1 Jethro,I the priestII of Midian,III Moses’IV father-in-law,V
heardVI of allVII that GodVIII had doneIX for Moses and for his peopleX Israel,XI
how the LordXII had broughtXIII Israel out of Egypt.XIV
2 AfterXV Moses had sent awayXVI his wifeXVII Zipporah,XVIII his father-in-law Jethro tookXIX her back,
3 along with her twoXX sons.XXI The nameXXII of the oneXXIII was GershomXXIV
(for he said, “I have beenXXV an alienXXVI in a foreignXXVII land”),XXVIII
4 and the name of the other,XXIX EliezerXXX (for he said, “The God of my fatherXXXI was my help,XXXII and deliveredXXXIII me from the swordXXXIV of Pharaoh”).XXXV
5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, cameXXXVI into the wildernessXXXVII where Moses was encampedXXXVIII at the mountainXXXIX of God, bringing Moses’ sons and wife to him. 6 He sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you, with your wife and her two sons.”
7 Moses went outXL to meetXLI his father-in-law; he bowed downXLII and kissedXLIII him;
eachXLIV askedXLV after the other’sXLVI welfare,XLVII and they went into the tent.XLVIII
8 Then Moses toldXLIX his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardshipL that had besetLI them on the way,LII and how the Lord had delivered them.
9 Jethro rejoicedLIII for all the goodLIV that the Lord had done to Israel, in delivering them from theLV Egyptians.LVI 10 Jethro said, “Blessed beLVII the Lord, who has delivered you from theLVIII Egyptians and fromLIX Pharaoh.
11 Now I knowLX that the Lord is greaterLXI than all gods,LXII because he delivered the people from theLXIII Egyptians,LXIV when they dealt arrogantlyLXV with them.”
12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, broughtLXVI a burnt offeringLXVII and sacrificesLXVIII to God;
and AaronLXIX came with all the eldersLXX of Israel to eatLXXI breadLXXII with Moses’ father-in-law in the presenceLXXIII of God.
13 LXXIVThe next day Moses satLXXV as judgeLXXVI for the people, while the people stoodLXXVII around him from morningLXXVIII until evening.
14 When Moses’ father-in-law sawLXXIX all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is thisLXXX that you are doing for the people? WhyLXXXI do you sit alone,LXXXII while all the people standLXXXIII around you from morning until evening?”
15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquireLXXXIV of God. 16 When they haveLXXXV a dispute,LXXXVI they come to me and I decideLXXXVII betweenLXXXVIII
one personLXXXIX andXC another,XCI and I make known to them the statutesXCII and instructionsXCIII of God.”
17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “WhatXCIV you are doing is not good. 18 You will surely wear yourself out,XCV both you and these people with you. For the taskXCVI is too heavyXCVII for you; you cannotXCVIII do it alone.
19 Now listenXCIX to me.C I will give you counsel,CI and God be with you! You should representCII the people before God, and you should bringCIII their casesCIV before God;
20 teachCV them the statutes and instructions and make known to them the way they are to goCVI and the thingsCVII they are to do.
21 You should also look forCVIII ableCIX menCX among all the people, men who fearCXI God,
are trustworthy,CXII and hateCXIII dishonest gain;CXIV
setCXV such men over them as officersCXVI over thousands,CXVII hundreds,CXVIII fifties,CXIX and tens.CXX
22 Let them sit as judgesCXXI for the people at all times;CXXII, CXXIII let them bring everyCXXIV importantCXXV case to you, but decide every minorCXXVI case themselves. So it will be easierCXXVII for you, and they will bearCXXVIII the burden with you.
23 If you do this,CXXIX and God so commandsCXXX you, then you will be ableCXXXI to endure,CXXXII and all these people will goCXXXIII to their homeCXXXIV in peace.”CXXXV
24 So Moses listened toCXXXVI his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses choseCXXXVII able menCXXXVIII from all Israel and appointedCXXXIX them as headsCXL over the people, as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. 26 And they judged the people at all times; hardCXLI cases they brought to Moses, but anyCXLII minor case they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart,CXLIII and he went off to his own country.CXLIV
Image credit: “Jethro and Moses” by James Tissot, between 1896 and 1900.