Ze’ev Meshel

Moses sat down by a well much like this one when he fled to Midian after killing an Egyptian taskmaster (Exodus 2:15). He stayed in Midian for years, living as a shepherd tending his father-in-law’s flocks. Then, as now, the nomads of the Sinai would seek pasturage in Egypt during times of drought. In return for provisions and protection, the shepherds provided labor for the pharaoh. It is easy to imagine that the pharaoh would be reluctant to lose his labor force and might even enslave the workers as the Israelites were in the Book of Exodus. In times of trouble, however, it was common to flee into the desert for refuge.