New International Version
Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it 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.
Darby Bible Translation
that they may judge the people at all times; and it shall be [that] they shall bring to thee every great matter, and that they shall judge every small matter, and they shall lighten [the task] on thee, and they shall bear [it] with thee.
World English Bible
Let them judge the people at all times. It shall be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they shall judge themselves. So shall it be easier for you, and they shall share the load with you.
Young's Literal Translation
and they have judged the people at all times; and it hath come to pass, every great matter they bring in unto thee, and every small matter they judge themselves; and lighten it from off thyself, and they have borne with thee.
Exodus 18:22 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Able men - Persons of wisdom, discernment, judgment, prudence, and fortitude; for who can be a ruler without these qualifications? Such as fear God - Who are truly religious, without which they will feel little concerned either for the bodies or souls of the people.
Men of truth - Honest and true in their own hearts and lives; speaking the truth, and judging according to the truth.
Hating covetousness - Doing all for God's sake, and love to man; laboring to promote the general good; never perverting judgment, or suppressing the testimonies of God, for the love of money or through a base, man-pleasing spirit, but expecting their reward from the mercy of God in the resurrection of the just.
Rulers of thousands, etc. - Millenaries, centurions, quinquagenaries, and decurions; each of these, in all probability, dependent on that officer immediately above himself. So the decurion, or ruler over ten, if he found a matter too hard for him, brought it to the quinquagenary, or ruler of fifty; if, in the course of the exercise of his functions, he found a cause too complicated for him to decide on, he brought it to the centurion, or ruler over a hundred. In like manner the centurion brought his difficult case to the millenary, or ruler over a thousand; the case that was too hard for him to judge, he brought to Moses; and the case that was too hard for Moses, he brought immediately to God. It is likely that each of these classes had a court composed of its own members, in which causes were heard and tried. Some of the rabbins have supposed that there were 600 rulers of thousands, 6000 rulers of hundreds, 12,000 rulers of fifties and 60,000 rulers of tens; making in the whole 78,600 officers. But Josephus says (Antiq., lib. iii., chap. 4) that Moses, by the advice of Jethro, appointed rulers over myriads, and then over thousands; these he divided into five hundreds, and again into hundreds, and into fifties; and appointed rulers over each of these, who divided them into thirties, and at last into twenties and tens; that each of these companies had a chief, who took his name from the number of persons who were under his direction and government. Allowing what Josephus states to be correct, some have supposed that there could not have been less than 129,860 officers in the Israelitish camp. But such computations are either fanciful or absurd. That the people were divided into thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens, we know, for the text states it, but we cannot tell precisely how many of such divisions there were, nor, consequently, the number of officers.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
at all seasons
LibraryThe Ideal Statesman [Footnote: Preached on Occasion of Mr. Gladstone's Death. ]
'Thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them.'--EXODUS xviii. 21. You will have anticipated my purpose in selecting this text. I should be doing violence to your feelings and mine if I made no reference to the event which has united the Empire and the world in one sentiment. The great tree has fallen, and the crash has for the moment silenced all the sounds of the forest. Wars abroad and controversies at home are …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Development of the Earlier Old Testament Laws
If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied."
They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.
I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.
Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it."
And at that time I told you everything you were to do.
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