Exodus 18:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But select capable men from all the people--men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain--and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

New Living Translation
But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.

English Standard Version
Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.

New American Standard Bible
"Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.

King James Bible
Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But you should select from all the people able men, God-fearing, trustworthy, and hating bribes. Place them over the people as commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.

International Standard Version
You are to look for capable men among the people, men who fear God, men of integrity who hate dishonest gain. You are to set these men over them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.

NET Bible
But you choose from the people capable men, God-fearing, men of truth, those who hate bribes, and put them over the people as rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"But choose capable men from all the people, men who fear God, men you can trust, men who hate corruption. Put them in charge of groups of 1,000, or 100, or 50, or 10 people.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Moreover thou shalt consider out of all the people men of virtue, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness, and place princes over them, of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.

King James 2000 Bible
Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

American King James Version
Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

American Standard Version
Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, in whom there is truth, and that hate avarice, and appoint of them rulers of thousands, and of hundreds, and of fifties, and of tens.

Darby Bible Translation
But do thou provide among all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place [them] over them, chiefs of thousands, chiefs of hundreds, chiefs of fifties, and chiefs of tens,

English Revised Version
Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

Webster's Bible Translation
Moreover, thou shalt provide out of all the people, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

World English Bible
Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God: men of truth, hating unjust gain; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

Young's Literal Translation
And thou -- thou dost provide out of all the people men of ability, fearing God, men of truth, hating dishonest gain, and hast placed these over them, heads of thousands, heads of hundreds, heads of fifties, and heads of tens,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 21. - Able men. Literally, "men of might" - i.e., of capacity or ability - men competent for the office of judge; who are further defined to be, such as possess the three qualities of piety, veracity, and strict honesty, or incorruptness. Jethro's conception of the true judicial character leaves little to be desired. If among every ten Israelites there was one such person, the moral condition of the nation cannot have been so much depressed by the Egyptian servitude as is sometimes represented. Place such over them to be rulers of thousands, etc. A decimal organisation naturally presents itself to men's minds as the simplest in a simple state of society, and was probably already in use among the Arab tribes with whom Jethro was familiar. The graduated series - rulers of tens, of fifties, of hundreds, and of thousands, implies a power of three-fold appeal, from the "ruler of ten" to the "ruler of fifty" - from him to the "ruler of a hundred" - and from him to the "ruler of a thousand." Whether there was an appeal from the last-named to Moses, is doubtful. Probably there was not; Moses deciding those cases only which the "rulers of thousands" reserved for him as being specially difficult or important.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Moreover, thou shalt provide out of all the people,.... Or look out (t) from among them; see Acts 6:3,

able men; or "men of power" (u); meaning not so much men of strong and robust constitutions, who, as Aben Ezra says, are able to bear labour; but men that have strength of heart, as Ben Gersom expresses it, men of spirit and courage, and are not afraid to do justice, to repress vice, and countenance virtue; or, as Maimonides says (w), have a strong heart, or courage and boldness to deliver the oppressed from the hands of the oppressor. Jarchi interprets it of rich men, of men of substance, who have no need to flatter, or play the hypocrite, and to know the faces of men:

such as fear God; who have the fear of God before their eyes, and on their hearts, in all they do, and therefore cannot do those things that others do, who are destitute of it; cannot give a cause the wrong way wilfully, or pervert judgment, and are the reverse of the character of the unjust judge, that neither feared God nor regarded man, Luke 18:2,

men of truth; true men, sincere, upright, and faithful men, that love truth and hate lies and falsehood, and will take some pains to get at the truth of a cause, to inquire where it lies, and pursue and encourage it where it is found, and discourage to the uttermost falsehood, lies, and perjury: hating covetousness; in themselves and others, filthy lucre, dishonest gain, mammon of unrighteousness, and so not to be bribed and corrupted, and execute wrong judgment for the sake of money:

and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens; meaning not courts of judicature, consisting of such a number of judges, for such a court was never known to have a thousand judges upon the bench at once; the highest court of judicature that ever was among the Jews, which was long after this time, consisted but of seventy or seventy one: but the sense is, that each of these should have such a number of persons, or rather families, under their care, who, when they applied unto them for justice, should faithfully administer it to them; See Gill on Exodus 18:25.

(t) "videbis", Montanus; "tu prospice", Tigurine version; "tu videto", Drusius. (u) "viros virtutis", Montanus, Vatablus; "viros fortitudinis", Cartwright.

(w) Hilchot Sanhedrin, c. 2. sect. 7.



Exodus 18:21 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jethro Advises Moses
20then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. 21"Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate 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 that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.…
Cross References
Acts 6:3
Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them

Genesis 42:18
On the third day, Joseph said to them, "Do this and you will live, for I fear God:

Genesis 47:6
and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock."

Exodus 18:25
He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

Numbers 1:4
One man from each tribe, each of them the head of his family, is to help you.

Numbers 1:16
These were the men appointed from the community, the leaders of their ancestral tribes. They were the heads of the clans of Israel.

Numbers 10:4
If only one is sounded, the leaders--the heads of the clans of Israel--are to assemble before you.

Deuteronomy 1:13
Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you."

Deuteronomy 1:15
So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you--as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials.

Deuteronomy 16:19
Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent.

Deuteronomy 22:18
and the elders shall take the man and punish him.

2 Samuel 23:3
The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: 'When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,

2 Chronicles 19:5
He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah.

Ezra 7:25
And you, Ezra, in accordance with the wisdom of your God, which you possess, appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice to all the people of Trans-Euphrates--all who know the laws of your God. And you are to teach any who do not know them.

Job 1:1
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.

Psalm 15:1
A psalm of David. LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?
Treasury of Scripture

Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

moreover

Deuteronomy 1:13-17 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, …

Acts 6:3 Why, brothers, look you out among you seven men of honest report, …

able men

Exodus 18:25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over …

Deuteronomy 16:18 Judges and officers shall you make you in all your gates, which the …

1 Kings 3:9-12 Give therefore your servant an understanding heart to judge your …

Proverbs 28:2 For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof…

such as

Exodus 23:2-9 You shall not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shall you speak …

Genesis 22:12 And he said, Lay not your hand on the lad, neither do you any thing …

Genesis 42:18 And Joseph said to them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:

2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules …

1 Kings 18:3,12 And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now …

2 Chronicles 19:5-10 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of …

Nehemiah 5:9 Also I said, It is not good that you do…

Nehemiah 7:2 That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, …

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep …

Luke 18:2,4 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither …

men

Job 29:16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

Job 31:13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, …

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

Isaiah 59:4,14,15 None calls for justice, nor any pleads for truth: they trust in vanity, …

Jeremiah 5:1 Run you to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, …

Ezekiel 18:8 He that has not given forth on usury, neither has taken any increase, …

Zechariah 7:9 Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and …

Zechariah 8:16 These are the things that you shall do; Speak you every man the truth …

hating

Exodus 23:8 And you shall take no gift: for the gift blinds the wise, and perverts …

Deuteronomy 16:18,19 Judges and officers shall you make you in all your gates, which the …

1 Samuel 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, …

1 Samuel 12:3,4 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before …

Psalm 26:9,10 Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men…

Isaiah 33:15 He that walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he that despises …

Ezekiel 22:12 In you have they taken gifts to shed blood; you have taken usury and increase…

Acts 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.

1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, …

1 Timothy 6:9-11 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and …

2 Peter 2:14,15 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling …

rulers of thousands. Whatever matter the decarch, or ruler over ten, could not decide, went to the pentecontarch, or ruler of fifty, and thence by degrees to the hecatontarch, or ruler over a hundred, to the chiliarch, or ruler over a thousand to Moses and at length to God himself. Each magistrate had the care or inspection of only ten men; the decarch superintended ten private characters; the hecatontarch ten decarchs; and the chiliarch, ten hecatontarchs.

Numbers 10:4 And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are …

Deuteronomy 1:15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made …

Joshua 22:14 And with him ten princes, of each chief house a prince throughout …

1 Samuel 8:12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over …

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