1 And when Jethro, the priest of Midian, the kinsman of Moses, had heard all that God had done for Moses, and for his people Israel, and that the Lord had led Israel away from Egypt,
2 he brought Zipporah, the wife of Moses, whom he was to return to him,
3 and her two sons, of whom one was called Gershom, (for his father said, “I have been a newcomer in a foreign land,”)
4 and the other in truth was Eliezer, (“For the God of my father,” he said, “is my helper, and has rescued me from the sword of Pharaoh.”)
5 And so Jethro, the kinsman of Moses, with his sons and his wife, came to Moses in the desert, where he was encamped next to the mountain of God.
6 And he sent word to Moses, saying: “I, Jethro, your kinsman, have come to you, with your wife, and your two sons with her.”
7 And going out to meet his kinsman, he reverenced and kissed him. And they saluted each other with peaceful words. And when he had arrived at the tent,
8 Moses explained to his kinsman all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians on behalf of Israel, and all the hardships which had befallen them on the journey, and how the Lord had freed them.
9 And Jethro was gladdened over all the good that the Lord had done for Israel, because he had rescued them from the hand of the Egyptians.
10 And he said: “Blessed is the Lord, who has freed his people from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh; he has rescued his people from the hand of Egypt.
11 Now I know that the great Lord is above all gods. This is why they acted arrogantly against them.”
12 And so Jethro, the kinsman of Moses, offered holocausts and sacrifices to God. And Aaron arrived with all the elders of Israel, in order to eat bread with him in the sight of God.
13 Then, the next day, Moses sat down in order to judge the people, and they stood beside Moses from morning, even until evening.
14 And when, of course, his kinsman saw all that he did among the people, he said: “What is this that you do among the people? Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand before you, from morning, even until evening?”
15 And Moses answered him: “The people come to me seeking the verdict of God.
16 And when any kind of dispute occurs among them, they come to me to judge between them, and to reveal the precepts of God and of his laws.”
17 But he said, “This is not good, what you are doing.
18 You will be consumed by foolish efforts, both you and this people who are with you. The task is beyond your strength; you will not be able bear it alone.
19 But listen to my words and counsels, and then God will be with you. Be available to the people in that which pertains to God, so as to refer what they say to him,
20 and to reveal to the people the ceremonies, and the rituals of worship, and the way by which they should progress, and the work that they should do.
21 Then provide, from all of the people, men capable and fearing God, in whom there is truth and who hate avarice, and appoint from them tribunes, and leaders of hundreds, and of fifties, and of tens,
22 who may judge the people at all times. Then, when anything greater will have occurred, they may refer it to you, and let them judge the lesser matters only. And so it may be lighter for you, the burden being divided among others.
23 If you will do this, you will fulfill the orders of God, and you will be able to uphold his precepts. And this entire people will return to their places in peace.”
24 Having heard this, Moses did everything that he had suggested to him.
25 And choosing virtuous men from all of Israel, he appointed them as leaders of the people: tribunes, and leaders of hundreds, and of fifties, and of tens.
26 And they judged the people at all times. But whatever was more serious, they referred to him, and they judged easier matters only.
27 And he dismissed his kinsman, who, turning back, went to his own land.