Chapter 18

Jethro, Moses’ Father-in-law

1 Now aJethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.

2 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Moses’ wife aZipporah, after he had sent her away,

3 and her atwo sons, of whom 1one was named Gershom, for Moses said, “I have been ba 2sojourner in a foreign land.”

4 1The other was named 2aEliezer, for he said,bThe God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

5 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses 1in the wilderness where he was camped, at athe mount of God.

6 He 1sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her.”

7 Then Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and ahe bowed down and bkissed him; and they casked each other of their welfare and went into the tent.

8 Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians afor Israel’s sake, all the bhardship that had befallen them on the journey, and how cthe Lord had delivered them.

9 Jethro rejoiced over all athe goodness which the Lord had done to Israel, 1in delivering 2them from the hand of the Egyptians.

10 So Jethro said, “aBlessed be the Lord who delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, and who delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.

11 “Now I know that athe Lord is greater than all the gods; 1indeed, bit was proven when they dealt proudly against 2the people.”

12 aThen Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat 1a meal with Moses’ father-in-law before God.

13 It came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening.

14 Now when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?”

15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me ato inquire of God.

16 “When they have a 1adispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

Jethro Counsels Moses

17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good.

18 “aYou will surely wear out, both yourself and 1these people who are with you, for the 2task is too heavy for you; byou cannot do it alone.

19 “Now listen to 1me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. 2You be the people’s representative before God, and you abring the 3disputes to God,

20 athen teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them bthe way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do.

21 “Furthermore, you shall 1select out of all the people aable men bwho fear God, men of truth, those who chate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, 2of hundreds, 2of fifties and 2of tens.

22 “Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be athat every major 1dispute they will bring to you, but every minor 1dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and bthey will bear the burden with you.

23 “If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to 1endure, and all 2these people also will go to 3their place in peace.”

24 So Moses listened 1to his father-in-law and did all that he had said.

25 Moses chose aable men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, 1of hundreds, 1of fifties and 1of tens.

26 They judged the people at all times; athe difficult 1dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor 1dispute they themselves would judge.

27 Then Moses 1abade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land.


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