Hebrew Bible portion of the week: How Yisro, Moshe’s (Moses) father-in-law, advised him to pick Judges

The Five Books of Moses, the Second book, Shemos (Exodus)



14 Moshe’s father-in-law saw what he was doing and asked Moses what is this thing you are doing to the people? Why do you sit by yourself and do this judgment while all the people stand before you from morning til evening?

15 Moshe said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s teachings, If any of them has a claim, he comes to me, and I judge between a man and his fellow. I make known the statutes of God and His teachings.”

17 Moshe’s father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good.

18 You will surely wear yourself out, along with Aharon, Chur and this nation that is with you! For the matter is too heavy for you. You cannot do it alone!”

19 “Now, listen to me. I will advise you, but let God be (in agreement) with you (on this matter). You should represent the people before God, and you will bring their disputes to God.

20 You will caution them about the statutes and the teachings, and you will show them the path to follow and the things that they must do.”

21 “But, using Divine inspiration, you should seek out from among all the people, financially independent men who fear God, men of truth (whose words are reliable), and who hate monetary gain through litigation. You should appoint them over the people with differing levels of responsibility – leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, and leaders of tens.”

22 “They will judge the people on a full-time basis. When any major matter arises, they will bring it to you, but the minor matters, they will judge for themselves. This will make it easier for you for they will bear the burden with you.”

(Ah, what a grand idea – “Judges financially independent men who fear God, men of truth who hate monetary gain through litigation”)  



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