Where Does The Name Jethro Come From?


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Jethro is a Biblical name. It appears in the Old Testament (Exodus) as the name of the man who sheltered Moses after he fled from Egypt, the father of his wife-to-be Zipporah. It probably has the same meaning as another Hebrew name, Ithra, meaning "excellence." It has always been occasionally used by Christians, especially the 17th century Puritans in America. After the Puritan era it became uncommon, but it was the name of the famous British agriculturalist Jethro Tull, whose invention of the seed drill revolutionised farming in the 18th century. The adoption of the same name by a "prog rock" band in the 1970s gave it a brief 20th century revival.

There is also a West Country comedian called Jethro, and older viewers may rememver it as the name of a character in the 1950s American sitcom "The Beverley Hillbillies." Jethro was the strong, if simple minded nephew of oil-rich hill farmer Jed Clampett.

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