Meeting with Jethro
1 Jethro, the priest of Midian, father-in-law of Moses, heard all that God had done for Moses and for Israel, his people, when Yahweh brought Israel out of Egypt.
2 After Moses had sent away Zipporah, his wife, Jethro, his father-in-law, re ceived her 3 and her two sons. The first, Moses had called Ger shom, to remember that he had been a guest in a foreign land, 4 and the other Eliezer, for he said, “The God of my father came to my help and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”
5 So Jethro came with Moses’ wife and sons to the desert where the people had encamped at the mountain of God.
6 Moses was told, “Your father-in-law Jethro is here. He has come with your wife and her two sons.” 7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowing low before him, he kissed him, and when each had inquired about the other’s health, they entered the tent. 8 Moses then told his father-in-law all that Yahweh had done to Pharaoh and Egypt for the sake of Israel and all the difficulties they had met with on the way and how Yahweh had saved them.
9 Jethro rejoiced at all Yahweh’s goodness to Israel in freeing them from the power of Egypt and he said, 10 “Blessed be Yahweh who has delivered you from the power of Egypt and Pharaoh, and has rescued the people from the grip of Egypt. 11 I know now that Yahweh is greater than all the gods, for he delivered his people when they were being oppressed.”
12 Then Jethro brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to offer to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to share this meal with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.
Appointment of judges
13 The next day Moses took his seat to administer justice for the people who stood around him from morning till night.
14 His father-in-law, seeing all the work of Moses for the people, said to him, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit and judge while all the people stand around you from morning till night?” 15 Moses answered, “It is the people who come to me to know God’s will. 16 When there is a dispute they bring it to me to decide between the two parties, and I teach them God’s decrees and laws.”
17 Jethro replied, “What you are do ing is not good. 18 You and your people will wear yourselves out, for the work is too heavy and you cannot do it alone. 19 Now listen to the advice I am going to give you and God be with you. You will be the people’s representative before God and bring their cases to him. 20 You will teach them the statutes and laws and the way they must live and what they must do. 21 But choose among the people, capable, God-fearing men, men of truth who hate a bribe, and appoint them as leaders for groups of a thousand, a hundred, fifty and ten.
22 They will administer justice at all times, bringing to your attention only those cases of major importance, while they deal with all those of lesser import ance. That will ease your burden since they will be sharing it with you. 23 If you do this, God will guide you and you will be able to cope with this duty; and all these people will reach their place in peace.”
24 Moses followed his father-in-law’s advice and did as he said. 25 He chose capable men from among the Israelites and placed them as leaders for groups of a thousand, a hundred, fifty and ten. 26 They administered justice at all times, bringing difficult cases to Moses but judging all other cases themselves.
27 Then Moses let his father-in-law return to his own country.