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Was Yitro descended from Avraham Avinu, and if so, how? I seem to remember he was a descendant of Hagar/Keturah but can't find where I saw that.

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    Yitro lived in Midyan (cf. Shemot 2:16), a place (most likely) named after the son of Avraham and Keturah of the same name (Bereshit 25:2). But first of all we'd have to establish that Midyan the place is named after the son of Keturah, and then we'd have to ask whether Yitro just lived there or was indeed a descendant of Midyan. – ezra Feb 8 '18 at 19:24
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This is the opinion of Rabbeinu Bachya/Bechayei to Shemos 18:9, who says that Yisro was a grandson of Avraham, through Avraham's son, Midyan:

וכשם שהיו עשרה דורות מנח ועד אברהם כך תמצא עשרה דורות מחם בן נח עד מדין בן אברהם ועשרה דורות ממצרים בן חם עד יתרו שהוא מבני מדין

Edit: It's also found in a midrash on this same verse.

Edit: and here's a source sheet from a shiur on it

Edit: this shiur quotes Maharatz Chajes/Chiyyus holding like this in his commentary to Nedarim 32b.

Also, see this discussion in Birkei Yosef 260:2, which also quotes Maharsha on the topic.

(Note that various other mefarshim and midrashim disagree.)

  • What other mefarshim and Midrashim disagree? The fact that Yisro lived in Mitzraim for some time doesn’t make him a Mitzri necessarily. If he was the כהן מדין, surely he’s a Midianite, right? – DonielF Jan 23 at 15:19

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