Gershom

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Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

Gershon.  1 Chronicles 6:1;  1 Chronicles 6:16. Firstborn of Moses and Zipporah "a sojourner in a foreign land" ( Geer )," sojourner," is common to Hebrew and Egyptian; shom is not from Hebrew Sham "there," as margin, but Shem , Coptic, "a strange land"); alluding to Moses' sojourn in Midian "for, he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land" ( Exodus 2:22;  Exodus 18:3). (See Circumcision and  Exodus 4:25.) Gershom was founder of a family, of which was "Jonathan, son (descendant) of Gershom," the "young man the Levite," who became Micah's priest to the image ( Judges 17:7;  Judges 18:18-30), and subsequently the Danites' priest. His descendants held this priesthood until the taking of the ark by the Philistines, which is called "the day of the captivity of the land."

Gershom in the Hebrew text ( Kethib ) is called "son of Moses." The name is altered into Manasseh with a hanging 'n' (raised above the line to show it might either be inserted or omitted) in the Masoretic Keri , or margin Hebrew "He did the deeds of idolatrous Manasseh," says the Talmud (Baba bathra, 109 b.), "therefore Scripture assigns him to the family of Manasseh." Rabbabar bar Channa says "it would have been ignominious to Moses to have had an ungodly son; he was the son of Manasseh in impiety, of Moses in descent." But other of Moses' descendants through Gershom reflected the piety of "the man of God." Shebuel Gershom's descendant was "ruler of the treasures" dedicated in the sanctuary under David ( 1 Chronicles 23:15-17;  1 Chronicles 26:24-28). One accompanied Ezra from Babylon ( Ezra 8:2).

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

GERSHOM. 1. The elder of the two sons borne to Moses by Zipporah (  Exodus 2:22;   Exodus 18:2-6; the explanation of the name given in these two passages is folk-etymology). According to   Exodus 14:25;   Exodus 14:25 , the origin of circumcision among the Israelites was connected with that of Gershom; the rite was performed by his mother; this was contrary to later usage, according to which this was always done by a man. The son of Gershom, Jonathan , and his descendants were priests to the tribe of the Danites; but the fact that these latter set up for themselves a graven image, and that therefore the descendants of Gershom were connected with worship of this kind, was regarded as a grave evil by later generations, for which reason the word ‘Moses’ in   Judges 18:30 was read ‘Manasseh’ by the insertion of an n above the text; it was thought derogatory to the memory of Moses that descendants of his should have been guilty of the worship of graven images. In   Judges 17:7 there is a possible reference to Gershom, for the words ‘and he sojourned there’ can also be read ‘and he (was) Gershom’ (W. H. Bennett). In   1 Chronicles 23:16;   1 Chronicles 26:24 the sons of Gershom are mentioned, Shebuel or Shubael being their chief. 2. A son of Levi (  1 Chronicles 6:16 [v. 1 in Heb.]); see Gershon. 3. A descendant of Phinehas, one of the ‘heads of houses’ who went up with Ezra from Babylon in the reign of Artaxerxes (  Ezra 8:2 ).

W. O. E. Oesterley.

Holman Bible Dictionary [3]

 Exodus 2:22 ger  Exodus 4:24-26  Judges 18:30  1 Chronicles 6:71

 1 Chronicles 15:7 ).  1 Chronicles 23:14 shows that Moses' sons had been incorporated into the line of Levites. Compare   1 Chronicles 26:24 .  3 . A man who accompanied Ezra on the return from Babylon to Jerusalem ( Ezra 8:2 ). See Gershon; Levites; Moses .

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

1. Eldest son of Moses and Zipporah, born in Midian.  Exodus 2:22;  Exodus 18:3;  Judges 18:30 (see MANASSEH);   1 Chronicles 23:15,16;  1 Chronicles 26:24 .

2. Eldest son of Levi,  1 Chronicles 6:16-71;  1 Chronicles 15:7; but elsewhere named GERSHON.

3. A descendant of Phinehas who returned from exile.  Ezra 8:2 .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

  • The son of Manasseh ( Judges 18:30 ), in RSV "of Moses."

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Gershom'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/g/gershom.html. 1897.

  • American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

    A stranger there, one of the two sons of Moses and Zipporah, in the land of Midian,  Exodus 2:22;  18:3 . Moses appears to have given them no rank or emoluments but those of simple Levites,  1 Chronicles 23:15 .

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [7]

    (Heb. Gershon', גֵּרִשׁם [in Chron. ussually גֵּרִשׁוֹם ], expulsion (See Gershon), an etymology alluded to in  Exodus 2:22, where there is a play upon the word, as if written גֵּר שָׁם , or Ger-Sham, q.d. a sojourner there; in which passage the Sept. preserves the form Γηρσάμ [comp. Josepheus, Γηρσός = Διάλεκτος , Ant. 2:13, 1], but elsewhere Graecizes Γηρσώμ or Γηρσών ), the name of three or four Levites.

    1. Thu oldest son of Levi ( 1 Chronicles 6:16-17;  1 Chronicles 6:20;  1 Chronicles 6:43 [in the Hebrews], :62, 71; 15:7), elsewhere distinctively written GERSHON (See Gershon) (q.v.)

    2. The elder of the two sons (the second being Eliezer) who were born to Moses in the land of Midian by Zipporalm ( Exodus 2:22;  Exodus 18:4). B.C. 1698. These sons of the great lawgiver held no other rank than that of simple Levites, will the sons of their uncle Aaron enjoyed all the privileges of the priesthood ( 1 Chronicles 23:1;  1 Chronicles 23:5;  1 Chronicles 23:16;  1 Chronicles 26:24), a proof of the rare disinterestedness of Moses. Shebuel, one of his descendants, emas appointed ruler ( נָגִיר ) of the treasury under David ( 1 Chronicles 26:24-28).

    3. The son of one Manasseh (according to the text) and father of Jonathan, which last acted as priest to the Danites who captured Laish ( Judges 18:30); but, according to a more correct reading, he is not different from the son of Moses. (See Jonathan). The Talmud explains the substitution of "Manasseha" for "Moses" in the text by asserting that Jonathan did the works of Manasseh, and was therefore reckoned in his family (Baba Bathra, fol. 109, b). (See Manasseh).

    4. A descendant of Phinehas, and chief of his house, who returned from Babylon with Ezra ( Ezra 8:2), B.C. 459.

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [8]

    gûr´shom ( גּרשׁם , gēreshōm , from gārash , "to cast out"; explained, however, in   Exodus 2:22 and   Exodus 18:3 as from gūr , "For he said, I have been a sojourner in a foreign land"):

    (1) Firstborn son of Moses and Zipporah. The only details of his life contained in the Pentateuch are the account of his circumcision ( Exodus 4:25 ), and his remaining under the care of Jethro, while Moses was in Egypt leading the Exodus. His descendants were numbered among the tribes of Levi ( 1 Chronicles 23:14 ). One of them apparently was the Jonathan who officiated as priest of the idolatrous sanctuary at Dan, and whose descendants held the office until the captivity. The Massoretic Text inserts a suspended nun , "נ , n," in the name of Moses (משה ), causing it to be read מנשה , Manasseh , for the purpose, according to tradition, of disguising the name out of respect for the revered Lawgiver. Another descendant described as a "son" was Shebuel, a ruler over the treasuries of David.

    (2) A son of Levi, so called in  1 Chronicles 6:16 ,  1 Chronicles 6:17 ,  1 Chronicles 6:20 ,  1 Chronicles 6:43 ,  1 Chronicles 6:62 ,  1 Chronicles 6:71 (Hebrew 1, 2, 5, 28, 47, 56);   1 Chronicles 15:7; elsewhere Gershon (which see).

    (3) A descendant of Phinehas, the head of a father's house, who journeyed with Ezra from Babylon to Jerusalem in the reign of Artaxerxes ( Ezra 8:2 ).

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [9]

    Ge´rshom (a stranger here), one of the two sons (the other was Eliezer) who were born to Moses in the land of Midian by Zipporah . These sons of the great lawgiver held no other rank than that of simple Levites, while the sons of their uncle Aaron enjoyed all the privileges of the priesthood . The glory of being the children of such a father doubtless availed them more than the highest dignities; but we must nevertheless admire the rare disinterestedness of Moses in making no public provision—as he might so easily have done—for his own children.

    References