Exodus 18:18

18 “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself.

Exodus 18:18 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 18:18

Thou wilt surely wear away
His natural strength and animal spirits, and so his flesh; he feared his constant application and attendance to business would impair his health, break his constitution, and bring him into a consumption. Moses was naturally of a strong and vigorous constitution; for, forty years after this, even to the time of his death, his natural force was not abated; or "fading thou wilt fade", or, "falling thou wilt fall" F18; in allusion to the leaves of trees in autumn, which fade, and wither, and fall:

both thou and this people that is with thee;
it was tiresome to the people, as well as fatiguing to Moses, who, because of the multitude of cases, were obliged to wait a long time, some of them from morning to night, and yet could not get their suit to come and so were obliged to attend next day, and perhaps day after day. The Targum of Jonathan is,

``even thou also, Aaron and his sons, and the elders that are with them;''

and so Jarchi; but these do not seem to have been assisting to him at all, as appears by what follows:

for this thing is too heavy for thee:
it was too great a burden upon his shoulders, what his strength was not equal to; for though his internal abilities were exceeding great, and he had a good will to the work, to serve God and his people, yet it was more, humanly speaking, than his bodily strength would admit of, or any mortal man could go through:

thou art not able to perform it thyself alone;
and this Moses was sensible of himself afterwards, and says the same thing, ( Deuteronomy 1:9 ) .


F18 (lbt lbn) "marcescendo marcesses", Montanus; so Ainsworth; "cadendo cades", Pagninus.

Exodus 18:18 In-Context

16 When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.”
17 “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed.
18 “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself.
19 Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him.
20 Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.