Exodus 18 Darby Translation (DARBY)
18 And Jethro the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done to Moses, and to Israel his people; that Jehovah had brought Israel out of Egypt.
2 And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back,
3 and her two sons, of whom the name of the one was Gershom—for he said, I have been a sojourner in a foreign land,
4 —and the name of the other, Eliezer—For the God of my father has been my help, and has delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.
5 And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came to Moses with his sons and his wife into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mountain of God.
6 And he sent word to Moses: I, thy father-in-law Jethro, am come to thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her.
7 And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other [after] their welfare, and went into the tent.
8 And Moses told his father-in-law all that Jehovah had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake; all the trouble that had befallen them on the way, and [how] Jehovah had delivered them.
9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness that Jehovah had done to Israel; that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.
10 And Jethro said, Blessed be Jehovah, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh; who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.
11 Now I know that Jehovah is greater than all gods; for in the thing in which they acted haughtily [he was] above them.
12 And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt-offering and sacrifices for God; and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law in the presence of God.
13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood by Moses from the morning to the evening.
14 And Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did with the people, and said, What is this thing which thou art doing with the people? why dost thou sit alone, and all the people are standing by thee from morning to evening?
15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, Because the people come to me to enquire of God.
16 When they have a matter, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known [to them] the statutes of God, and his laws.
17 And Moses' father-in-law said to him, The thing that thou art doing is not good.
18 Thou wilt be quite exhausted, both thou and this people that is with thee; for the thing is too heavy for thee: thou canst not perform it alone.
19 Hearken now to my voice: I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee. Be thou for the people with God, and bring the matters before God;
20 and teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they must walk, and the work that they must do.
21 But do thou provide among all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place [them] over them, chiefs of thousands, chiefs of hundreds, chiefs of fifties, and chiefs of tens,
22 that they may judge the people at all times; and it shall be [that] they shall bring to thee every great matter, and that they shall judge every small matter, and they shall lighten [the task] on thee, and they shall bear [it] with thee.
23 If thou do this thing, and God command thee [so], thou wilt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.
24 And Moses hearkened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said.
25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, chiefs of hundreds, chiefs of fifties, and chiefs of tens.
26 And they judged the people at all times: the hard matters they brought to Moses, but every small matter they judged.
27 And Moses sent away his father-in-law, and he departed into his land.
Exodus 18 New International Version (NIV)
Jethro Visits Moses
18 Now Jethro, the priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses, heard of everything God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, and how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.
2 After Moses had sent away his wife Zipporah, his father-in-law Jethro received her 3 and her two sons. One son was named Gershom,[a] for Moses said, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land”; 4 and the other was named Eliezer,[b] for he said, “My father’s God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.”
5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, together with Moses’ sons and wife, came to him in the wilderness, where he was camped near the mountain of God. 6 Jethro had sent word to him, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons.”
7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. They greeted each other and then went into the tent. 8 Moses told his father-in-law about everything the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake and about all the hardships they had met along the way and how the Lord had saved them.
9 Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians. 10 He said, “Praise be to the Lord, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.” 12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.
13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”
15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”
17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”
24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.
27 Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own country.