Exodus 18:22
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.

King James Bible
And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

American Standard Version
and let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge themselves: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who may judge the people at all times: and when any great matter soever shall fall out, let them refer it to thee, and let them judge the lesser matters only: that so it may be lighter for thee, the burden being shared out unto others.

English Revised Version
and let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge themselves: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

Webster's Bible Translation
And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring to thee, but every small matter they shall judge: So shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

Exodus 18:22 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The next day Jethro saw how Moses was occupied from morning till evening in judging the people, who brought all their disputes to him, that he might settle them according to the statutes of God. על עמד: as in Genesis 18:8. The people came to Moses "to seek or inquire of God" (Genesis 18:15), i.e., to ask for a decision from God: in most cases, this means to inquire through an oracle; here it signifies to desire a divine decision as to questions in dispute. By judging or deciding the cases brought before him, Moses made known to the people the ordinances and laws of God. For every decision was based upon some law, which, like all true justice here on earth, emanated first of all from God. This is the meaning of Genesis 18:16, and not, as Knobel supposes, that Moses made use of the questions in dispute, at the time they were decided, as good opportunities for giving laws to the people. Jethro condemned this plan (Genesis 18:18.) as exhausting, wearing out (נבל lit., to fade away, Psalm 37:2), both for Moses and the people: for the latter, inasmuch as they not only got wearied out through long waiting, but, judging from Genesis 18:23, very often began to take the law into their own hands on account of the delay in the judicial decision, and so undermined the well-being of the community at large; and for Moses, inasmuch as the work was necessarily too great for him, and he could not continue for any length of time to sustain such a burden alone (Genesis 18:18). The obsolete form of the inf. const. עשׂהוּ for עשׂתו is only used here, but is not without analogies in the Pentateuch. Jethro advised him (Genesis 18:19.) to appoint judged from the people for all the smaller matters in dispute, so that in future only the more difficult cases, which really needed a superior or divine decision, would be brought to him that he might lay them before God. "I will give thee counsel, and God be with thee (i.e., help thee to carry out this advice): Be thou to the people האלהים מוּל, towards God," i.e., lay their affairs before God, take the place of God in matters of judgment, or, as Luther expresses it, "take charge of the people before God." To this end, in the first place, he was to instruct the people in the commandments of God, and their own walk and conduct (הזהיר with a double accusative, to enlighten, instruct; שדרך the walk, the whole behaviour; מעשׂה particular actions); secondly, he was to select able men (חיל אנשׁי men of moral strength, 1 Kings 1:52) as judges, men who were God-fearing, sincere, and unselfish (gain-hating), and appoint them to administer justice to the people, by deciding the simpler matters themselves, and only referring the more difficult questions to him, and so to lighten his own duties by sharing the burden with these judges. מעליך הקל (Genesis 18:22) "make light of (that which lies) upon thee." If he would do this, and God would command him, he would be able to stand, and the people would come to their place, i.e., to Canaan, in good condition (בּשׁלום). The apodosis cannot begin with וצוּך, "then God will establish thee," for צוּה never has this meaning; but the idea is this, "if God should preside over the execution of the plan proposed."

Exodus 18:22 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

at all seasons

Exodus 18:26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought to Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

Romans 13:6 For for this cause pay you tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually on this very thing.

great

Leviticus 24:11 And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed. And they brought him to Moses...

Numbers 15:33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation.

Numbers 27:2 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation...

Numbers 36:1 And the chief fathers of the families of the children of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh...

Deuteronomy 1:17 You shall not respect persons in judgment; but you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid of the face of man...

Deuteronomy 17:8,9 If there arise a matter too hard for you in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke...

they shall

Exodus 18:18 You will surely wear away, both you, and this people that is with you: for this thing is too heavy for you...

Numbers 11:17 And I will come down and talk with you there: and I will take of the spirit which is on you, and will put it on them...

Cross References
Exodus 18:23
If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace."

Exodus 18:26
And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves.

Numbers 11:17
And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone.

Deuteronomy 1:17
You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.'

Deuteronomy 1:18
And I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.

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