“I have been a stranger in a strange land”



In this verse Moses has a son to Zipporah. He names him Gershom saying, “I have been a stranger in a strange land” referring to his earlier years growing up in Egypt. This quote has inspired the author Robert A. Heinlein to write a 1961 science fiction novel entitled “Stranger in a Strange Land” about a dystopian and strange world which conveys the unsettledness of human life.

To get what Exodus 2:22 means in detail, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

“And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.”

High popularity: 320 searches a month
Popularity relative to other verses in Exodus chapter 2 using average monthly Google searches.

Exodus 2:22 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse Original Hebrew Meaning/ Definition
This is a simplified translation of the original Hebrew word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
Use the buttons below to get details on the Hebrew word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
And she bare וַתֵּ֣לֶד To bear young; causatively, to beget; medically, to act as midwife; specifically, to show lineage bare
him (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
a son, בֵּ֔ן A son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like father or brother), etc.) son
and he called וַיִּקְרָ֥א To call out to (i.e., properly, address by name, but used in a wide variety of applications) called
his name שְׁמ֖וֹ An appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character name
Gershom: גֵּֽרְשֹׁ֑ם Gereshom, the name of four Israelites Gershom
for כִּ֣י (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjunction or adverb (as below); often largely modified by other particles annexed for
he said, אָמַ֔ר To say (used with great latitude) said
I have been הָיִ֔יתִי To exist, i.e., be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary) been
a stranger גֵּ֣ר Properly, a guest; by implication, a foreigner stranger
in a strange נָכְרִיָּֽה׃ Strange, in a variety of degrees and applications (foreign, non-relative, adulterous, different, wonderful) strange
land. בְּאֶ֖רֶץ The earth (at large, or partitively a land) land

Verse Context

See Exodus 2:22 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Follow either of the two large buttons below to see these verses in their broader context of the King James Bible or a Bible concordance.

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  • 20  And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.

  • 21  And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

  • 22  And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.

  • 23  And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.

  • 24  And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.


The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database (https://github.com/bibleforge) within the BibleForge project (http://bibleforge.com). Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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