Shmos 2:15 – Moshe fled from Paroh and dwelt in Midian.

Why did he choose Midian?

The only slightly helpful references I saw said

a) (attributed to a Medrash but I do not see it) that he was miraculously transported to Midian (and so I guess stayed where he was deposited) or

b) (attributed to Rashbam but I do not see it) that he was bound for somewhere else and not intending to stay in Midian but having met Tziporah decided to stay.

Alshich says that he stayed in Cush for some time but since nothing of importance happened there, the Torah does not mention it but it is mentioned in Divrei Hayomim and again I have not been able to find the reference.

  • 5
    The "Divrei Hayomim" refers to the Divrei Hayomim of Moshe Rabbeinu brought in the Yalkut Shimoni on parshas Shemos and which I partially translated for another post here.
    – user4523
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 9:17
  • @AvrohomYitzchok - Do you know of a better place he should have gone instead?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 3:17
  • @Shmuel Good question. Instead of going east, he could have gone west inthe direction of modern Libya. Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 10:39
  • If he'd gone West, he would have never ended up at Chorev, and would have never seen God in the Burning Bush. (Of course, God still could have spoken to him, but it wouldn't've been at Har Sinai, with all that that connotes.)
    – Shmuel
    Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 18:21
  • Also, due to a lack of information, we must assume that he chose the best place to run to given the circumstances.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 18:25

2 Answers 2


Rabeinu Bachya says that Moshe feared the long arm of Pharoh and felt that if he married one of the daughters of one of the Kohanim (Yisro was Kohain Midyan) then he would be safe. He went to Midyan since Yisro had 7 daughters so he figured there is a better chance one of them would be willing to marry him. Through that he would come under Yisro's protection and he would be safe.

  • 1
    I don't think he is saying that is why Moshe went there to begin with, as per OP's request. He is giving reasons why Moshe involved himself with Yisro once he was there.
    – user6591
    Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 19:12
  • 1
    I reread Rabeinu Bachya and I stand by my answer. Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 21:06

Someone running away (as Moshe was from Paroh) hardly could have a particular place in mind where to hide. The further away from people (who could denounce him), the better. According to Rashbam, he was passing through Midian as travelers used to do (to rest). Per Ibn Ezra, Moshe 'chose' then to become a shepherd there because if he decided to live (continually) in a settlement area people would recognize him.

  • [ב, טו] וישמע - ארץ מדין סרים היו אל משמעת פרעה, על כן הוצרך להיות רועה צאן, שלא יעמוד בישוב אולי יכירוהו. If this what you are referring to I disagree. Heis not saying why he went to Midyan like the OP requested, he is saying why he chose to be a shepherd once he was there. If anything this makes the question stronger. Why head to Midyan if the officials there were close to Paroh.
    – user6591
    Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 19:17
  • I edited my reasoning. It was based also on Rashbam that the OP had already mentioned. I hope it's clear now. Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 20:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .