The Book of Exodus Bible Study Chapter 18 Part 1

Exodus 18:1-12

v1: Priest: Normally this word carries religious overtones. In Hebrew, though, it is simply a synonym for ‘servant’.

· Jethro was a Gentile. When he heard what G-d had done with the Jewish people he responded (the Jewish people’s return to Israel today is an activity of G-d, and righteous Gentiles will respond to it). Jethro is a kind of paradigm of a righteous Gentile – saw G-d’s activities, it influenced him and he responded (This is a picture of what is happening in Zechariah 14:16).

· Father -in-law: this is a very emphasised fact.

v2: Some of the sages speak about Moses representing Israel, and Zipporah representing the nations. Their unity is a picture of G-d’s work of redemption. After redemption they were reunited.

v3-4: The next generation should always remind us of the desire and the ability of G-d to keep His promises.

v5: His sons and his wife – meaning Moses’ sons and wife.

· The mountain of G-d – Mt Sinai. Mt Horeb (this was the place where Moses had seen the burning bush – Exodus 3).

v6: Your wife and her two sons: unusual wording. Many scholars think that this is in order to call our attention back to the circumcision Zipporah performed on the road in order to save Moses life (Exodus 4:24-26) Zipporah did what Moses had neglected to do. This wording was a reminder to Moses that he had a faithful wife.

v8: Here Moses (the Jew) proclaims/gives testimony to Jethro (the Gentile) about the faithfulness of G-d (Romans 3v1-2).

v9: Jethro rejoiced – this reminds me of Acts 8:26-39. When the Ethiopian heard the good news he also was led, by faith, into a place of rejoicing – intense gladness.

v10: Jethro praised (worshipped- oral proclamation) the L-rd because of the faithfulness He had shown to Israel.

· Hand speaks of authority. G-d broke the power/authority of Egypt so that His children were no longer enslaved!

v11: They (these G-ds) behaved proudly – Pharaoh (who was seen as a G-d by the Egyptians) tried (with full knowledge, wilful sin) to set himself up as higher than G-d. But G-d triumphed over him and brought him low.

v12: Jethro now displays faith in action. This is normal – if we have faith it will demonstrate itself in action.

· Worship involves sacrifice.

· Eat bread – Jews and Gentiles fellowshipped together. When it comes to serving G-d there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile (Galatians 3:26-29). Although a Jew remains a Jew and a Gentile remains a Gentile they should have a walk that similarly reflects the Word of G-d, and manifests the glory of G-d.

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