There are two Midianites mentioned in the Torah that are both named "bird":

  • Tziporah - Moses' wife
  • Tzipor - Balak's father

This does not seem coincidental to me. Was it common for Midianites at the time to name people "bird" or after some bird species? If so, what was the reason? Is there a message the Torah is telling us about these two people named similarly? (One masc. one fem.)


1 Answer 1


Hat tip to Gershon Gold for this answer. As per the link he posted the Sefer Nitzutzei Oros says that Balak was actually Yisro who did not remain a Jew. The Torah did not directly reveal this however named him Ben Tzipor to show he changed his mind like a bird that jumps around.

Now if Ben Tzipor is the father of Tziporah perhaps there is your connection.

  • 1
    Note that even the name Yisro/יתרו is based off a bird name: תור means turtledove!
    – Chaim
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 13:33
  • Fantastic!!!!!!!!! Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 18:01

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