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Extended Audio Sample Zipporah, Wife of Moses: A Novel Audiobook, by Marek Halter Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,487 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marek Halter Narrator: Ellen Reilly Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Canaan Trilogy Release Date: July 2005 ISBN: 9780739311721
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In the time of the Pharaoh, a tiny infant is rescued from the banks of the Red Sea. She is named Zipporah, “the little bird.” Although she is a Cushite by birth—one of the black people of the lands to the south—she is taken in by Jethro, high priest and sage of the Midianites. Jethro adores his adopted daughter, and she is an honored member of his family. But the blackness of Zipporah’s skin sets her apart and will decide her future: she will be an outsider, and the men of her adopted tribe will not want her as a wife.

But when she becomes a young woman, Zipporah’s destiny changes forever. While drawing water at a well one day, she meets a handsome young man, a stranger. Like her, he is an outsider, a foreigner. His name is Moses. A Hebrew raised in the house of the Pharaoh, Moses is a fugitive, forced to flee his homeland of Egypt after murdering one of the Pharaoh’s cruel overseers. Zipporah knows almost immediately that this man will be the husband and partner she never thought she would have.

At first Moses wants nothing more than a peaceful life with the Midianites. He is content in his role as Zipporah’s lover and the honorary son of Jethro the sage. But Zipporah refuses to let Moses forget his past or turn away from what she believes to be his true destiny. Although he is the love of her life and the father of her children, Zipporah won’t marry Moses until he agrees to return to Egypt to confront Pharaoh and free his people. When God reveals himself to Moses in the burning bush, his words echo Zipporah’s, and Moses returns to Egypt with Zipporah by his side. A passionate lover and a generous, thoughtful wife, Zipporah becomes the guiding force in Moses’ struggle. With the help of her powerful father, she teaches the rebellious young man about the rule of law and the force of justice. Because of Zipporah—the outsider, the black-skinned woman—Moses becomes a defender of the oppressed and a liberator of the enslaved.

A woman ahead of her time, Zipporah leaps from the pages of this remarkable novel. Bold, independent, and a true survivor, she is a captivating heroine, and her world of deserts, temples, and ancient wonders is a fitting backdrop to an epic tale.



As Zipporah and Moses came closer to the queen of cities, the road parted company with the riverbank, and they found themselves facing a vast expanse of palm groves between the river and the hills and ocher cliffs, beyond which the desert began. And there, finally, rising into the blue sky, were the temples of Pharaoh.

There were about ten of them, the largest surrounded by smaller ones, as if they had given birth to them. Seeming to grow out of the rock, the tops reaching up into the sky, they defied belief, so fantastically huge that beside them, even the cliffs seemed mere hillocks. Their faces shimmered in the heat like oil against the transparent sky. The neatly laid brick road leading to them burned in the sun.

Zipporah remembered Moses’ words about the splendor of Pharaoh’s temples, but their hugeness surpassed anything she could have imagined. Nothing here was on a human scale. Not even the stone monsters with the heads of men and the bodies of lions that stood guard before them.

Farther on, beneath great pyramids, they could see vast building sites. Colonnades and needles of white limestone and walls carved and painted with thousands of figures rose on the fronts of palaces hollowed out of the cliffs. There were unfinished monsters without wings, and statues without heads. In places, the roads became mere dirt paths, with bricks piled at the sides. And everywhere, the slaves swarmed, working, carrying, hammering, creating a din that rose into the heat of the day and was carried on the air from the farthest reaches of the building sites. —FROM ZIPPORAH



Look for the Reader’s Group Guide at the back of this book.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A worthy heiress to Anita Diamant’s bestseller The Red Tent, and an entertaining read, with a heroine who uses both her brains and her femininity to astonishing effect. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jana | 2/5/2014

    " A nice story about the beautiful Cushite wife of Moses. Strong and smart, I appreciated the character and her story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 2/5/2014

    " An interesting read - makes you want to read the appropriate section of the Old Testament to see how the story matches. A book about a very strong woman; but every once in a while it just doesn't ring true. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lori | 2/2/2014

    " Really stupid book... I'm only finishing it because I rarely give up on books. However, this one is killing me! One-dimensional characters, and too much angst. UGH "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 1/27/2014

    " I am addicted to these books... Now I need to read the next one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marylou | 1/26/2014

    " Now that I've lived through an earthquake, I know what was happening in the Old Testament when they thought God was speaking to them! I thought I heard God's voice ... amazing! I love the way you feel you are relieving the Old Testament and the characters become so real. Neat story! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/10/2014

    " I enjoyed this story so much because Zipporah was strong and yet the author shows her struggles and internal battles. I knew little of Zipporah's story before this book. What a great story of love and standing up for what is right. Moses may have been the first person to stand up against racism, and should at least be respected for his inter-ratial marriage to an amazingly strong and influential black woman. Who would the Jews be without Zipporah, a stranger and someone of a different race? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yuki | 1/6/2014

    " I loved this book; one of his best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angelica | 1/4/2014

    " things written on the Bible that I did not know very well "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 12/20/2013

    " A fun read. Love the subject matter. Not quite up to 'The Red Tent' in my book, but certainly well written and helps pass the time on the treadmill. A bit torn about the liberties taken with the fate of Moses' family, esp the sons. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 12/19/2013

    " Marek Halter is very skillful at bringing to light how women lived in biblical times. He has a great imagination and creates some strong female personalities behind thoses well-known males. Beautifully written and... to my surprise... a book I had difficulty putting down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 12/17/2013

    " Very good read. I found myself reaching for my Bible to cross-check events and times, though. Thought-provoking look at the wife of Moses as well as Moses himself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie Furness | 12/17/2013

    " pretty interesting just remember when you read it the author took alot of liberties "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie Richard | 12/5/2013

    " I love tho whole series. GREAT stories, for those excluded from the bible ( real women . Great writer "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becky | 10/17/2013

    " Not as riveting as The Red Tent or The Gilded Chamber. It was fine to listen to on audio while driving to and from work, but I'm glad I didn't take any free time to devote to it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina Rizzo | 9/21/2013

    " Zipporah, Wife of Moses, is the second book in the Canaan Trilogy and is a good example of midrash. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy Salguero | 8/11/2013

    " I loved this story....It opened my eyes to the tale behind the life of moses and it goes to show that love plays an important role in even the most powerful and talked about men. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dana Nordstrom | 6/29/2013

    " I do not recommend this book to any historical/religious fiction readers. This book portrays Moses as weak and whiny. Plus his sons die in the end? Pretty sure that didn't happen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roslyn | 6/29/2013

    " Very Good Read. It is a story about Moses and how he meet his wife Zipporah.She was a source of strength for him. The journey to free his people was one that was wrought with betrayal, love, and redemption. Must read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Blaise | 6/26/2013

    " I really don't think this book was very accurate. Some of the story does follow the biblical tradition, but a good portion of it is purely speculation. Also, it was a lot racier than I expected. Not sure I want to think of Moses in quite that way... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jodi | 5/6/2013

    " This is the second un a triology of the women of the Bible. I got it in early summer and just haven't gotten to it yet. Just like Sarah, Zipporah had faith in a husband who had a faith in G-d. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karis Antonellis | 2/24/2013

    " Although fiction, enjoyed reading a 'woman's perspective' from biblical times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarahb. | 12/3/2012

    " Great book--very readable, entertaining and informative! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 11/15/2012

    " quick read/ interesting also but not great -too much fiction for me "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/26/2012

    " The series on women in the bible is great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jody | 8/29/2012

    " This was a good book I liked it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Grace | 8/25/2012

    " Ugh. Thin, stagnant characters and woefully inaccurate this book is as full of itself as it is pointless. "

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About the Author
Author Marek Halter

Marek Halter is a French-Jewish writer and activist, known best for his historical novels, which have been translated into English, Polish, Hebrew, and many other languages.