Soon after crossing into the Land of Midian, Moses got a job making bricks on a building site. While not much of a job, it did give Moses the means to find shelter and clean himself up, for he did look a mess. After work each day he liked to sit in the shade near a well close by, and be alone with his thoughts which were mostly about Hatshepsut.
He thought about how she would have reacted to his sudden disappearance. And to the equally sudden disappearance of Senenmut. What if someone had glimpsed from afar his deadly fight with Senenmut? And seen him digging the hole and dumping Senenmut’s body in it? Did that someone talk to someone else about what he had seen? And did that someone else tell someone else? And did that someone else tell yet someone else? And on and on until the story reached Hatshepsut?
Did Hatshepsut then send someone to locate the hole? And to excavate it to see who it was? How did she react when she learned it was Senenmut? While her grief would no doubt have been intense, would it have been less had it been Moses in the hole? Indeed, would she even have been glad had it been Moses in the hole? Because, then, her precious Senenmut might still be alive somewhere, and soon back in her arms?
Moses clenched his fists in impotent fury and seething jealously at this thought. It gave way to despair whenever he was assailed by another thought, that his pain at Hatshepsut’s betrayal might never go away no matter how long he lived.
One evening when sitting near the well, Moses saw seven young women leading a flock of sheep to it so that the sheep might slake their thirst, and the women fill water containers for themselves. When they reached the well a group of shepherds slouched up. They crowded around the young women, put their hands on them, and said things like, “Hiya babe, you’re so beautiful I could die for you” and “Come to me honey and I’ll show you a good time”. The rest of the comments were of the same genre.
Moses strode up to one of the shepherds who seemed to be the leader, thrust two fingers into the shepherd’s nostrils and jerked upwards, forcing the shepherd on to his toes. Moses put his face close and said, “Don’t let me see you here again, there’s a good chap.”
Moses removed his fingers. The shepherd fell to the ground, blood gushing from his torn nostrils.
“Had enough?” said Moses as he bent down and made as if to re-insert his fingers in the shepherd’s nostrils.
“Let’s leave, boys” said the shepherd to his comrades. “We’ll settle things with this punk another time. We’ll fix him so good he won’t know what’s hit him.” They slunk away.
“I and my sisters thank you ever so much sir,” said one of the young women who appeared to be the eldest.
“All in a day’s work,” said Moses. “I just hope I taught those young pups some manners.”
“Are you from these parts?” said the young woman. “You speak sort of funny, so I’m guessing you’re not.”
“I’m up from Egypt” said Moses. “But, enough about me. Allow me to help water your sheep.”
“That’s so good of you sir. I’m Zipporah by the way. You are………?”
“Moses? What a quaint name. Doesn’t sound Egyptian, though”
“How many Egyptians have you known?”
“Oh…er…..not many. But I remember they had names like Amenemhet, Banefre, Djedefhor, Hepzefa and Ihop. Very different from ‘Moses’. It sounds to me almost Kenite, which is what we are.”
“You and your sisters, you live near here do you”?
“Yes, with our father, Jethro. He’s a high priest in our Kenite religion.”
“What about these sheep, then? Are they all for sacrifice in your father’s religious rituals?”
“Oh you are funny, Moses. I like men who are funny. Actually, my father’s a sheep farmer too. We help him with the sheep.”
“Your father sounds most interesting. I hope I can meet him some day.”
Moses was becoming aware of feeling a bodily sensation that men often feel when speaking with comely young women.
“I come to this well every evening. I’ll be here when next you bring your father’s sheep for watering. I’ll look out for you.”
“Yes………that would be…….er…….nice.”
The watering of the sheep now complete, Zipporah and her sisters, with Moses help, herded the sheep together and then set out back for their father’s house. Moses watched until Zipporah vanished over the horizon. Just before she did she turned and waved…….
Source: Exodus 2, 16 – 18