Exodus 18
Jethro’s Advice
1And #Ex. 2:16, 18; 3:1Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that #(Ps. 106:2, 8)God had done for Moses and for Israel His people—that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took #Ex. 2:21; 4:20–26Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back, 3with her #Ex. 2:20; 4:20; Acts 7:29two sons, of whom the name of one was Gershom (for he said, #Ex. 2:22“I have been a stranger in a foreign land”) 4and the name of the other was Eliezer (for he said, “The God of my father was my #Gen. 49:25help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”); 5and Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness, where he was encamped at #Ex. 3:1, 12; 4:27; 24:13the mountain of God. 6Now he had said to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her.”
7So Moses #Gen. 18:2went out to meet his father-in-law, bowed down, and #Gen. 29:13; Ex. 4:27kissed him. And they asked each other about their well-being, and they went into the tent. 8And Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them on the way, and how the Lord had #Ex. 15:6, 16; Ps. 81:7delivered them. 9Then Jethro rejoiced for all the #(Is. 63:7–14)good which the Lord had done for Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. 10And Jethro said, #Gen. 14:20; 2 Sam. 18:28; 1 Kin. 8:56; Ps. 68:19, 20“Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh, and who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11Now I know that the Lord is #Ex. 12:12; 15:11; 2 Chr. 2:5; Ps. 95:3; 97:9; 135:5greater than all the gods; #Ex. 1:10, 16, 22; 5:2, 7for in the very thing in which they behaved #Luke 1:51proudly, He was above them.” 12Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt #Ex. 24:5offering and other sacrifices to offer to God. And Aaron came with all the elders of Israel #Gen. 31:54; Deut. 12:7to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.
13And so it was, on the next day, that Moses #Deut. 33:4, 5; Matt. 23:2sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. 14So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?”
15And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because #Lev. 24:12; Num. 9:6, 8; 27:5; Deut. 17:8–13the people come to me to inquire of God. 16When they have #Ex. 24:14; Deut. 19:17a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.”
17So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; #Num. 11:14, 17; Deut. 1:12you are not able to perform it by yourself. 19Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand #Ex. 4:16; 20:19before God for the people, so that you may #Num. 9:8; 27:5bring the difficulties to God. 20And you shall #Deut. 5:1teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and #Deut. 1:18the work they must do. 21Moreover you shall select from all the people #Ex. 18:24, 25; Deut. 1:13, 15; 2 Chr. 19:5–10; Ps. 15:1–5; Acts 6:3able men, such as #Gen. 42:18; 2 Sam. 23:3fear God, #Ezek. 18:8men of truth, #Deut. 16:19hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22And let them judge the people at all times. #Lev. 24:11; Deut. 1:17Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for #Num. 11:17they will bear the burden with you. 23If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their #Ex. 16:29place in peace.”
24So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25And #Ex. 18:21; Deut. 1:15Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26So they judged the people at all times; the #Job 29:16hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves.
27Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and #Num. 10:29, 30he went his way to his own land.

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