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Zipporah meaning

צפרה
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🔼The name Zipporah in the Bible

Zipporah is the first wife of Moses and daughter of Reuel (=Jethro), a Midianite priest. We don't know much about Zipporah, except that she had six sisters who remain unnamed (Exodus 2:21), and would give birth to her sons Gershom and Eliezer She also plays a key role in the enigmatic scene in which YHWH seeks to put Moses to death (Exodus 4:24). She takes a flint, circumcises Gershom and calls her husband a blood-groom. After that YHWH leaves Moses alone.

🔼Etymology of the name Zipporah

The name Zipporah comes from the extensive word-group צפר (sapar):

🔼Zipporah meaning

The name Zipporah may mean any of the above, but is most commonly interpreted to mean Bird (and so does NOBSE Study Bible Name List). Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads the more distinctive Little Bird, possibly to indicate that Zipporah doesn't necessarily mean bird in the sense of eagle or ostrich.

Note that the form צפרה occurs only once as regular word, namely in Ezekiel 7:10, where it presents a bit of a challenge to translators; it seems to express something progressing, coming forth or returning.

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