Study Guide

Book of Exodus Chapter 18

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Chapter 18

Jethro and the Israelite Court System

  • Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, comes for a visit. He brings Moses's wife Zipporah and Moses's sons Gershom and Eliezer (who finally has a name). It's unclear whether Moses and Zipporah were getting along well before this.
  • Moses fills Jethro in on all that has happened to the Israelites, and not surprisingly, Jethro is amazed.
  • Jethro, Moses, and Aaron worship and eat together. Like ya do.
  • We finally get an idea of Moses's day job: he's the judge of all the Israelites. 600,000+ people. Think about that.
  • Jethro knows this is tough business. He tells him, "This is nuts. You'll tucker yourself out doing all this. Why don't you appoint some minions who will apply God's laws? Just take the big cases for yourself."
  • Moses agrees that this is a way better idea than what he's been doing. 
  • Having been the perfect plot-mover, Jethro goes home to Midian.

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