Exodus 2:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Exodus 2:22, NIV: "Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, 'I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.'"

Exodus 2:22, ESV: "She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”"

Exodus 2:22, KJV: "And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land."

Exodus 2:22, NASB: "Then she gave birth to a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, 'I have been a stranger in a foreign land.'"

Exodus 2:22, NLT: "Later she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, for he explained, 'I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.'"

Exodus 2:22, CSB: "She gave birth to a son whom he named Gershom, for he said, "I have been a resident alien in a foreign land.""

What does Exodus 2:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous verse describes the marriage of Moses. This verse notes the birth of his first son. Zipporah's son was named Gershom. This was chosen because Moses considered himself an immigrant or sojourner in a foreign land. The name Gershom sounds similar to the Hebrew word gur that means "to sojourn." The Hebrew ending of Gershom, shom, is the same as the Hebrew shom, an adverb meaning "there." Moses was a "sojourner, there" in the land of Midian. Interestingly, the name Gershon / Gershom had already been used in the family of Levi (1 Chronicles 6:1, 16).

It is notable that Moses refers to Midian as a foreign location. He felt away from home and could only seek to be "content" in his new home with Zipporah and Gershom (Exodus 2:21). He would later have a second son as well, named Eliezer (Exodus 18:3–4). Eliezer's birth is not described in detail in Scripture. This is not unexpected, as the firstborn son received prominent status in ancient culture. Eliezer was certainly born to Moses and Zipporah during their forty years together in Midian. Both sons were considered part of Moses' family and named among the Levites (1 Chronicles 23:14–17).