The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening.
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?"
Moses answered him, "Because the people come to me to seek God's will.1
References for Exodus 18:15
Whenever they have a dispute,2 it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God's decrees and laws."3
References for Exodus 18:16
Moses' father-in-law replied, "What you are doing is not good.
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.4
References for Exodus 18:18
Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.5 You must be the people's representative before God and bring their disputes6 to him.
References for Exodus 18:19
Teach them the decrees and laws,7 and show them the way to live8 and the duties they are to perform.9
References for Exodus 18:20
But select capable men10 from all the people--men who fear11 God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain12--and appoint them as officials13 over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
References for Exodus 18:21
Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case14 to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share15 it with you.
References for Exodus 18:22
If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied."
Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.
He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders16 of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.17
References for Exodus 18:25
They served as judges18 for the people at all times. The difficult cases19 they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.20
References for Exodus 18:26
Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own country.21
References for Exodus 18:27