Kenneth Cohen

Moshe in Exile

The Meam Loez contains some fascinating Midrashim that give us information, that might seem missing from the text of the Torah.

Many wonder what happened to Moshe, when he ran away from Pharoah. We know that he was eighty years old when he came back to Egypt, which means that he was gone for a long time.

The Meam Loez claims that Moshe was king of Cush for forty years, until he was sixty-seven years old. It was shortly after this, that he met Yitro, after he had saved his daughters.

When Moshe related that he was king, Yitro suspected him of serious wrongdoing. He put him in jail with no food and water for ten years. Secretly, his daughter, Tzipora, brought him food and water, and kept him alive.

After ten years, she tells her father to check on the Hebrew, that he imprisoned. Yitro was certain that Moshe must have died long ago. His daughter explained why he might still be alive.

She told her father that the G-d of the Jewish people, does wondrous acts. He saved Avraham from the fiery furnace, of Nimrod. He saved Yitzchak at Akeidat Yitzchak, the binding of Isaac. He saved Yakov, when he wrestled with an angel. And she described how Moshe was saved as a baby in the basket, and again from the sword of Pharoah.

Yitro was astonished to find Moshe alive. He reinstated him as a member of his household, and eventually became his father-in-law. Three years later, Moshe began his mission as the savior of the Jewish people.

This information is quite interesting, and gives great insight as to what happened to Moshe all of those years.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at