18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.

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

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.

Moses’s communion with the Lord came to a close and he returned to the house of his father-in-law. Moses requested that Jethro would permit him return to the land of Egypt, which Jethro readily agreed to. This scene of leaving a father-in-law to return to one’s people reminds me a great deal of Jacob and Laban, though the father-in-law in that story was far less agreeable to the sudden separation!

Already the Lord informed Moses that Aaron was on his way to join him, and in these verses He provides yet another reassurance, telling Moses that all those who were in a position of power and sought to slay him are now dead. Moses will no longer be a hunted man.

Finally, in verse 20, we hear mention of Moses’s wife and sons, which is a reminder that he was a man who had his own life, his own household. He wasn’t losing all those parts of his life, but they were being changed. The life and the future that he thought he was following were being turned towards something new. This fact is symbolized in the final detail given at the end of verse 20: “and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.” Until just recently, that had been merely a shepherd’s staff, but now it was “the rod of God.” Like Moses, it had been remade for a new purpose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s