Exodus 18:13–27

13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”

15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will.f 16 Whenever they have a dispute,g it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”h

17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.i 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.j You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputesk to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions,l and show them the way they are to livem and how they are to behave.n 21 But select capable meno from all the people—men who fearp God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gainq—and appoint them as officialsr over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult cases to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will sharet it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”

24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leadersu of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.v 26 They served as judgesw for the people at all times. The difficult casesx they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.y

27 Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own country.z

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