Exodus 18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Jethro, Moses’ Father-in-law
18 Now 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. 2 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took in Moses’ wife Zipporah, after he had sent her away, 3 and her two sons, [a]one of whom was named Gershom, for Moses said, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land.” 4 And [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.”
5 Then 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. 6 And 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.” 7 Then 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. 8 Moses 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. 9 And Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the Lord had done for Israel, [f]in rescuing [g]them from the hand of the Egyptians. 10 So 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. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods; indeed, [h]it was proven when they acted insolently against [i]the people.” 12 Then 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
13 And 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. 14 Now 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?” 15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When 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.” 17 Moses’ father-in-law then said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. 18 You 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. 19 Now 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, 20 then 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. 21 Furthermore, 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. 22 Let 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. 23 If 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.”
24 So Moses listened [x]to his father-in-law and did everything that he had said. 25 Moses 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. 26 Then they judged the people at all times; they would bring the difficult matter to Moses, but they would judge every minor matter themselves. 27 Then Moses [ab]said goodbye to his father-in-law, and [ac]Jethro went his way to his own land.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the Believer's Bible Commentary and the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (NIV and NRSV) - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.