(jehth' roh) Personal name meaning, “excess” or “superiority.” In
Exodus 3:1, a priest of Midian and the father-in-law of Moses. Some variation exists in the Bible regarding the name of Moses' father-in-law. In
Exodus 2:18, his name is Reuel. In
Numbers 10:29 it is Hobab. The nature of the relationship of these names to one another is uncertain. Of particular interest is that Jethro was a Midianite priest. The deity whom he served is not explicitly identified; in
Exodus 18:11, however, he declared Yahweh to be greater than all gods. One school of thought has discovered the origin of Israel's Yahwism in the ancient Midianite religion represented by Jethro. Such an origin is unlikely. Yahwistic faith probably is traceable at least as far back as Abraham. See Moses; Yahweh.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'JETHRO'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".