Hi John,



I have a question about the father in law of Moses. I have found an argument about this on the net, I am not sure why the Bible mentions both Jethro and Reuel as the father in law of Moses. For example, Exodus 2:18 claims it was Reuel Exodus 18:2 claims it was Jethro. I would really want to have a conviction which transcends these things but honestly it doesnt suppress the doubt. What is your opinion on the matter? Thanks.


I am afraid that the best answer is the obvious one. Scholars believe that Jethro was the personal name for Moses’ father-in-law, while Reuel appears to be more of a formal name. There are dozens of examples of people who had two names in the Old Testament. Often when someone was put into a leadership position he was given an honorific name. For example, when Jeconiah was also known as Coniah. When he became king, he was renamed Jehoiachin. Peter was also known as Cephas, Jacob was also known as Israel…. There are many examples of this.

John Oakes

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