Exodus 18:10
And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.
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(10, 11) Jethro said, Blessed be the Lord.—Heb., Jehovah. The Midianites, descendants of Abraham by Keturah, acknowledged the true God, and the Israelites could rightfully join with them in acts of worship. But it is scarcely likely that they knew God among themselves as “Jehovah.” Jethro, however, understanding Moses to speak of the supreme God under that designation, adopted it from him, blessed His name, and expressed his conviction that Jehovah was exalted above all other gods. The pure monotheism of later times scarcely existed as yet. The gods of the nations were supposed to be spiritual beings, really existent, and possessed of considerable power, though very far from omnipotent. (See Deuteronomy 32:16-17.)

18:7-12 Conversation concerning God's wondrous works is good, and edifies. Jethro not only rejoiced in the honour done to his son-in-law, but in all the goodness done to Israel. Standers-by were more affected with the favours God had showed to Israel, than many were who received them. Jethro gave the glory to Israel's God. Whatever we have the joy of, God must have the praise. They joined in a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Mutual friendship is sanctified by joint worship. It is very good for relations and friends to join in the spiritual sacrifice of prayer and praise, as those that meet in Christ. This was a temperate feast; they did eat bread, manna. Jethro must see and taste that bread from heaven, and though a gentile, is welcome: the gentiles are welcomed to Christ the Bread of life.Asked each other of their welfare - Addressed each other with the customary salutation, "Peace be unto you." 7. Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, &c.—Their salutations would be marked by all the warm and social greetings of Oriental friends (see on [20]Ex 4:27)—the one going out to "meet" the other, the "obeisance," the "kiss" on each side of the head, the silent entrance into the tent for consultation; and their conversation ran in the strain that might have been expected of two pious men, rehearsing and listening to a narrative of the wonderful works and providence of God. No text from Poole on this verse. And Jethro said,.... Like a truly good man, as one that knew the Lord and feared him, and was desirous of giving him the praise and glory of all the wonderful things he had done:

blessed be the Lord, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians: and out of the hand of Pharaoh; meaning particularly Moses and Aaron, the messengers of God, as Aben Ezra observes, who went to Pharaoh in the peril of their lives, and whom he sometimes threatened with death; but the Lord delivered them both out of his hands, and out of the hands of his ministers and people, who, doubtless, must be at times enraged at them for the plagues they brought upon them; for the persons here pointed at are manifestly distinguished from the body of the people of Israel next mentioned:

who hath delivered the people from the hand of the Egyptians: the people of Israel, from the hard bondage and cruel slavery they were held under by the Egyptians; which, as it was the Lord's doing, Jethro gives him the glory of it, and blesses him for it, or ascribes to him, on account of it, blessing, honour, glory, and praise.

And Jethro said, {d} Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.

(d) By this it is evident that he worshipped the true God, and therefore Moses did not refuse to marry his daughter.

10. from under the hand] as 2 Kings 8:20; 2 Kings 8:22; 2 Kings 13:5; 2 Kings 17:7.

10, 11. Jethro is moved to bless and praise Jehovah for Israel’s deliverance.Verse 10. - Blessed be the Lord. Compare Genesis 14:20; Genesis 24:27. The heathen blessed God no loss than the Israelites; but Jethro's blessing the Lord (i.e. Jehovah) is unusual As, however, Moses had attributed his own deliverance, and that of Israel, entirely to Jehovah (verse 8), Jethro, accepting the facts to be as stated, blessed the Lord. Who hath delivered you. Kalisch takes the plural pronoun to refer to Moses and Aaron; but Aaron seems not to nave been present, since he afterwards "came" (verse 12). It is better to regard Jethro as addressing all those who were in the tent with Moses. From them he goes on in the last clause to "the people." And out of the hand of Pharaoh. - i.e., especially out of the hand of Pharaoh, who had especially sought their destruction (Exodus 14:6, 8, etc.). The Amalekites had met Israel with hostility, as the prototype of the heathen who would strive against the people and kingdom of God. But Jethro, the Midianitish priest, appeared immediately after in the camp of Israel, not only as Moses' father-in-law, to bring back his wife and children, but also with a joyful acknowledgement of all that Jehovah had done to the Israelites in delivering them from Egypt, to offer burnt-offerings to the God of Israel, and to celebrate a sacrificial meal with Moses, Aaron, and all the elders of Israel; so that in the person of Jethro the first-fruits of the heathen, who would hereafter seek the living God, entered into religious fellowship with the people of God. As both the Amalekites and Midianites were descended from Abraham, and stood in blood-relationship to Israel, the different attitudes which they assumed towards the Israelites foreshadowed and typified the twofold attitude which the heathen world would assume towards the kingdom of God. (On Jethro, see Exodus 2:18; on Moses' wife and sons, see Exodus 2:21-22; and on the expression in Exodus 18:2, "after he had sent her back," Exodus 4:26.) - Jethro came to Moses "into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God." The mount of God is Horeb (Exodus 3:1); and the place of encampment is Rephidim, at Horeb, i.e., at the spot where the Sheikh valley opens into the plain of er Rahah (Exodus 17:1). This part is designated as a wilderness; and according to Robinson (1, pp. 130, 131) the district round this valley and plain is "naked desert," and "wild and desolate." The occasion for Jethro the priest to bring back to his son-in-law his wife and children was furnished by the intelligence which had reached him, that Jehovah had brought Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 18:1), and, as we may obviously supply, had led them to Horeb. When Moses sent his wife and sons back to Jethro, he probably stipulated that they were to return to him on the arrival of the Israelites at Horeb. For when God first called Moses at Horeb, He foretold to him that Israel would be brought to this mountain on its deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 3:12).

(Note: Kurtz (Hist. of O. C. iii. 46, 53) supposes that it was chiefly the report of the glorious result of the battle with Amalek which led Jethro to resolve to bring Moses' family back to him. There is no statement, however, to this effect in the biblical text, but rather the opposite, namely, that what Jethro had heard of all that God had done to Moses and Israel consisted of the fact that Jehovah had brought Israel out of Egypt. Again, there are not sufficient grounds for placing the arrival of Jethro at the camp of Israel, in the desert of Sinai and after the giving of the law, as Ranke has done. For the fact that the mount of God is mentioned as the place of encampment at the time, is an argument in favour of Rephidim, rather than against it, as we have already shown. And we can see no force in the assertion that the circumstances, in which we find the people, point rather to the longer stay at Sinai, than to the passing halt at Rephidim. For how do we know that the stay at Rephidim was such a passing one, that it would not afford time enough for Jethro's visit? It is true that, according to the ordinary assumption, only half a month intervened between the arrival of the Israelites in the desert of Sin and their arrival in the desert of Sinai; but within this space of time everything might have taken place that is said to have occurred on the march from the former to the latter place of encampment. It is not stated in the biblical text that seven days were absorbed in the desert of Sin alone, but only that the Israelites spent a Sabbath there, and had received manna a few days before, so that three or four days (say from Thursday to Saturday inclusive) would amply suffice for all that took place. If the Israelites, therefore, encamped there in the evening of the 15th, they might have moved farther on the morning of the 19th or 20th, and after a two days' journey by Dofkah and Alush have reached Rephidim on the 21st or 22nd. They could then have fought the battle with the Amalekites the following day, so that Jethro might have come to the camp on the 24th or 25th, and held the sacrificial meal with the Israelites the next day. In that case there would still be four or five days left for him to see Moses sitting in judgment a whole day long (Exodus 18:13), and for the introduction of the judicial arrangements proposed by Jethro; - amply sufficient time, inasmuch as one whole day would suffice for the sight of the judicial sitting, which is said to have taken place the day after the sacrificial meal (Exodus 18:13). And the election of judges on the part of the people, for which Moses gave directions in accordance with Jethro's advice, might easily have been carried out in two days. For, on the one hand, it is most probable that after Jethro had watched this severe and exhausting occupation of Moses for a whole day, he spoke to Moses on the subject the very same evening, and laid his plan before him; and on the other hand, the execution of this plan did not require a very long time, as the people were not scattered over a whole country, but were collected together in one camp. Moreover, Moses carried on all his negotiations with the people through the elders as their representatives; and the judges were not elected in modern fashion by universal suffrage, but were nominated by the people, i.e., by the natural representatives of the nation, from the body of elders, according to their tribes, and then appointed by Moses himself. - Again, it is by no means certain that Israel arrived at the desert of Sinai on the first day of the third month, and that only half a month (15 or 16 days) elapsed between their arrival in the desert of sin and their encamping at Sinai (cf. Exodus 19:1). And lastly, though Kurtz still affirms that Jethro lived on the other side of the Elanitic Gulf, and did not set out till he heard of the defeat of the Amalekites, in which case a whole month might easily intervene between the victory of Israel and the arrival of Jethro, the two premises upon which this conclusion is based, are assumptions without foundation, as we have already shown at Exodus 3:1 in relation to the former, and have just shown in relation to the latter.)

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