54. "...And her two sons..." (Shemot 18:3). Rabbi Chiya said, Why are they called "her sons" and not 'the sons of Moses?' HE ANSWERS, Because she raised them without her husband, the Torah calls them "her sons," and not 'his sons.' Rabbi Yosi said, Even though they were the sons of Moses, THEY WERE, BY A SECRET PRINCIPLE, most certainly her sons. BECAUSE, Rabbi Elazar said, Moses united himself in another holy, celestial place, and it would not have been respectful to call them his sons. Now, even though they were his sons, because of the dignity of the place in which he united, WHICH WAS THE SHECHINAH, they were here called "her sons." Afterwards, they were called "his sons." What is the reason? Because when they reached MOSES, Moses was talking to the Shechinah. Later, when he separated FROM THE SHECHINAH and went out to meet his father-in-law, then it is written, "And Jethro, Moses's father-in-law, came, with his sons" (Ibid. 5).
55. Rabbi Shimon said, Elazar, Elazar. I see in this portion that the beginning of your interpretation is quite proper, but the ending is not the way you interpret it. Certainly, because of the respect of the Shechinah, who was joined celestially with Moses, it is written "her sons." And though it is written, "And Jethro, Moses's father-in-law, came, with his sons and his wife to Moses," IT STATES "HIS SONS," which is inclusive, and the words "his sons," refer to the sons of Jethro. For after Moses came to him, he had sons.
56. And so it was with Jacob. When he came to Laban and dwelt in his house, Laban had sons. Also here, when Moses dwelt with Jethro, he too had sons. And Jethro brought his whole family, so they might all enter together under the wings of the Shechinah. And Jethro said to Moses, "I, your father-in-law Jethro, am come to you, and your wife, and her two sons with her." And it is not written 'your two sons.' WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM THIS? That Jethro had children, as it is written, "And the children of the Kenite, Moses's father-in-law went up out of the city of palm trees" (Shoftim 1:16). And he left his sons with Moses.