Exodus 18
New American Standard Bible►► 

Jethro, Moses’ Father-in-law

1Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard about everything that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took in Moses’ wife Zipporah, after he had sent her away, 3and her two sons, [a]one of whom was named Gershom, for Moses said, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land.” 4And [b]the other was named [c]Eliezer, for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

5Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses [d]in the wilderness where he was camped, at the mountain of God. 6And he [e]sent word to Moses: “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her.” 7Then Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and he bowed down and kissed him; and they asked each other about their welfare, and went into the tent. 8Moses told his father-in-law everything that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had confronted them on the journey, and how the LORD had rescued them. 9And Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the LORD had done for Israel, [f]in rescuing [g]them from the hand of the Egyptians. 10So Jethro said, “Blessed be the LORD who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; indeed, [h]it was proven when they acted insolently against [i]the people.” 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 [j]a meal with Moses’ father-in-law before God.

Jethro Counsels Moses

13And it came about the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood before 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 before you from morning until evening?” 15Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16When they have a [k]dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between someone and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws.” 17Moses’ father-in-law then said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. 18You will surely wear out, both yourself and [l]these people who are with you, because the [m]task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 19Now listen to [n]me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. [o]You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the [p]disputes to God, 20then admonish them about 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. 21Furthermore, you shall [q]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, [r]of hundreds, [s]of fifties, and [t]of tens. 22Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that they will bring to you every major matter, but they will judge every minor matter themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will carry the burden with you. 23If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to [u]endure, and all [v]these people also will go to [w]their places in peace.”

24So Moses listened [x]to his father-in-law and did everything that he had said. 25Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, [y]of hundreds, [z]of fifties, and [aa]of tens. 26Then they judged the people at all times; they would bring the difficult matter to Moses, but they would judge every minor matter themselves. 27Then Moses [ab]said goodbye to his father-in-law, and [ac]Jethro went his way to his own land.

[a] 3 Lit the name of the one was
[b] 4 Lit The name of the other was
[c] 4 Heb El-ezer; i.e., my God is help
[d] 5 Lit unto
[e] 6 Lit said
[f] 9 Lit in that He had delivered
[g] 9 Lit him
[h] 11 Lit in the thing in which they acted
[i] 11 Lit them
[j] 12 Lit bread
[k] 16 Lit matter
[l] 18 Lit this
[m] 18 Lit matter
[n] 19 Lit my voice
[o] 19 Lit You be for the people in front of God
[p] 19 Lit matters
[q] 21 Lit see
[r] 21 Lit leaders of
[s] 21 Lit leaders of
[t] 21 Lit leaders of
[u] 23 Lit stand
[v] 23 Lit this
[w] 23 Lit his
[x] 24 Lit to the voice of
[y] 25 Lit leaders of
[z] 25 Lit leaders of
[aa] 25 Lit leaders of
[ab] 27 Lit sent off his father-in-law
[ac] 27 Lit he

New American Standard Bible
Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020
by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved.
For Permission to Quote Information visit www.lockman.org

Bible Hub

Exodus 17
Top of Page
Top of Page