Exodus 2:18

ESV When they came home to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come home so soon today?”
NIV When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, 'Why have you returned so early today?'
NASB When they came to their father Reuel, he said, 'Why have you come back so soon today?'
CSB When they returned to their father Reuel, he asked, "Why have you come back so quickly today? "
NLT When the girls returned to Reuel, their father, he asked, 'Why are you back so soon today?'
KJV And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?

What does Exodus 2:18 mean?

The scene transitions from the women watering their flock to their return home. Their father, Reuel, asks how they returned home so soon. He is surprised, perhaps knowing his daughters were often mistreated by male shepherds who watered their own flocks first. His question will lead to a response from the daughters regarding Moses. Moses then becomes the object of their father's questions (Exodus 2:20). Reuel—also known as Jethro—discovers that Moses has rescued his daughters from harassment at the hands of other shepherds (Exodus 2:16–17). Reuel eagerly desires to meet Moses, rewards him, and soon makes him part of the family.

An interesting aspect of this verse is the theme of "home." Moses grows up in a home not his own and later flees this home for exile. In contrast, Reuel and his family have a home where Moses will be welcomed and treated well. Even during his forty years of exile, God provides for Moses and his needs. This background foreshadows God's future provision for the Jewish people. God will bring the Jews out of Egypt and into exile for forty years where He will supernaturally provide for their needs before bringing them into their own land.
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