareth, to atone for the sins of humans by suffering the horrible death of crucifixion, thus becoming a vicarious, sacrificial atonement. It is heinous because it renders men --

1. Blind to the true message of the Old Testament scriptures,
2. Deaf to the voice of Jesus,
3. Utterly ignorant as to the merciful nature of God and
4. Seals their condemnation who might otherwise have found salvation.

This is a very serious charge and it is not made lightly.

Let us examine each element briefly.

I. Blindness to the Old Testament Scriptures

The voices of many prophets were raised in Israel against the practice of sacrifice as a means of reconciliation with God. Listen to them.


And Samuel said, "Has the LORD
as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Psalm 40
Sacrifice and offering thou dost not desire;
but thou hast given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
thou hast not required.
Then I said, "Lo, I come;
in the roll of the book it is written of me;
I delight to do thy will, O my God;
thy law is within my heart."
Psalm 50
I will accept no bull from your house,
nor he-goat from your folds.
For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the air,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
"If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
for the world and all that is in it is mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of goats?
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and pay your vows to the Most High;
and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."
Psalm 51
O Lord, open thou my lips,
and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
For thou hast no delight in sacrifice;
were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Isaiah 1
Hear the word of the LORD,
you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomor'rah!
"What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the LORD;

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author avatar Larry Silverstein
23rd Feb 2014 (#)


Moses aka Jews PLAGIARIZED the 10 Commandments from the 42 Principles of Maat, the Egyptian goddess of Truth. Aaron offered Human Sacrifices to Moloch aka The Golden Calf, on Mount Sinai (Exodus 32). 3000 Israelites were put to the sword for this (Exodus 32:22-27). YHWH was the first Anti-Semite (Exodus 32:7-10). See 1 Kings 11:1-13; Amos 5:25-27; Acts 7:42-43. In the Babylonian Jewish Talmud, Sanhedrin 64 a-b, you will find instructions for Jews on how to offer Human Sacrifices to Moloch, without being guilty. The trick is to get someone else to do the HOLOCAUST:


Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 64a

Soncino 1961 Edition, page 437

Following the Mishnah is a discussion among the sages. One of the Talmud Sages, Rabbi Ashi, comments as follows:

GEMARA. R. Ashi propounded: What if one caused his blind or sleeping son to pass through, (3) or if he caused his grandson by his son or daughter to pass through? — One at least of these you may solve. For it has been taught: because he hath given of his seed unto Molech. Why is this stated? — Because it is said, there shall not be found among you any one
that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire. From this I know it only of his son or daughter. Whence do I know that it applies to his son's son or daughter's son too? From the verse, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech

— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 64b

Soncino 1961 Edition, page 439

Rabbi Dr. Freedman, one of the translators of the Soncino Tractate Sanhedrin, clarifies the passage. In a footnote, Rabbi Dr. Freedman confirms that the Talmud Sages use "seed" to denote living children, in the same sense as the Biblical translators understand the term in the above Biblical quotes. In this footnote, Rabbi Dr. Freedman paraphrases the question from Rabbi Ashi:

3. Is 'thou shalt not cause to pass' applicable only to a son who can naturally pass through himself, but not to a blind or sleeping son, who must be led or carried, or does it apply to all?

Rabbi Dr. Freedman

Other footnotes within the same context clarify the fine point of distinction being drawn in the Mishnah and subsequent debates among the sages:

5. Lev. XVIII, 21. This proves that the offence consists of two parts; (I) formal delivery to the priests, and (2) causing the seed to pass through the fire.

Rabbi Dr. Freedman (2)

5. As two separate offences, proving that giving one's seed to Molech is not idolatry. The differences is, that if one sacrificed to Molech, or caused his son to pass through the fire to some other deity, he is not punished.

Rabbi Dr. Freedman (3)

Following the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 64a and 64b contain a rousing debate between the Sages concerning:

* the circumstances under which worshipping an idol is idolatry,

* which idols may be worshipped without indulging in idolatry,

* which parts of child sacrifice in what combination are punishable, and

* how children may be sacrificed without violating Leviticus.
Going back to Exodus 18, we find Moses' father-in-law, the PAGAN priest of Midan, teaching him "the ropes" on how to run a religion. Jethro was a worshipper of VOLCANOS. Now read Exodus & see how a VOLCANO was used to scare the Israelites into believing GOD was speaking to them.

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author avatar Jonathan Lankford
6th Apr 2014 (#)

Wait a sec. Didn't you say that Ezra wrote the Hebrew Bible? So why do you believe that the Hebrews offended YHWH by idolizing a calf? Indeed they did, and the alter stone remains in Midian tot this day, but you can't believe that because according to you, Ezra wrote the Bible.

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author avatar SirSleepy247
25th Jun 2014 (#)

When the Bible speaks of the sacrifices offered to God are detestable to him or that he would perfer obiedience it doesn't mean that there shouldn't of been sacrifices but that there hearts were not right.
And the evidence of Jesus fulfilling the prophecies of the Messiah a uncanny. The fact that the Quran would even say that Jesus did not die on the cross proves the little reliability that what the Quran says in anything is reliable.
And just to let you know Muhammad has more in common with Joseph Smith then you might think.

Also the problem with what the Rabbi say is that the Christ is the Only Rabbi we listen too. Lol!

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author avatar Le-drummer
6th Mar 2015 (#)

(Paul) 6 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

2 Peter 3:16

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