1. Jethro, priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, had heard all about what God had done for Moses and for Israel his people: how Yahweh had brought Israel out of Egypt.
2. Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, then took back Zipporah, Moses' wife, whom Moses had sent home,
3. with her two sons; one of them was called Gershom because, he had said, 'I am an alien in a foreign land,'
4. and the other called Eliezer because 'My father's God is my help and has delivered me from Pharaoh's sword.'
5. Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, with Moses' sons and wife, came to Moses in the desert where he was encamped, at the mountain of God.
6. 'Here is your father-in-law Jethro approaching', Moses was told, 'with your wife and her two sons.'
7. So Moses went out to greet his father-in-law, bowed low to him and kissed him; and when each had asked how the other was they went into the tent.
8. Moses then told his father-in-law all about what Yahweh had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and about all the hardships that they had encountered on the way, and how Yahweh had rescued them.
9. And Jethro was delighted at all Yahweh's goodness to Israel in having rescued them from the clutches of the Egyptians.
10. 'Blessed be Yahweh', Jethro exclaimed, 'for having rescued you from the clutches of the Egyptians and the clutches of Pharaoh, for having rescued the people from the grasp of the Egyptians!
11. Now I know that Yahweh is greater than all other gods. . .'
12. Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, then offered a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God; and Aaron and all the elders of Israel came and ate with Moses' father-in-law in the presence of God.
13. On the following day, Moses took his seat to administer justice for the people, and the people were standing round him from morning till evening.
14. Seeing all he did for the people, Moses' father-in-law said to him, 'Why do you do this for the people, why sit here alone with the people standing round you from morning till evening?'
15. Moses replied to his father-in-law, 'Because the people come to me to consult God.
16. When they have a problem they come to me, and I give a ruling between the one and the other and make God's statutes and laws known to them.'
17. Moses' father-in-law then said to him, 'What you are doing is not right.
18. You will only tire yourself out, and the people with you too, for the work is too heavy for you. You cannot do it all yourself.
19. Now listen to the advice I am going to give you, and God be with you! Your task is to represent the people to God, to lay their cases before God,
20. and to teach them the statutes and laws, and show them the way they ought to follow and how they ought to behave.
21. At the same time, from the people at large choose capable and God-fearing men, men who are trustworthy and incorruptible, and put them in charge of them as heads of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens,
22. and make them the people's permanent judges. They will refer all important matters to you, but all minor matters they will decide themselves, so making things easier for you by sharing the burden with you.
23. If you do this -- and may God so command you -- you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.'
24. Moses took his father-in-law's advice and did just as he said.
25. Moses chose capable men from all Israel and put them in charge of the people as heads of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
26. These acted as the people's permanent judges. They referred hard cases to Moses but decided minor matters themselves.
27. Moses then set his father-in-law on his way, and he travelled back to his own country.