Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:

facebooktwitter

pinterestgoogle+


Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
 
 
Left Contextbar EdgeLeft Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge2Prior BookPrior ChapterReturn to CommentariesReturn to Author BiographyNext ChapterNext BookRight Contextbar Edge2Right Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge1
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
 [?]

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Other Searches

Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-ReferenceVerse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-VerseReference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate LineSeparate Line
Line-By-Line Verse OnlyVerse Only
Line-By-Line Reference OnlyReference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference DelimitersNone — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference DelimitersSquare — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference DelimitersCurly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference DelimitersParens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-ReferenceVerse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-VerseReference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-OnlyReference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse NumbersNo Number
No Verse DelimetersNo Delimiter — 15
Square Verse DelimitersSquare — [15]
Curly Verse DelimitersCurly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse DelimitersParens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate BooksAbbreviate Books
Use SBL Abbrev.Use SBL Abbrev.
En dash not HyphenEn dash not Hyphen
 
Quotes Around VersesQuotes Around Verses
Remove Square BracketsRemove Square Brackets
Sort CanonicallySort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect
x

Connect on Facebook Connect on Twitter Connect on Instagram Connect on Pinterest Connect on YouTube

Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Exodus 18

toggle collapse
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences

Jethro's Counsel to Moses

A. Jethro and Moses meet.

1. (Exo 18:1-6) Moses meets with Jethro, his father-in-law, in the desert of Midian.

And Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people; 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, with her two sons, of whom the name of one was Gershom (for he said, "I have been a stranger in a foreign land") and the name of the other was Eliezer (for he said, "The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh"); and Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness, where he was encamped at the mountain of God. Now he had said to Moses, "I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her."

a. Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back, with her two sons: Moses was here re-united with his wife Zipporah and his two sons Gershon and Eliezer. Apparently Moses sent his family back to Midian at some time, perhaps during the plagues of Egypt.

b. I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you: Moses had a special relationship with Jethro. Even though he was raised in all the wisdom and education of Egypt, Moses no doubt learned more about real leadership from the priest and shepherd Jethro - whose flocks Moses tended until his call at Sinai.

2. (Exo 18:7-12) Jethro glorifies God when Moses reports what the LORD has done.

So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, bowed down, and kissed him. And they asked each other about their well-being, and they went into the tent. And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardship that had come upon them on the way, and how the LORD had delivered them. Then Jethro rejoiced for all the good which the LORD had done for 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, and who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them." Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt offering and other sacrifices to offer to God. And Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God.

a. All the hardship … and how the LORD had delivered them: Moses gave Jethro an honest report, describing both the hardships and the deliverance.

b. Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods: It is possible Jethro knew this before, because he was the priest of Midian (Exodus 18:1). But when he heard of God's great works over the gods of Egypt, it brought this truth to Jethro more clearly than before.

B. Jethro's advice to Moses.

1. (Exo 18:13-16) Jethro observes Moses as he settles disputes among the children of Israel.

And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. So when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, "What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?" And Moses said to his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws."

a. Moses sat to judge the people: Among such a large group there would naturally be many disputes and questions of interpretation to settle. Apparently Moses was virtually the only recognized judge in the nation, and the job of hearing each case occupied Moses from morning until evening.

b. And I make known the statutes of God and His laws: Because Moses knew the Word of God, he was fit to settle disputes among the children of Israel. Yet taking all this responsibility to himself was a massive burden.

2. (Exo 18:17-23) Jethro advises Moses to delegate the job of settling disputes.

So Moses' father-in-law said to him, "The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace."

a. The thing that you do is not good: It wasn't that Moses was unfit to hear their disputes; it wasn't that he didn't care about their disputes; it wasn't that the job was beneath him, it wasn't that the people didn't want Moses to hear their disputes. The problem was simply that the job was too big for Moses to do. His energies were spent unwisely. Moses must delegate, even as in Acts 6:2-4, the apostles insisted they needed to delegate so they would not leave the word of God and serve tables.

i. Much to Moses' credit, he was teachable; when Jethro said the thing that you do is not good, Moses listened to Jethro. Moses knew how to not bow to the complaints of the children of Israel (Exodus 17:3), but also knew how to hear godly counsel from a man like Jethro.

b. Stand before God for the people: This was the first essential step in effective delegation for Moses. He had to pray for the people. Delegation will not work if God is not in it.

c. Teach them the statutes and the laws: For Moses to effectively delegate, he had to teach the Word of God not only to those who would hear the disputes, but also those who might dispute.

i. If the people knew God's word for themselves, many disputes could be settled immediately. Also, if the people knew God's word for themselves, they would not be discouraged if they could not bring their case to Moses himself - they could know one of Moses' delegates was able give them counsel from God's wisdom.

d. Select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth: This was the next step in effective delegation for Moses. Delegation fails if the job is not put into the hands of able, godly men. Only particular men were fit for this job:

- Men of ability: able men
- Men of godliness: such as fear God
- Men of God's Word: men of truth
- Men of honor: hating covetousness

i. Paul gave the same counsel to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2: And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

e. Every great matter they shall bring to you: For Moses to effectively delegate, he must still have oversight and leadership over those under him. Delegation is the exercise of leadership, not the abandoning of it.

f. You will be able to endure: This is the first reward for effective delegation. Moses would enjoy life and be able to do his job better than ever. The second reward was that all this people will also go their place in peace; that is, the people would be effectively ministered to.

i. This method also had the advantage of settling problems quickly because people didn't need to wait in line for Moses. "The longer a controversy lasts, the worse the tangle becomes, the more hot words are spoken, the more bystanders become involved." (Meyer) Jesus said we should agree with our adversary quickly (Matthew 5:25).

3. (Exo 18:24-27) Moses follows Jethro's suggestions; Jethro departs.

So Moses heeded 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. So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way to his own land.

a. Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said: Moses wisely followed Jethro's counsel, and surely this extended his ministry and made him more effective.

i. "It is better to set a hundred men to work than to do the work of a hundred men." (D.L. Moody)

b. Rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: In Moses' method of administration, some had a higher position than others. Yet God honored the faithful service of the rulers of tens as much as the service of the rulers of thousands.

©2004 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

Study Guide for Genesis 1 ← Prior Book
Study Guide for Leviticus 1 Next Book →
Study Guide for Exodus 17 ← Prior Chapter
Study Guide for Exodus 19 Next Chapter →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Loading...

Interlinear
Bibles
Cross-Refs
Commentaries
Dictionaries
Miscellaneous
Verse Tools Arrow
Login to your account

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

 

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

[ Cancel ]← Login to Your Account

Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or UsernameUsername or Email Address

 

← Return to Login

Close LoginCLOSE
Tap to Close