The Bible does not record the reaction of the shepherds to Moses' deed and statement, but Philo (De Vita Mosis 1.57) says that they were filled with fear as if they were listening to some oracular utterance.
What is striking, however, is that nowhere in the systematic narrative of De Vita Mosis does Philo mention the actual names of the priest, Jethro, or of the daughter, Zipporah, whom Moses married; presumably, his goal is to keep the focus centered solely on Moses, just as he does not mention the names of Moses' father Amram, his mother Jochebed, his sister Miriam, and the Pharaoh's daughter in relating the story of Moses' birth and rescue in De Vita Mosis.
(10) Moreover, Philo (De Vita Mosis 1.59) describes her as the most beautiful [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of Jethro's daughters (11) and hence, we may add, a match for Moses' beauty (De Vita Mosis 1.15).
Philo (De Vita Mosis 1.60) adds the editorial-like comment that after his marriage to Zipporah, Moses, in taking charge of his father-in-law's sheep, received his first lesson in leadership [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], since, as Philo says, shepherding is a preliminary exercise [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in kingship for one who is going to be in charge of the most tame herd of men, just as hunting serves to prepare men for a career as generals.
Moses, says Philo (De Vita Mosis 1.62), thus received excellent training in becoming a leader through serving as a shepherd in Midian.
3:1) states merely that Moses shepherded the sheep of Jethro and guided them far into the wilderness, Philo (De Vita Mosis 1.63-64) expands this considerably by noting that he excelled ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE INASCII]) in leading his flocks.
Philo (De Vita Mosis 1.65) does not say that Moses turned aside; rather he came directly to the place where the bush burned.
And to assure the reader that it was not G-d he explains that someone might have surmised that it was indeed an image [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of G-d; but, he quickly adds, let it be called a messenger (&yyeXo~) which employed the faculty of sight, which is clearer than a voice and which is able to do great things [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (De Vita Mosis l.66).
Though in the essay De Vita Mosis Philo minimizes allegorical explanations, he (De Vita Mosis 1.67), as he usually does, felt constrained to explain the mysterious to the uninitiated.
Rather, realizing that the whole scene would be hard for a critical and skeptical pagan to believe, Philo (De Vita Mosis 1.69) suggests to the reader that he join him in regarding, in effect imagining, it as all but [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] a voice proclaiming to those who were suffering: "Do not lose heart; your weakness is your strength....
In both Philo's and Josephus' versions, however, there is significantly no mention of the Canaanites who are to be displaced and no suggestion of an independent state: the Israelites are merely to go to another unspecified home and settle there (De Vita Mosis 1.71).
In Philo (De Vita Mosis 1.71) G-d's actual first statement to Moses stresses the importance of leadership: he urges him to take charge of the nation with all speed ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ,"to hasten") and to be not merely an assistant ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "accessory") but a leader ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]).