Exodus 18:7

7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law. He bowed low and kissed him. They asked about each other’s welfare and then went into Moses’ tent.

Exodus 18:7 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 18:7

And Moses went out to meet his father in law
Out of the camp, at least out of his tent: the Targum of Jonathan says, from under the cloud of glory; how far he went is not certain, nor material to know: this was an instance of his great humility and modesty, and was doing Jethro a great deal of honour; that one who was in such great dignity, at the head of such a vast body of people, and superior to him both in natural and spiritual abilities, yet condescended to go forth in person to meet him, when he might have sent a guard of his men to escort him to his camp, which would have been honour sufficient; and it is not said he went out to meet his wife and children; for Aben Ezra says it was not usual for honourable men so to do:

and did obeisance:
to Jethro, bowed unto him and worshipped him in a civil way, after the manner of the eastern nations, who used to make very low bows to whom they paid civil respect:

and kissed him;
not to make him a proselyte, as the above Targum, nor in token of subjection, but of affection and friendship; it being usual for relations and friends to kiss each other at meeting or parting:

and they asked each other of their welfare;
or "peace" F14; of their prosperity and happiness, temporal and spiritual, of their peace, inward and outward, and of the bodily health of them and their families:

and they came into the tent;
the Targum of Jonathan says,

``into the tabernacle of the house of doctrine,''

or school room; which is not likely, since Jethro was a man well instructed in divine things, and needed not to be put to school; and if he did, it can hardly be thought that as soon as Moses met him he should set about the instruction of him; but into his tent where he dwelt; that, as Aben Ezra says, which was the known tent of Moses, though it is not expressly said his tent.


FOOTNOTES:

F14 (Mwlvl) "ad pacem", Montanus; "de pace", Munster, Fagius, Drusius, Piscator; so Ainsworth.

Exodus 18:7 In-Context

5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, now came to visit Moses in the wilderness. He brought Moses’ wife and two sons with him, and they arrived while Moses and the people were camped near the mountain of God.
6 Jethro had sent a message to Moses, saying, “I, Jethro, your father-in-law, am coming to see you with your wife and your two sons.”
7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law. He bowed low and kissed him. They asked about each other’s welfare and then went into Moses’ tent.
8 Moses told his father-in-law everything the LORD had done to Pharaoh and Egypt on behalf of Israel. He also told about all the hardships they had experienced along the way and how the LORD had rescued his people from all their troubles.
9 Jethro was delighted when he heard about all the good things the LORD had done for Israel as he rescued them from the hand of the Egyptians.