Photo courtesy trustees, Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford, Bedfordshire, UK/Bridgeman Art Library

Stranger than fiction. Moses rises to the defense of Jethro’s daughters in this painting usually credited to British artist Sir Charles Lock Eastlake (1793–1865). In the shadows at far right lurks one of the local Midianite shepherds who have refused to allow the daughters to water their sheep (Exodus 2:16–17). When the girls return home and tell Jethro that Moses helped them water their flock, he invites Moses to dinner and offers him one of his daughters, Zipporah (seated in the foreground), as a wife.

In the accompanying article, author Ronald Hendel writes that no biblical author would have concocted a marriage between Moses and a Midianite—one of Israel’s long-time enemies. Moses’ marriage to Zipporah is such an unusual and unlikely event that it must be historically accurate.