The character of Jethro, as he appears in the book of Exodus, is an enigmatic figure in the biblical narrative.1 As a descendent of Midian, his ancestry goes back to Abraham (Gen 25:1–2; Exod 2:16; 3:1). Among Abraham’s children outside the covenant line, there would have been an opportunity to know about his relationship to God and his faith in divine providence. Yet polytheism was practiced among the Midianites (Num 25:16–18). This history forms a backdrop from which to examine the person of Jethro. In the book of Exodus, Jethro appears in three distinct roles: a priest of Midian (Exod 2:16; 3:1), Moses’s father-in-law (Exod 3:1; 18:1, 6), and as an advisor to Moses (Exod 18:13–27). This article will examine the nature of the Midianite religion as portrayed in the Bible.2 Then, the article’s focus will center on whether the Bible’s depiction of Jethro in these three roles suggests that he was a polytheist as some of the Midianites were or a monotheist who may have even worshipped the God of Abraham. M



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