Exodus 18

Jethro, Moses' Father-in-law

1 Now 1Jethro, 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.
3 and her 3two sons, of whom one was named Gershom, for Moses said, "I have been 4a sojourner in a foreign land."
4 The other was named 5Eliezer, for he said, "6The 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 in the wilderness where * he was camped, at 7the mount of God.
6 He sent 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 8he bowed down and 9kissed him; and they 10asked 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 11for Israel's sake *, all the 12hardship that had befallen them on the journey, and how 13the LORD had delivered them.
9 Jethro rejoiced over all 14the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians.
10 So Jethro said, "15Blessed 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 16the LORD is greater than all the gods; indeed, 17it was proven when they dealt proudly against the people."
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 19to inquire of God.
16 "When they have a 20dispute, 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 "21You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; 22you cannot * do it alone.
19 "Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people's representative before God, and you 23bring the disputes to God,
20 24then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them 25the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do.
21 "Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people 26able men 27who fear God, men of truth, those who 28hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.
22 "Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be 29that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and 30they will bear the burden with you.
23 "If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace."
24 So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said.
25 Moses chose 31able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.
26 They judged the people at all times; 32the difficult dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor dispute they themselves would judge.
27 Then Moses 33bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land.
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