v13: Moses sat to judge: The purpose of judgement is to bring G-dly order.
· From morning until evening – Many disputes and conflicts in that camp needed to be settled (set in order according to the truth, the revelation, of the laws of G-d). This was not necessarily judgement for the purpose of punishment (condemnation), but to bring unity into relationships within the community.
v14: Jethro is bothered and confused by the fact that Moses is working so hard, and doing it alone, like this.
v15: The people wanted to know what G-d thought, G-ds mindset/perspective, of their circumstances. Only G-d’s will (His purpose and His truth) will bring about a good and proper reconciliation to an issue.
v16: Moses is teaching/instructing these people about the requirements of the L-rd. If we are going to live in an ordered society then we need to know and keep the laws of the L-rd.
v17: G-d is using Jethro (who had submitted to the L-rd the day before) in order to give counsel to Moses. Here G-d’s using a Gentile, a Midianite, in order to bless the children of Israel.
v18: People can get tired and disillusioned if they are made to wait for too long.
v20: Moses needed to stand before G-d primarily, and also then teach the people the Word of G-d – rather than having to continuously settle disputes (A New Testament equivalent I could think of was Acts 6:2-5). Moses needed to empower others – giving them responsibility and also recognizing how G-d is raising up others in order that they can do some of the things that the leadership is doing.
v21: Select: Moses needed to have discernment from G-d (G-d’s vision) in order to appoint men suitable for the task. There were four requirements for these elders (able -capable and virtuous; fear of G-d- demonstrated that G-d had priority in their lives; lovers of truth; haters of wealth/excessive profit)
· Some people can be trusted with a little bit of authority, and some can be trusted with a lot more. All their authority was under Moses, who himself was under the authority of G-d.
v22: The implication in this verse is that these leaders are going to be participating in lifting up the people too.
v23: Jethro’s manner is very humble. He makes this request and observation very respectfully and humbly.
· Peace – an outcome of the fulfilment of the will of G-d.
v24: Moses obeyed/submitted.
v25: Out of all Israel: Men of valour (people who have the fear of the L-rd and who are candidates to be used by G-d) may come from a wide variety of places, from different families.
v26: Justice was able to be exacted much more swiftly and efficiently.
· Here we see delegated authority working.
v27: Why didn’t Jethro stay with the children of Israel? The sages say that Jethro had shown a commitment to G-d, he had shown that he was sensitive to administration and discerning the will of G-d. For this reason, he could have been sent out (like the apostles in the New Testament) in order to influence the people in Midian.