The Book of Exodus, Chapter 18

This chapter is about Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, coming to visit Moses. Jethro gives Moses some great advice. Jethro tells Moses that he pretty much can’t be bothered with petty everyday complaining. So get some competent people together, to judge the people. Jethro says that Moses has had do much going on that he needs to do this. Moses does this. That’s pretty much the condensed version of it. I hope you enjoy the read!

Now Jethro, whose a priest of Midian & Moses’ father-in-law, heard of everything God had done for Moses & the Israelites. He also heard of how God brought the Israelites out of Egypt.

After Moses sent away his wife, Zipporah, Jethro, her dad, took in her & HER 2 sons. (Now remember these are Moses’ sons too.) The sons were named Gershom & Eliezer. (Gershom means ‘an alien here.’ Because Moses said he was an alien in a foreign land. Eliezer means ‘my God is my helper.’ Because Moses said ‘My father’s God was my helper; he saved me from Pharaoh’s sword.’)

Jethro, together with Zipporah, Gershom, & Eliezer, came to Moses, near Mount Horeb (“mountain of God”), where he was camped at. Jethro sent word ahead of him saying, ‘I’m your father-in-law, Jethro. I’m coming to where you are at. Your wife & sons are with me.’

So Moses went down to meet his father-in-law. Moses bowed down & kissed Jethro. They greeted each other. Then they headed inside. (It was a tent they went inside of.) Moses told Jethro everything that had happened, of what God did for them & what God did to Pharaoh & his army. Plus Moses told Jethro about all of their hardships after they left Egypt & how God had rescued them from disaster.

Jethro was happy to hear about all the good things that God was doing for them in rescuing them from the Egyptians. Jethro then says that: “Now I know God is greater than any other gods. (So there are obviously more than 1 God.) For he did this to those who treated the Israelites poorly.”

Jethro then proceeded to bring a burnt offering & other sacrifices to God. Aaron came with all the elders of the Israelites to eat bread with Jethro (The text says bread. But I wonder if it’s manna.), in the presence of God.

The next day, Moses took his seat as judge for the people. They stood around him from morning until evening. When Jethro saw this, he asked Moses why he did this for the people because he already did so much for them.

Moses answers him, “Because the people come to seek God’s will. Whenever they’ve got a dispute, it’s brought to me. I decide between them. I tell them of God’s laws/decrees.” Jethro says to Moses, “Dude, y’all is gonna burn yourselves here. It’s not good! Let me give y’all a piece of advice, & I hope God’s ok with this. Select capable men from all of the tribes of Israel, men who fear God who are trustworthy. Make these men serve as judges, teach them God’s decrees & laws. Show them how to live & what their duties are to be. Have them serve as judges for the Israelites at all times!  But have them bring the most difficult cases to you, Moses. Let these judges deal with the petty, everyday quarrels. If you do this & God’s ok with it, you won’t burn out. Plus the people will go home satisfied.”

Moses listened to Jethro & did everything he said. Moses chose capable men from all the tribes of Israel. They served as judges for the people at all times. The most difficult cases they brought to Moses. Moses sent Jethro on his merry little way. Jethro returned to his own country.


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