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Shemot 18 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)


18 When Yitro, the kohen of Midyan, Moshe’s khoten (father-in-law), heard of all that Elohim had done for Moshe, and for Yisroel His people, and that Hashem had brought Yisroel out of Mitzrayim;

Then Yitro, Moshe’s khoten, received Tzipporah, Moshe’ wife, after Moshe had sent her away,

And her two banim; of which the shem of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been a ger in a foreign land;

And the shem of the other was Eliezer; for the Elohei Avi, said he, was ezri (my help), and delivered me from the cherev of Pharaoh;

And Yitro, Moshe’s khoten, came with his banim and his isha unto Moshe into the midbar, where he encamped at the Har HaElohim;

And he said unto Moshe, I thy khoten (father-in-law) Yitro am come unto thee, and thy isha, and her two banim with her.

And Moshe went out to meet his khoten, bowed low, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their shalom (welfare); and they came into the ohel.

And Moshe told his khoten all that Hashem had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for the sake of Yisroel, and all the travail that had befallen them along the derech, and how Hashem saved and delivered them.

And Yitro rejoiced for all the tovah which Hashem had done for Yisroel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians.

10 And Yitro said, Baruch Hashem, Who hath rescued you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, and Who hath delivered HaAm from under the hand of the Egyptians.

11 Now I have da’as that Hashem is gadol than kol haelohim; for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly He was above them.

12 And Yitro, Moshe’s khoten, brought an olah and zevakhim for Elohim; and Aharon came, and kol Ziknei Yisroel, to eat lechem with Moshe’s khoten before HaElohim.

13 And it came to pass on next day, that Moshe sat to judge HaAm; and HaAm stood around Moshe from the boker unto erev.

14 And when Moshe’s khoten saw all that he was doing for HaAm, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? Why sittest thou thyself alone, and kol HaAm stand around thee from boker unto erev?

15 And Moshe said unto his khoten, Because HaAm come unto me to inquire of Elohim;

16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the chukkei HaElohim, and His torot.

17 And Moshe’s khoten said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not tov.

18 Thou wilt surely wear out, both thou, and HaAm hazeh that is with thee; for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.

19 Shema (pay heed) now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and may Elohim be with thee; be thou for HaAm before HaElohim, that thou mayest bring the disputes unto HaElohim;

20 And thou shalt teach them chukkim and torot, and shalt show them the derech wherein they must walk, and the ma’aseh that they must do.

21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of kol HaAm anshei chayil (able men), yirei Elohim, anshei emes, hating bribes; and place such over them, to be over thousands, and over hundreds, over fifties, and over tens;

22 And let them judge HaAm at all times; and it shall be, that every davar hagadol they shall bring unto thee, but every davar hakaton they shall judge; so shall it be eased for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

23 If thou shalt do this thing, and Elohim command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and kol HaAm hazeh shall also go to their place in shalom.

24 So Moshe paid heed to the voice of his khoten, and did all that he had said.

25 And Moshe chose anshei chayil out of kol Yisroel, and made them rashim over HaAm, over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.

26 And they judged HaAm at all times; the davar hakasheh (difficult case) they brought unto Moshe, but every devar hakaton they judged themselves.

27 And Moshe let his khoten depart; and he went his way into his own land.

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International

Exodus 18 New International Version (NIV)

Jethro Visits Moses

18 Now Jethro, the priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses, heard of everything God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, and how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.

After Moses had sent away his wife Zipporah, his father-in-law Jethro received her and her two sons. One son was named Gershom,[a] for Moses said, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land”; and the other was named Eliezer,[b] for he said, “My father’s God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, together with Moses’ sons and wife, came to him in the wilderness, where he was camped near the mountain of God. Jethro had sent word to him, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons.”

So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. They greeted each other and then went into the tent. Moses told his father-in-law about everything the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake and about all the hardships they had met along the way and how the Lord had saved them.

Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians. 10 He said, “Praise be to the Lord, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.” 12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.

13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”

15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”

17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 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. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”

24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.

27 Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own country.


  1. Exodus 18:3 Gershom sounds like the Hebrew for a foreigner there.
  2. Exodus 18:4 Eliezer means my God is helper.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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