Moses' two wives have a deeper meaning

The Gospel is rejected by the Jews. It moved to the Gentiles: to wise and foolish virgins. It will return to the Jews.

First published on the 30th of July 2018 — Last updated on the 5th of February 2020

A seemingly unnoticed topic which has slipped passed most church members. Moses's marriage to Zipporah and the Ethiopian woman is often written off as one and the same. But a closer investigation reveals two separate women and a prophecy with a much deeper meaning.

Let’s first establish that the women are definitely two different people. Church scholars “theorise” that Zipporah and the Ethiopian woman are one and the same. This theory has no Bible basis. It is simply assumed that due to the possible close trade relationship between the Ancient Arabs and the Ethiopians, that Zipporah and her family were merchants from Ethiopia trading in Midian.

Ethiopia is mentioned 20 times in the Bible and Ethiopian/Ethiopians are mentioned 21 times.  Apart from Egypt (which represents worldliness), it is the African country mentioned the most. God is trying to teach us something about Ethiopia. Midian is mentioned 39 times in the Bible and Midianite/Midianites are mentioned 25 times. They are never used interchangeably. So God clearly distinguishes between these two nations. It is true that the Arab nations and the Ethiopians probably had close trade relations so one would find Ethiopians within the Arab regions. That is probably why Moses met an Ethiopian woman while wandering in the desert.

2 Chronicles 21:16  Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians:

The Hebrew word for Ethiopian is according to Stong’s dictionary is - כּוּשִׁית Kûwshîyth, koo-sheeth'; feminine of H3569; a Cushite woman:—Ethiopian.

So the Ethiopians come from the Cushite people which are descendants of Ham, one of Noah’s sons.

Genesis 10:6  And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

Genesis 10:7  And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

The Queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon, and mentioned as the Queen of the South (Matt 12:42 and Luke 11:31) is also from the Cushite people and therefore closely related to the Ethiopians.

The Midianites, on the other hand, started as a nation from the sons of Abraham which he had with Keturah after Sarah died.

Genesis 25:1  Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

Genesis 25:2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.

Abraham was a descendant from Noah’s son, Shem.

Luke 3:34  Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor,

Luke 3:35  Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala,

Luke 3:36  Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,

So the Ethiopians and the Midianites are two very different nations, clearly distinguished in Scripture.

The Bible uses marriage between a husband and wife as a symbol to explain the relationship between Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Ephesians 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

2 Corinthians 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

When we read about a marriage in the Bible we can always tie it back to Christ and his Church.

Now let’s compare the marriages of Moses to Zipporah the Midianite and the Ethiopian Woman.

Moses as the Husband represents Christ. Moses is a type of Christ and even prophesied about Christ being a prophet.

Deuteronomy 18:15  The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

When John the Baptist was on earth they asked him if he was this prophet which Moses spoke about.

John 1:21  And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.


“That prophet” is Jesus Christ.


Exodus 2:16  Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.

Seven daughters that had to get married. This speaks of the seven church ages during which Christ would deal with the Gentile Church all throughout church history.

Revelation 1:11  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Exodus 2:17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

The shepherds represent the church leaders of today’s corrupt church system. They have formed an elite priesthood that mediates between Jesus and the laity, or the people, and therefore prevents the people from having a direct relationship with Jesus Christ. They do this by not using the Bible as the absolute source of truth, but rather by combining and mixing in other sources of so-called “wisdom”. They are the custodians of this extra “wisdom”.

Ezekiel 34:2  Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Moses, representing Christ, opposes these shepherds by preaching the truth out of the Bible. This is the water that they get to drink.

Ephesians 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

John 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Exodus 2:18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?

Exodus 2:19 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.

Again the Bible (Water) has enough truth in it to set us free. We shouldn’t take anything away from it, nor should we add anything to it. This is very important to God.

Revelation 22:18  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

Revelation 22:19  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

But the daughter refers to Moses as an Egyptian, signalling their love of worldliness. They want Christ’s salvation, but they don’t want to serve Him as Lord.  The benefits without the sacrifice. "Prosperity and God will bless us materially",  is their motto.

Exodus 2:20  And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.

The daughters, representing the Church, should not leave the source from which they get their freedom, as did the church during the Ephesian church age

Revelation 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Exodus 2:21  And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.


Later on, Moses takes his family to Egypt to follow the instruction of God and to rescue Israel from Egypt and out of bondage.


Exodus 4:19  And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.

Exodus 4:20  And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

Exodus 4:21  And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

Exodus 4:22  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

Exodus 4:23  And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

Exodus 4:2 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.

The “inn” was the wrong place for Zipporah to be with the child. Christ is never welcome in the “inn”.

Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

The inn represents the organized church groups who have human leaders that have replaced the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Zipporah represents the Church.

Christ is found standing outside the Church or “inn” knocking.

Revelation 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Exodus 4:25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.

God made a covenant with Abraham and his seed and used circumcision as the sign to seal covenant.

Genesis 17:10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

Therefore, Abraham and all the Jews who circumcise themselves accept this covenant that God made with them. God accepts their faith by this sign.

Romans 4:11  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

In the New Testament God makes a better covenant with the believers of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 8:6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

The seal for this covenant is not circumcision but the Holy Spirit.

Colossians 2:11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Ephesians 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Zipporah here represents the church which does not accept the leading of the Holy Spirit. She had to circumcise the first-born son and accept the covenant of God. She and her son couldn’t face Pharaoh, who represents Satan, without the sign that they have entered into the covenant with God and that God has accepted their faith.  God was going to kill Pharaoh’s uncircumcised first-born son and save His own circumcised son (Israel).

The leading of the Holy Spirit is the separation point between the Bride of Christ and the saved Church of the foolish virgins that enter the tribulation. There is a saved church which has to go through the tribulation and then there is the Bride of Christ which will be caught away before the tribulation time. We discover about this in the story of the 5 Wise and 5 Foolish Virgins.

Matthew 25:1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

Matthew 25:2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Matthew 25:3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

Matthew 25:4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Matthew 25:5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Matthew 25:6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Matthew 25:7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

Matthew 25:8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

Matthew 25:9  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

Matthew 25:10  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Matthew 25:11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

Matthew 25:12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Matthew 25:13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Oil represents the Holy Spirit. The Foolish Virgins where clean living people since they were “Virgin”. But they only want the benefits of salvation without accepting the rulership of Jesus Christ as their Head. They rather appoint human leaders as their head and miss the marriage. They will have to go through a terrible tribulation period and die for their faith to obtain salvation and will never be considered as the wife of Jesus Christ.

Ziporrah plays out this part. She reluctantly accepts that sign of the covenant only when she sees death coming, but then it is too late. She calls Moses, who represents Christ, a “bloody husband” and this represents the tribulation time.

Exodus 4:25  Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.

Matthew 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Revelation 14:20  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

The tribulation time is going to be a very terrible ordeal.

Moses then sends her and the children back to Zipporah’s father and they only meet again after the exodus out of Egypt.

Exodus 18:2  Then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back,

Exodus 18:3  And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land:

Exodus 18:4  And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh:

Exodus 18:5  And Jethro, Moses' father in law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God:

Zipporah is never spoken of again after this.

The name Zipporah is the female form of Zippor. Balak was the son of Zippor who later on convinced the Midianites to send their woman to commit adultery with Israel.

Zippor is derived from a word that means a skipping or hopping bird, fowl or sparrow, that turns around early. Fowls of the air are mentioned in Matthew and represent demon powers from Satan that spread false doctrine.

Matthew 13:4  And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

Matthew 13:19  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

Later, God takes revenge on the Midianites for what happened at Baal Peor and almost wipes them completely out. He only saves the Woman Children (the Virgins)

Numbers 31:16  Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

Numbers 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

Numbers 31:18  But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Moses as a type of Christ cannot have a Midian wife that represents a Church that has fallen into adultery. He takes a pure wife.

2 Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Another distinguishing factor is that the Ethiopian woman has no name. She takes on the name of Moses like the church takes on the name of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:14  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Ephesians 3:15  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

Zipporah has her own name typing the variety of names denominational churches have chosen for themselves. There are more than 40 000 today.

Revelation 3:1  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Now let's investigate Moses’s second marriage.

Numbers 12:1  And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.

If Moses had married the Ethiopian a long time ago, Aaron and Miriam would have had plenty of time to complain. But they only complain now. The last part of the verse saying “for he had married an Ethiopian..” indicated that it was a recent event.

Numbers 12:2  And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.

Miriam represents the Jewish church and Aaron the Jewish leaders. When Jesus came the Jewish church rejected Him and crucified Him. He then takes a new wife, the Gentile Church, represented by the Ethiopian woman. Then starts 7 church ages through which Jesus Christ is calling out a Bride. During this time the Jewish church is “blinded”

Numbers 12:14  And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

Numbers 12:15  And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.

After the church ages are finished, the Bride of Christ is caught up to heaven and the Gospel returns to the Jews.

Romans 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles come in.

Romans 11:26  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Romans 11:27  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.


“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” — 1 Corinthians 16:23