Jethro Visits Moses
1 Jethro was the priest of Midian and the father-in-law of
Moses. And he heard what the Lord God had done for Moses and his
people, after rescuing them from Egypt.
Judges Are Appointed
2 In the meantime, Moses had sent his
wife Zipporah and her two sons to stay with Jethro, and he had
welcomed them. Moses was still a foreigner in Midian when his
first son was born, and so Moses said, Ill name him
When his second son was born, Moses said,
Ill name him Eliezer, because the God my father worshiped
has saved me from the king of Egypt.
5 While Israel was camped in the desert
near Mount Sinai, Jethro sent Moses this message: I am coming
to visit you, and I am bringing your wife and two sons.
they arrived, Moses went out and bowed down in front of Jethro,
then kissed him. After they had greeted each other, they went
into the tent, 8 where Moses told him everything the Lord had
done to protect Israel against the Egyptians and their king. He
also told him how the Lord had helped them in all of their troubles.
9 Jethro was so pleased to hear this good
news about what the Lord had done, 10 that he shouted, Praise
the Lord! He rescued you and the Israelites from the Egyptians
and their king. 11 Now I know that the Lord is the greatest God,
because he has rescued Israel from their arrogant enemies.
12 Jethro offered sacrifices to God. Then Aaron and Israels
leaders came to eat with Jethro there at the place of worship.
- 13 The next morning Moses sat down
at the place where he decided legal cases for the people, and
everyone crowded around him until evening. 14 Jethro saw how
much Moses had to do for the people, and he asked, Why
are you the only judge? Why do you let these people crowd around
you from morning till evening?
15 Moses answered, Because they
come here to find out what God wants them to do. 16 They bring
their complaints to me, and I make decisions on the basis of
17 Jethro replied:
- That isnt the best way to do
it. 18 You and the people who come to you will soon be worn out.
The job is too much for one person; you cant do it alone.
19 God will help you if you follow my advice. You should be the
one to speak to God for the people, 20 and you should teach them
Gods laws and show them what they must do to live right.
21 You will need to
appoint some competent leaders who respect God and are trustworthy
and honest. Then put them over groups of ten, fifty, a hundred,
and a thousand. 22 These judges can handle the ordinary cases
and bring the more difficult ones to you. Having them to share
the load will make your work easier. 23 This is the way God wants
it done. You wont be under nearly as much stress, and everyone
else will return home feeling satisfied.
- 24 Moses followed Jethros advice.
25 He chose some competent leaders from every
tribe in Israel and put them over groups of ten, fifty, a hundred,
and a thousand. 26 They served as judges, deciding the easy cases
themselves, but bringing the more difficult ones to Moses.
27 After Moses and his father-in-law
Jethro had said good-by to each other, Jethro returned home.
The Contemporary English Version c1995 by the American
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary