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Gershom

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Gershom (Hebrew: גרשם, Gēreshōm; "foreigner") (ca. 2474 AM1529 BC
2231 He
2474 AM
2553 AM1450 BC
2310 He
2553 AM
) was the first named son of Moses.

Contents

Early Life

He was born in Midianite country, the son of Moses and Zipporah. Moses named him Gershom, which means "foreigner," because, he said, "I have been a stranger in a strange land"[1][2] (Exodus 2:22 ).

For about thirty-nine years he grew up in Midianite country. Then in 2513 AM (1491 BC) his father and mother took him and his younger brother Eliezer to Egypt, after Moses received a call from God to deliver the people of Israel out of slavery. On the way, God was on the point of killing Moses, but Zipporah took a flint and circumcised Gershom with it[1][3] (Exodus 4:24-26 ).

Some sources, including James Ussher, suggest that Eliezer, not Gershom, was the boy who had to undergo the circumcision.[4] All sources agree that Moses sent Zipporah and his two sons back to Zipporah's father Jethro before the Exodus of Israel actually took place.[4] They rejoined Moses after the Exodus[1] (Exodus 18:1-5 ).

Death

The Bible does not give a specific date for the death of Gershom. But the Bible plainly says that every Israelite who was of adult age (thirty years for a Levite and twenty for a member of any other tribe) died before the invasion of Canaan, except Joshua and Caleb. Therefore Gershom died on or before the year 2553 AM (1451 BC).

Lineage

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Levi
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gershon
 
Kohath
 
Merari
 
Jochebed
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amram
 
Izhar
 
Hebron
 
Uzziel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Miriam
 
Aaron
 
Moses
 
Zipporah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gershom
 
Eliezer
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jonathan

In the period between the death of Joshua and the Judgeship of Othniel, a certain Levite named Jonathan hired himself out to be an illicit priest, first to a man named Micah and then to the Danites. The Bible calls him Jonathan, son of Gershom, son of Manasseh (Judges 18:30 ). Modern Biblical scholars identify this "Manasseh" as Moses, on account of the spelling of the two names. Moses is spelled משה, Mōsheh in Hebrew, and Manasseh is spelled מנשה, Menasheh. The difference in the two names is a single letter nun (נַ). In the original manuscripts, this nun is suspended above the line and inserted between the mem and the shin, thus: מנשה. This supports the idea that the Hebrew scribes, mortified that Moses should have had so unworthy a grandson, inserted the extra letter to disguise Jonathan's actual patrimony.[5]

If this theory is correct, then the scribes might have had an additional motive. The name Manasseh connotes forgetfulness. Perhaps the scribes wanted people to forget that Moses had a grandson who disgraced his name.

See Also

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Blank, Wayne, "Gershom and Eliezer," Daily Bible Study, n.d. Accessed December 11, 2008.
  2. Konig, George, "Gershom," AboutBibleProphecy, n.d. Accessed December 11, 2008.
  3. Jones, Floyd N., The Chronology of the Old Testament, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2004, p. 216
  4. 4.0 4.1 James Ussher, The Annals of the World, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003, pgh. 175.
  5. Jones, op. cit., p. 80
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