(guhr' sshahm) Personal name meaning, “sojourner there,” “expelled one,” or “protected of the god Shom.” 1. Firstborn son of Moses and Zipporah (Exodus 2:22). The inspired writer interpreted his name to mean “stranger” or “sojourner” from the Hebrew word ger, “sojourner.” His birth became a further sign for Moses that he had done right in escaping Egypt, the birth occurring in Midian. Apparently Gershom was the son circumcised in the unusual ritual of
Exodus 4:24-26 in which Zipporah delivered Moses when God sought to kill him. Thus Gershom represented protection for Moses. Many manuscripts of
Judges 18:30 list Jonathan, Gershom's son and Moses' grandson, as founder of the priesthood in the sanctuary at Dan (NIV, NRSV, REB), though the traditional printed Hebrew text reads Manasseh rather than Moses (KJV, NAS). 2. A son of Levi and head of a clan of Levitic priests (1 Chronicles 6:16-20,1 Chronicles 6:43,1 Chronicles 6:62,1 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.