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Exodus 18

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 1 Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt.

 2  Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, had received Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back to her father,

 3 With her two sons. One son was named Gershom, for Moses said, "I have been an alien in a foreign land;"

 4 And the name of the other was Eliezer, for Moses said, "the God of my father was my help and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh."

 5  And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, together with his sons and his wife, came to Moses in the wilderness where he encamped at the mount of God.

 6 And he said to Moses," I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons."

 7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare and they came into the tent.

 8 And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake and all the hardships that had come upon them along the way and how the LORD had delivered them.

 9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness the LORD had done for Israel, in delivering them out of the hand of the Egyptians.

 10  So Jethro said, "Blessed be the LORD, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.

 11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods; for in the very thing in which they dealt proudly, he was above them."

 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 bread with Moses' father-in-law before God.

 13 And it came to pass on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening.

 14 And when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, "What is this thing that you do for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?"

 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to inquire of God.

 16 Whenever they have a dispute they come to me, and I judge between them, and I make known the statutes of God and his laws."

 17 And Moses' father-in-law said to him, "The thing that you are doing is not good.

 18 You will surely wear out both you and this people with you, for this thing is too heavy for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.

 19 Listen to me now; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you. You shall be the representative of the people before God and bring their disputes to God.

 20 And you shall teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work that they must do.

 21 Moreover, you shall choose able men who fear God from all the people, men of truth who hate dishonest gain; and place them as rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

 22 And let them serve as judges for the people at all times; every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they shall judge. So will it be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.

 23 If you do this and God commands you so, then you will be able to endure the strain, and all this people will also go to their dwellings in peace."

 24 So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.

 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.

 26 And they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he returned to his own land.


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