Exodus 18 Judging Relatives

Judging Relatives

 

 

Background and printed text: Exodus 18

 

Exodus 18:1 And His-Excess [Jethro], priest of Contention, Draw’s [Moshe’s] father-in-law heard all that Elohim did to Draw [Moshe] and to Israel his people: that Yehovah exited Israel from Egypt. 2And His-Excess [Jethro], Draw’s [Moshe’s] father-in-law took Zipporah [Ladybird], Draw’s [Moshe’s] woman (after her being sent [more than once]) 3and two of her sons, the name of which the first is Sojourner-There [Ger-Shom], for he said, “I was a sojourner in a foreign land!” 4And the name of the one is My-Mighty-One-Helped [Eli-Ezer], “Because-of the Gods of my father when helping me; and He rescued me from the sword of Pharaoh!”

 

5And His-Excess [Jethro], Draw’s [Moshe’s] father-in-law, came, and his sons and his woman, unto Draw [Moshe], unto the desert that he camped there, Mount of the Gods. 6And He said unto Draw [Moshe], “I, thy father-in-law His-Excess [Jethro], come unto thee! And thy woman and two of her sons are with her!” 7And Draw [Moshe] exited to meet his father-in-law. And he prostrated. And he kissed to him. And they asked a man to his neighbour for peace. And they came the tentward.

 

8And Draw [Moshe] scrolled to his father-in-law all that Yehovah did to Pharaoh and to Egypt concerning the firebrand of Israel, all the weariness that they found in the way. And Yehovah rescued them! 9And His-Excess [Jethro] focused upon all the good that Yehovah did to Israel—that He rescued him from the hand of Egypt. 10And His-Excess [Jethro] said, “Blessed is Yehovah Who rescued you from the hand of Egypt and from the hand of Pharaoh, Who rescued the people from under the hand of Egypt! 11Now I knew that Yehovah is bigger than all the gods, for what they presumed upon them is in the speech!”

 

12And His-Excess [Jethro] father-in-law of Draw [Moshe] took an ascension and sacrifices to Elohim. And Oy!-Conception! [Aharon] came, and all elders of Israel, to eat bread with the father-in-law of Draw [Moshe] to the faces of the Elohim.

 

13And he was from the next day. And Draw [Moshe] sat to judge the people. And the people stood upon Draw [Moshe] from the morning unto the evening. 14And the father-in-law of Draw [Moshe] saw all that he, he did to the people. And he said, “What is this speech that thou art doing to the people? Make-known—art thou sitting thy lonesome, and all the people is positioned upon thee from morning unto evening?” 15And Draw [Moshe] said to his father-in-law, “For the people come unto me to research Elohim. 16For a speech will be to them; he came unto me. And I will judge between a man and between his neighbour. And I will make-known statutes of the Elohim and His teachings!”

 

17And the father-in-law of Draw [Moshe] said unto him, “The speech is not good that thou art doing. 18Foolishness! Thou wilt-become-a-fool—also thou, also this people that is thy people! For the speech is heavier than thee! Thou will not be able to do him thy lonesome!”

 

19 “Now, hearken via my voice. I will counsel thee. And Elohim was with thee. Be thou to the people a front to the Elohim. And thou, thou shalt bring the speeches unto the Elohim. 20And thou shalt enlighten them with the statutes and with the teachings. And thou shalt make-known to them the way they shall walk via her and the doing that they shall do.”

 

21 “And thou, thou shalt choose men of an army from all the people, fearers of Elohim, men of Truth, haters of cuts. And thou shalt put princes of thousands, princes of hundreds, princes of fifties and princes of tens over them. 22And they shall judge the people in every time. And he shall be, they shall bring unto thee every big speech. And they, they shall judge every little speech. And he shall-lighten/speed-up from upon thee. And they shall carry thee.”

 

23 “If thou wilt do this speech, and Elohim will command thee, and thou wilt be able to stand. And also all this people will come upon his place via peace.”

 

24And Draw [Moshe] hearkened to the voice of his father-in-law. And he did all that he said. 25And Draw [Moshe] chose men of an army from all Israel. And he gave them heads upon the people: princes of thousands, princes of hundreds, princes of fifties and princes of tens. 26And they judged the people at every time. They brought the hard speech unto Draw [Moshe]. And they, they judged every little speech.

 

27And Draw [Moshe] sent his father-in-law. And he walked to him unto his land.

 

 

 

I. Moshe’s Family Travels (verses 1-4)

 

Jethro, priest of Midian, who was Moshe’s father-in-law, heard all that Elohim did to Moshe and to Israel, Moshe’s people. Yehovah exited Israel from Egypt!

 

Jethro, Moshe’s father-in-law, took his daughter Zipporah who was Moshe’s woman after she had been sent more than once. Accompanying her was two of her sons. The name of the first is Ger-Shom. Moshe had named him this because Moshe had said, “I was a sojourner in a foreign land!” The name of the other one is Eli-Ezer. Again, Moshe had said, “Because-of the Gods of my father when helping me; and He rescued me from the sword of Pharaoh!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     How did Jethro hear about all that Elohim did to Moshe and Israel?

 

2.     Jethro was a priest of what religion?

 

3.     What does excess mean (in the name Jethro, meaning his excess)?

 

4.     Why would a girl child be named Ladybird?

 

5.     Moshe’s woman wasn’t with Moshe, so Moshe’s father-in-law brought her to him. Why wasn’t she with Moshe?

 

6.     Moshe named one child, Sojourner There, because he said, “I was a sojourner in a foreign land.” In what land was he a sojourner, and what is a sojourner?

 

7.     Moshe also said, “Because-of the Gods of my father when helping me; and He rescued me from the sword of Pharaoh,” when he named the other son My Mighty One Helped. Did Moshe name the youth for his own experience?

 

 

 

II. Moshe’s Family Arrives (verses 5-7)

 

Moshe’s father-in-law Jethro came with Moshe’s sons and his woman (his wife). They came unto Moshe who was located in the desert where Moshe camped; it was called Mount of the Gods. Yet, before Jethro arrived, he announced, “I, thy father-in-law Jethro, come unto thee! And thy woman and two of her sons are with her!” Upon hearing this, Moshe exited to meet his father-in-law. Moshe prostrated. And he kissed him. They asked each other about their peace, and they came toward the tent.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why would a location be called Mount of the Gods?

 

2.     How dry is this desert?

 

3.     Why did Jethro say, “I, thy father-in-law His-Excess [Jethro], come unto thee,” as if Moshe would not recognize him?

 

4.     Jethro said, “Thy woman and two of hr sons are with her.” Were there other sons?

 

5.     Moshe exited to meet his father-in-law. The text never says that he exited to meet his woman (his wife). Why?

 

6.     Why did Moshe prostrate, and what does this mean?

 

7.     What does “they asked a man to his neighbour for peace” mean?

 

8.     Where did they go if they came “the tentward”?

 

 

 

III. Yehovah is the Greatest! (verses 8-11)

 

Moshe scrolled to his father-in-law everything that Yehovah did to Pharaoh and to Egypt concerning “the firebrand of Israel”—all the weariness that they found while they traveled. Yehovah rescued them! Jethro focused on all the good that Yehovah did to Israel, and that Yehovah rescued Israel from the hand of Egypt!

 

Jethro said, “Blessed is Yehovah Who rescued you from the hand of Egypt and from the hand of Pharaoh, Who rescued the people from under the hand of Egypt! Now I knew that Yehovah is bigger than all the gods, for in the speech is what they presumed upon them!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What did Moshe do when he “scrolled to his father-in-law all that Yehovah did to Pharaoh and to Egypt”?

 

2.     What is the firebrand of Israel? What does that mean?

 

3.     What was this weariness that they found in the way?

 

4.     From whom or from what did Yehovah rescue them?

 

5.     Why did Jethro focus upon all the good that Yehovah did to Israel (instead of the terrible circumstances in which Israel found itself)?

 

6.     Why did Jethro say that Yehovah is blessed? What does blessed mean?

 

7.     What does “from under the hand of” mean in, “Who rescued the people from under the hand of Egypt”?

 

8.     Jethro said, “Now I knew that Yehovah is bigger than all the gods.” What does this mean, and what does it imply about Jethro?

 

9.     What does “what they presumed upon them is in the speech” mean?

 

10.  Did the Egyptians become believers in Yehovah after this? Why or why not?

 

 

 

IV. Sacrifice and Food (verse 12)

 

Jethro, Moshe’s father-in-law, took an ascension and sacrifices to Elohim! Aharon came, and so did all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moshe’s father-in-law right in front of the Elohim!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What is an ascension?

 

2.     Why did Jethro take an ascension to Elohim?

 

3.     How could Jethro take an ascension to Elohim when Elohim wasn’t physically on earth in some location where it could be taken?

 

4.     Did Jethro know what the ascension pictured?

 

5.     How many sacrifices did Jethro take to Elohim?

 

6.     Why did Jethro take sacrifices to Elohim, and why did he take more than one?

 

7.     Where did Jethro get the sacrifices?

 

8.     Why did Aharon and all elders of Israel also come?

 

9.     Where were the faces of Yehovah?

 

 

 

V. Jethro Watches Moshe Work (verses 13-16)

 

What happened next was on the next day. Moshe sat to judge the people of Israel. And this people stood right there beside Moshe from the morning unto the evening.

 

Moshe’s father-in-law saw all that Moshe—Moshe himself—did to the people. And Jethro said, “What is this speech that thou art doing to the people?” Jethro continued, “Make-known—thou art sitting thy lonesome [all alone], and all the people is positioned upon thee from morning unto evening?” This was so unreasonable!

 

Moshe responded to his father-in-law, “For the people come unto me to research Elohim. For a speech will be to them; he came unto me.” He continued, “And I will judge between a man and between his neighbour. And I will make-known statutes of the Elohim and His teachings!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     The text states that Moshe sat to judge the people. What does this mean, and what was occurring?

 

2.     The next statement is, “And the people stood upon Moshe from the morning unto the evening.” What does this mean?

 

3.     The text then states, “the father-in-law of Moshe saw all that he, he did to the people.” Why is the pronoun, he doubled, and what did he do to the people?

 

4.     Jethro said to Moshe, “What is this speech that thou art doing to the people?” What did Jethro mean by speech in this question?

 

5.     Jethro then called Moshe to make known to him (to Jethro) what he was doing: “Art thou sitting thy lonesome, and all the people is positioned upon thee from morning unto evening?” What was Jethro communicating to Moshe?

 

6.     What did Moshe mean by, “For the people come unto me to research Elohim”?

 

7.     Can anyone research Elohim today?

 

8.     What did Moshe mean by, “For a speech will be to them”?

 

9.     Think about Moshe’s past. What is he now doing that connects with his past?

 

10.  What is a statute?

 

 

 

VI. Moshe Will Become a Fool (verses 17-18)

 

Moshe’s father-in-law said to Moshe, “The speech is not good that thou art doing. Foolishness! Thou wilt-become-a-fool—also thou, also this people that is thy people! For the speech is heavier than thee! Thou will not be able to do him thy lonesome!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What speech was Moshe doing that Jethro thought was not good?

 

2.     What does fool and foolishness mean in the Bible?

 

3.     Why was Jethro concerned that Moshe would become a fool by judging the Israelis all by himself?

 

4.     What did Jethro mean by, “The speech is heavier than thee”?

 

5.     What did Jethro mean by, “Thou will not be able to do him thy lonesome”?

 

6.     Was Jethro right?

 

 

 

VII. Moshe, the Front and the Teacher (verses 19-20 )

 

Jethro advised Moshe: “Now, hearken into my voice. I will counsel thee. And Elohim was with thee.” Jethro then explained his idea: “Be thou to the people a front to the Elohim. And thou, thou shalt bring the speeches unto the Elohim. And thou shalt enlighten them with the statutes and with the teachings. And thou shalt make-known to them the way they shall walk in her and the doing that they shall do.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What does “heaken via my voice” mean?

 

2.     What does counsel mean in the Bible?

 

3.     Jethro next said, “And Elohim was with thee.” Why did he use was instead of saying, “And Elohim will be with thee”?

 

4.     What is Jethro telling Moshe to do when Jethro states, “Be thou to the people a front to the Elohim”?

 

5.     What speeches will Moshe bring unto the Elohim?

 

6.     How will Elohim respond to these speeches?

 

7.     The Bible often refers to walking as it does in this statement: “And thou shalt make-known to them the way they shall walk…” What does walk mean when used this way?

 

8.     Jethro stated, “And thou shalt make-known to them the way they shall walk via her.” Identify her:

 

9.     What is the doing that they shall do?

 

 

 

VIII. Soldiers Qualified to Judge (verses 21-22)

 

Jethro continued, “And thou, thou shalt choose men of an army from all the people, fearers of Elohim, men of Truth, haters of cuts. And thou shalt put princes of thousands, princes of hundreds, princes of fifties and princes of tens over them. 22And they shall judge the people in every time. And he shall be, they shall bring unto thee every big speech. And they, they shall judge every little speech. And he shall-lighten/speed-up from upon thee. And they shall carry thee.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why did Jethro specify that Moshe should choose men of an army?

 

2.     What is a fearer of Elohim?

 

3.     Why must the men chosen be fearers of Elohim?

 

4.     What is Truth?

 

5.     What are men of Truth?

 

6.     Why didn’t Jethro also include women?

 

7.     What is a hater of cuts?

 

8.     Are the princes of tens princes over just ten persons?

 

9.     What does “they shall judge the people in every time” mean?

 

10.  What is a big speech in, “they shall bring unto thee every big speech”?

 

11.  Who is he in, “And he shall-lighten/speed-up from upon thee”?

 

12.  Who are they in, “And they shall carry thee”?

 

13.  How will they carry Moshe?

 

 

 

IX. Ability to Stand, and Peace (verse 23)

 

Jethro then explained why this would work: “If thou wilt do this speech, and Elohim will command thee, and thou wilt be able to stand. And also all this people will come upon his place via peace.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What was Jethro saying when he declared, “If thou wilt do this speech, and Elohim will command thee”?

 

2.     What did Jethro mean by, “thou wilt be able to stand”? What is the alternative?

 

3.     Identify his place in, “all this people will come upon his place via peace”:

 

4.     Why will the people come upon his place via peace? What does that mean?

 

 

 

X. Moshe Obeys a Pagan Priest (verses 24-26)

 

Moshe hearkened to the voice of his father-in-law, doing everything that he said. Moshe chose men who were part of Israel’s army from all Israel’s tribes. He gave them positions of being heads over the people of Israel. He made some princes of thousands, some princes of hundreds, some princes of fifties, and some princes of tens. They judged the people at every occasion. They only brought very difficult decisions to Moshe, judging every little ‘speech.’

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why did Moshe hearken to his father-in-law instead of first inquiring from Yehovah?

 

2.     Should a person living by Biblical faith hearken to (that is, both listen to and do) a pagan priest of a false god?

 

3.     What does “he gave them heads upon the people” mean?

 

4.     How did Moshe know that these newly assigned princes were doing consistent and proper justice?

 

 

 

XI. Moshe Sends Jethro (verse 27)

 

It was time for Moshe’s father-in-law to leave, and Moshe sent him. He walked ‘to him’—that is, for himself—unto his land.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why did Moshe send his father-in-law? Did he want to get rid of him?

 

2.     What does “he walked to him unto his land” mean?

 

 

 

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