Exodus 18:1-27

18  And Ithro the priest of Midian, Moses’s father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, that Jehovah had brought the Israelites out of Egypt. 2 * And Moses’s father-in-law Ithro took Moses’s wife Sipporah, after her separation, 3 * and her two sons, of whom the one was named Gershom because he thought “I have been an immigrant in a foreign country,” 4 ** and the other Eliʽezer “because my father’s God stands my friend and has delivered me from the Pharaoh’s sword,” 5  and Moses’s father-in-law Ithro and his sons and his wife came to Moses in the wilderness where he was camping, God’s mountain; 6  and Moses was told “Here is your father-in-law Ithro coming to you, and your wife and her two sons with her”; 7 * and Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and did reverence and kissed him, and they asked each other how they did, and he brought him to his tent. 8  And Moses told his father-in-law the whole story of what Jehovah had done to the Pharaoh and Egypt with reference to Israel, and all the hard experience they had had on the way, that Jehovah had delivered them from; 9  and Ithro was delighted at all the good things Jehovah had done for Israel whom he had delivered out of the hands of the Egyptians; 10  and Ithro said “Blessed be Jehovah, who has delivered you out of the hands of the Egyptians and of the Pharaoh. 11 * Now I know that Jehovah is the god of gods, because in the thing that they were arrogant against them—” 12 * And Moses’s father-in-law Ithro took a burnt-offering and sacrifices to God, and Aaron and some of the elders of Israel came to eat a meal with Moses’s father-in-law before God. 13  And on the next day Moses sat down to judge the people, and the people stood round Moses from morning till evening. 14  And Moses’s father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, and said “What is this that you are doing for the people? how is it you alone sit down and all the people stand round you from morning till evening?” 15  And Moses said to his father-in-law “Because the people come to me to inquire of God: 16  when they have a question they come to me, and I judge between man and man and inform them of God’s rules and instructions.” 17  And Moses’s father-in-law said to him “It is not a good thing you are doing. 18  Both you and this people you have with you will break down, because the business is too heavy a load for you, you will not be able to do it alone. 19  Now take my advice and have God with you: be you the people’s representative to God and bring questions to God, 20  and notify them of the rules and instructions, and acquaint them with the road they are to go in and the acts they are to do; 21  and do you single out from the people high-principled men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate jobbery, and appoint them over them as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens, 22 * and let them judge the people at all times. And every large question they shall bring to you, and every small question they shall judge themselves; and they will relieve you and share your load. 23  If you do this thing and God gives you orders, you will be able to stand and all the people too will come safe to its place.” 24  And Moses listened to his father-in-law and did just as he said; 25  and Moses chose high-principled men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens, 26  and they judged the people at all times; a hard question they brought to Moses, but every small question they judged themselves. 27  And Moses let his father-in-law go, and he went to his own country.


18:2 Or her divorce
18:3 See note on chapter 2 [verse 22]
18:4 Eliʽezer means Deity-is-Help
18:4 Lit. is in my help and has delivered or is for my help and has delivered
18:7 Var. he came to his tent
18:11 Susp.; conj. that the words he delivered the people from under the hands of the Egyptians (which some copies have at the end of verse 10 with a conjunction) belong at the end of verse 11
18:12 Var. all the elders
18:22 Var.* you will get relief and they will share