In Exodus 18, Jethro counseled his son-in-law Moses about how he was leading Israel after they fled Egypt. But there is more depth to the story if you consider the rest of Jethro’s story:
- Jethro descended from Abraham by Keturah
- He was also called Reuel and possibly Hobab
- Is claimed by Islam as a revered prophet and a central figure in the Druze religion.
- According to Rabbinic literary traditions (Aggadah), Jethro was one of Pharaoh’s counselors, along with either Amalek or Balaam and Job, who gave evil counsel to throw the male Israelite children into the river (or he could have just fled to Midian instead)
- As pagan priest of Midian, he practiced idol worship to multiple gods including Baal He knew from experience when he proclaimed that God was greater than all other gods (Exodus 18:11)
- According to the translation of different Jewish rabbis, “Jethro rejoiced” (Exodus 18:9) either means he circumcised himself, accepted God, or got goosebumps
- Even before Moses, Aaron, or any other Israelite; Jethro offered benediction and sacrifice to God for the wonders He performed.
- He announced his arrival by shooting an arrow into Moses’ camp with a message attached (or he just sent a messenger depending on what tradition you believe).
- Most Rabbinical traditions claim that later in life Jethro abandoned idols and worshiped God as a convert to Judaism.