Exodus 18:2–3, After he had sent her back.There is an indication here that Moses divorced his wife after their altercation over the circumcision of their sons (Exod 4:24–26). If so, what are the spiritual implications of this for us today?
The phrase sent away/back in verse two is shilluach/JuKKA according to Strong’s Concordance and Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon can refer to divorce. Shilluach is from shalakh (shin-lamed-chet), a basic verb meaning “to send” where in Isaiah 50:1 and Jeremiah 3:1 the prophets use it referring to YHVH’s divorce from the house of Israel or Ephraim.
Though rabbinical commentators Rashi and Hirsch fail to note the possibility of Moses’ divorce (Jewish Torah commentators tend to gloss over the faults of their great biblical heroes), Baal HaTurim notes this possibility in his commentary.
Yet in Exodus 18:2, YHVH still views Zipporah as Moses’ wife. What’s going on here? Before this, Zipporah seems to have evidenced reluctance at obeying YHVH’s command to circumcise their sons (Exod 4:25), so did Moses put her away (divorce her) as a result? Was Moses, as the human “savior” of Israel from Egypt and an antetype (or prophetic forerunner) of Yeshua the Messianic Savior (Deut 18:15–19) in that he had to deal with a rebellious wife, even as Yeshua (in his preincarnate state as YHVH of the Tanakh) had to deal with his Israel rebellious wife and eventually had to put her away?
Zipporah is never again mentioned in the Torah and, in fact, we see the possibly that the divorced Moses even married another woman (Num 12:1)—apparently a black woman from Ethiopia. Is this a prophetic picture of Yeshua remarrying his former wife (Israel) during the time of the Renewed (Marriage) Covenant (Ketubah), who has adulterously mixed herself with the nations and returns to him in a mixed racial (spiritually-speaking) condition (Hos 7:8)?
If Moses led Israel as a divorced and remarried man, does this change your perspective about him? How about divorced and remarried people in present-day ministry?