Exodus 18:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening.

New Living Translation
The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people's disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.

English Standard Version
The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening.

New American Standard Bible
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.

King James Bible
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The next day Moses sat down to judge the people, and they stood around Moses from morning until evening.

International Standard Version
The next day Moses sat down to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning until evening.

NET Bible
On the next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning until evening.

New Heart English Bible
It happened on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from the morning to the evening.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The next day Moses was settling disagreements among the people. The people stood around Moses from morning until evening.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood about Moses from the morning unto the evening.

New American Standard 1977
And 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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it came to pass another day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood before Moses from the morning unto the evening.

King James 2000 Bible
And it came to pass on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.

American King James Version
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning to the evening.

American Standard Version
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood about Moses from the morning unto the evening.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the next day Moses sat, to judge the people, who stood by Moses from morning until night.

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood by Moses from the morning to the evening.

English Revised Version
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood about Moses from the morning unto the evening.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning to the evening.

World English Bible
It happened on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from the morning to the evening.

Young's Literal Translation
And it cometh to pass on the morrow, that Moses sitteth to judge the people, and the people stand before Moses, from the morning unto the evening;
Study Bible
Jethro Advises Moses
12Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses' father-in-law before God. 13It came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening. 14Now 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?"…
Cross References
Exodus 18:12
Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses' father-in-law before God.

Exodus 18:14
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?"
Treasury of Scripture

And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning to the evening.

Judges 5:10 Speak, you that ride on white donkeys, you that sit in judgment, …

Job 29:7 When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my …

Isaiah 16:5 And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit on …

Joel 3:12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: …

Matthew 23:2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

Romans 12:8 Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it …

Romans 13:6 For for this cause pay you tribute also: for they are God's ministers, …

(13) On the morrow.--The day following Jethro's arrival.

Moses sat to judge the people.--The office of prince, or ruler, was in early times regarded as including within it that of judge. Rulers in these ages were sometimes even called "judges," as were those of Israel from Joshua to Samuel, and those of Carthage at a later date (suffetes). Ability to judge was thought to mark out a person as qualified for the kingly office (Herod. i. 97). Moses, it would seem, had, from the time that he became chief of his nation, undertaken the hearing of all complaints and the decision of all causes. He held court days from time to time, when the host was stationary, and judged all the cases that were brought before him. No causes were decided by any one else. Either it had not occurred to him that the duty might be discharged by deputy, or he had seen reasons against the adoption of such an arrangement. Perhaps he had thought his countrymen unfit as yet for the difficult task. At any rate, he had acted as sole judge, and had, no doubt, to discharge the duty pretty frequently. Knowing that there was much business on hand, he did not allow the visit of his near connection to interfere with his usual habits, but held his court just as if Jethro had not been there.

The people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.--So great was the number of causes, or so difficult were they of decision, that Moses was occupied the whole day in deciding them. Following the usual Oriental practice, he began early in the morning, and found himself compelled to continue until nightfall. It is not clear whether his "sessions" were always of this length, or whether on this occasion the ordinary time was exceeded. Some have suggested that the division of the Amalekite spoil would naturally have led to disputes, and so to complaints.

Verses 13-26. - JETHRO'S ADVICE TO MOSES, AND ITS ADOPTION. The office of ruler in ancient times, whether exercised by a king, a prince, or a mere chieftain, was always understood to include within it the office of judge. In the Greek ideal of the origin of kingly government (Herod. 1:96), the able discharge of judicial functions marks the individual out for sovereignty. The successors of Moses, like the chief rulers of Carthage, bore the title of "Judges" (shophetim, suffetes). Moses, it appears, had from the time when he was accepted as leader by the people (Exodus 4:29-31), regarded himself as bound to hear and decide all the causes and complaints which arose among the entire Israelite people. He had net delegated his authority to any one. This can scarcely have been because the idea had not occurred to him, for the Egyptian kings ordinarily decided causes by judges nominated ad hoc. Perhaps he had distrusted the ability of his countrymen - so recently slaves - to discharge such delicate functions. At any rate, he had reserved the duty wholly to himself (ver. 18). This course appeared to Jethro unwise. No man could, he thought, in the case of so great a nation, singly discharge such an office with satisfaction to himself and others. Moses would "wear himself away" with the fatigue; and he would exhaust the patience of the people through inability to keep pace with the number of cases that necessarily arose. Jethro therefore recommended the appointment of subordinate judges, and the reservation by Moses of nothing but the right to decide such cases as these judges should, on account of their difficulty, refer to him (ver. 22) On reflection, Moses accepted this course as the best open to him under the circumstances, and established a multiplicity of judges, under a system which will be discussed in the comment on verse 25. Verse 13. - On the morrow. The day after Jethro's arrival. Moses sat to judge the people. Moses, i.e., took his seat in an accustomed place, probably at the door of his tent, and. was understood to be ready to hear and decide causes. The people stood by Moses. A crowd of complainants soon collected, and kept Moses employed incessantly from the morning, when he had taken his seat, until the evening, i.e., until nightfall. It is conjectured that many complaints may have arisen out of the division of the spoil of the Amalekites. And it came to pass on the morrow,.... The above Targum paraphrases it,"on the day after the day of atonement:''and so Jarchi observes the same, out of a book of theirs called Siphri; but rather this was either the day after the entertainment of Jethro with Aaron and the elders in the tent of Moses, or the day after Jethro's coming, as Aben Ezra:

that Moses sat to judge the people; though his father-in-law was come to visit him, yet he did not neglect the care of his people, and the business that lay upon his hands for their good, civil and religious; but, the very day following his coming, closely applied himself to hear and judge causes; and such a vast body of people must find him work enough; and especially if we consider their quarrelsome disposition, for if they were so to one another, as they were to Moses and Aaron, they must be very litigious; however Moses bore with them, and attended to their causes, to do justice and judgment among them, being now made a prince and a judge over them by divine authority, and whom they acknowledged as such:

and the people stood by Moses, from the morning unto the evening; not that a single cause was so long a trying, but there being so many of them in one day, that they lasted from the morning tonight; so that when one cause was dispatched and the parties dismissed, another succeeded, and so continued all the day long: Moses he sat as judge, with great majesty, gravity, and sedateness, hearkening with all attention to what was said on both sides, and the people they "stood", both plaintiff and defendant, as became them. 13-26. on the morrow … Moses sat to judge the people, etc.—We are here presented with a specimen of his daily morning occupations; and among the multifarious duties his divine legation imposed, it must be considered only a small portion of his official employments. He appears in this attitude as a type of Christ in His legislative and judicial characters.

the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening, etc.—Governors in the East seat themselves at the most public gate of their palace or the city, and there, amid a crowd of applicants, hear causes, receive petitions, redress grievances, and adjust the claims of contending parties.18:13-27 Here is the great zeal and the toil of Moses as a magistrate. Having been employed to redeem Israel out of the house of bondage, he is a further type of Christ, that he is employed as a lawgiver and a judge among them. If the people were as quarrelsome one with another as they were with God, no doubt Moses had many causes brought before him. This business Moses was called to; it appears that he did it with great care and kindness. The meanest Israelite was welcome to bring his cause before him. Moses kept to his business from morning to night. Jethro thought it was too much for him to undertake alone; also it would make the administration of justice tiresome to the people. There may be over-doing even in well-doing. Wisdom is profitable to direct, that we may neither content ourselves with less than our duty, nor task ourselves beyond our strength. Jethro advised Moses to a better plan. Great men should not only study to be useful themselves, but contrive to make others useful. Care must be taken in the choice of the persons admitted into such a trust. They should be men of good sense, that understood business, and that would not be daunted by frowns or clamours, but abhorred the thought of a bribe. Men of piety and religion; such as fear God, who dare not to do a base thing, though they could do it secretly and securely. The fear of God will best fortify a man against temptations to injustice. Moses did not despise this advice. Those are not wise, who think themselves too wise to be counselled.
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