1Jethro, priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, had heard al about what God had done for Moses andfor Israel his people: how Yahweh had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, then took back Zipporah, Moses' wife, whom Moses had sent home, 3with her two sons; one of them was cal ed Gershom because, he had said, 'I am an alien in a foreignland,' 4and the other cal ed Eliezer because 'My father's God is my help and has delivered me from Pharaoh'ssword.' 5Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, with Moses' sons and wife, came to Moses in the desert where hewas encamped, at the mountain of God. 6'Here is your father-in-law Jethro approaching', Moses was told, 'with your wife and her two sons.' 7So Moses went out to greet his father-in-law, bowed low to him and kissed him; and when each hadasked how the other was they went into the tent. 8Moses then told his father-in-law al about what Yahweh had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians forIsrael's sake, and about al the hardships that they had encountered on the way, and how Yahweh had rescuedthem. 9And Jethro was delighted at al Yahweh's goodness to Israel in having rescued them from the clutchesof the Egyptians. 10'Blessed be Yahweh', Jethro exclaimed, 'for having rescued you from the clutches of the Egyptiansand the clutches of Pharaoh, for having rescued the people from the grasp of the Egyptians! 11Now I know that Yahweh is greater than al other gods. . .' 12Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, then offered a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God; and Aaron and al the elders of Israel came and ate with Moses' father-in-law in the presence of God. 13On the fol owing day, Moses took his seat to administer justice for the people, and the people werestanding round him from morning til evening. 14Seeing all he did for the people, Moses' father-in-law said to him, 'Why do you do this for the people,why sit here alone with the people standing round you from morning til evening?' 15Moses replied to his father-in-law, 'Because the people come to me to consult God. 16When they have a problem they come to me, and I give a ruling between the one and the other andmake God's statutes and laws known to them.' 17Moses' father-in-law then said to him, 'What you are doing is not right. 18You wil only tire yourself out, and the people with you too, for the work is too heavy for you. Youcannot do it all yourself. 19Now listen to the advice I am going to give you, and God be with you! Your task is to represent thepeople to God, to lay their cases before God, 20and to teach them the statutes and laws, and show them the way they ought to fol ow and how theyought to behave. 21At the same time, from the people at large choose capable and God-fearing men, men who aretrustworthy and incorruptible, and put them in charge of them as heads of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens, 22and make them the people's permanent judges. They wil refer al important matters to you, but alminor matters they will decide themselves, so making things easier for you by sharing the burden with you. 23If you do this -- and may God so command you -- you will be able to stand the strain, and all thesepeople wil go home satisfied.' 24Moses took his father-in-law's advice and did just as he said. 25Moses chose capable men from al Israel and put them in charge of the people as heads ofthousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26These acted as the people's permanent judges. They referred hard cases to Moses but decidedminor matters themselves. 27Moses then set his father-in-law on his way, and he travelled back to his own country.
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