Chapter 11

  1. When Jethro the high 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, then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back, and her two sons — of whom the name of the one was Gershom, for he said, I have been a foreigner in a strange land; and the name of the other was Eliezer, for the God of my father, said he, was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh. And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses, into the wilderness where he encamped at the mount of God. And he said unto Moses, I, your father-in-law Jethro, have come unto you, and your wife and her two sons with her. And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did reverence and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare, and they came into the tent. And Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the Lord delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Lord had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. And 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. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly, he was above them. And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.
  2. And it came to pass on the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. And when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that you do to the people? Why do you sit yourself alone, and all the people stand by you from morning unto evening? And Moses said unto his father-in-law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God; when they have a matter, they come unto me and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God and his laws. And Moses’ father-in-law said unto him, The thing that you do is not good. You will surely wear away, both you and this people that is with you, for this thing is too heavy for you; you are not able to perform it yourself alone. Listen now unto my voice, I will give you counsel and God shall be with you. Represent the people before God, that you may bring the causes unto God, and you shall teach them ordinances and laws, and shall show them the way wherein they must walk and the work that they must do. Moreover, you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God — men of truth, hating covetousness — and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens, and let them judge the people at all seasons. And it shall be that every great matter, they shall bring unto you, but every small matter, they shall judge. So shall it be easier for yourself, and they shall bear the burden with you. If you shall do this thing and God command you so, then you shall be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people — rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons. The hard causes, they brought unto Moses, but every small matter, they judged themselves. And Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way into his own land.