Biblical People

Biblical People: Zipporah

With the pharaoh out to get him, Moses flees for his life. He marries the shepherdess Zipporah, daughter of the priest of Midian. They have two sons: Gershom and Eliezer. 

Years later when Moses and his family travel to Egypt, God afflicts Moses. This is apparently because Moses has not circumcised his son Gershom, as God commanded the Israelites to do through Abraham. 

Just as God is about to kill Moses for his disobedience, Zipporah takes decisive action. She whips out a knife, circumcises Gershom, and touches Moses with the removed foreskin. This appeases God, and he spares Moses.

Zipporah does what her husband did not do, she obeys God’s command, and saves her husband’s life.

Sometimes we must act when others fail to. How can we know when to act and when to wait?

[Discover more about Zipporah in Exodus 2:15–22, Exodus 4:24–26, and Exodus 18:2–6.]

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at