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Exodus 18Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

18 And when Jethro the priest of Madian, the kinsman of Moses, had heard all the things that God had done to Moses, and to Israel his people, and that the Lord had brought forth Israel out of Egypt,

He took Sephora the wife of Moses whom he had sent back:

And her two sons, of whom one was called Gersam, his father saying: I have been a stranger in a foreign country.

And the other Eliezer: For the God of my father, said he, is my helper, and hath delivered me from the sword of Pharao.

And Jethro the kinsman of Moses came with his sons and his wife, to Moses into the desert, where he was camped by the mountain of God.

And he sent word to Moses, saying: I Jethro thy kinsman come to thee, and thy wife, and thy two sons with her.

And he went out to meet his kinsman, and worshipped and kissed him: and they saluted one another with words of peace. And when he was come into the tent,

Moses told his kinsman all that the Lord had done to Pharao, and the Egyptians, in favour of Israel: and all the labour which had befallen them in the journey, and that the Lord had delivered them.

And Jethro rejoiced for all the good things that the Lord had done to Israel, because he had delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians.

10 And he said: Blessed is the Lord, who hath delivered you out of the hand of Pharao, and out of the hand of the Egyptians, who hath delivered his people out of the hand of Egypt.

11 Now I know that the Lord is great above all gods: because they dealt proudly against them.

12 So Jethro the kinsman of Moses offered holocausts and sacrifices to God: and Aaron and all the ancients of Israel came, to eat bread with them before God.

13 And the next day Moses sat, to judge the people, who stood by Moses from morning until night.

14 And when his kinsman had seen all things that he did among the people, he said: What is it that thou dost among the people? Why sittest thou alone, and all the people wait from morning till night.

15 And Moses answered him: The people come to me to seek the judgment of God.

16 And when any controversy falleth out among them, they come to me to judge between them, and to shew the precepts of God, and his laws.

17 But he said: The thing thou dost is not good.

18 Thou are spent with foolish labour, both thou and this people that is with thee: the business is above thy strength, thou alone canst not bear it.

19 But hear my words and counsels, and God shall be with thee. Be thou to the people in those things that pertain to God, to bring their words to him:

20 And to shew the people the ceremonies and the manner of worshipping, and the way wherein they ought to walk, and the work that they ought to do.

21 And provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, in whom there is truth, and that hate avarice, and appoint of them rulers of thousands, and of hundreds, and of fifties, and of tens.

22 Who may judge the people at all times: and when any great matter soever shall fall out, let them refer it to thee, and let them judge the lesser matters only: that so it may be lighter for thee, the burden being shared out unto others.

23 If thou dost this, thou shalt fulfill the commandment of God, and shalt be able to bear his precepts: and all this people shall return to their places with peace.

24 And when Moses heard this, he did all things that he had suggested unto him.

25 And choosing able men out of all Israel, he appointed them rulers of the people, rulers over thousands, and over hundreds, and over fifties, and over tens.

26 And they judged the people at all times: and whatsoever was of greater difficulty they referred to him, and they judged the easier cases only.

27 And he let his kinsman depart: and he returned and went into his own country.

Exodus 18New 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.

Footnotes:

  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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