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Thursday, November 8 2018

A Bible Journey, 68: What Did Jethro Tell Moses To Do?

"Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee"

When Moses fled from Egypt (see A Bible Journey, 52: Moses - From The River To The Desert), he settled in the Sinai with Jethro of Midian. From what is recorded about his new life there, which included a wife and two sons (see the Fact Finder question below to discover what happened to the line of Moses - and where his descendants are today), Moses apparently had no intention of ever returning to Egypt.

Midian was a son of Abraham and his concubine Keturah (Genesis 25:1-6). Midian's descendants, the Midianites, settled in the territory east of the Jordan River and southward through the desert wilderness of the Arabah. During the time of Moses, their territory, or range, also included portions of the Sinai Peninsula.


The LORD (see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) had other plans for Moses however. After his approximate 40 years of experience in the Sinai, in effect, a preparation, an apprenticeship, Moses would lead the Exodus into the Sinai by all of Israel. When the LORD sent Moses back to Egypt for the Exodus (see A Bible Journey, 54: The Miraculous Signs Of Moses), Moses' wife and children remained with Jethro until his return.

"18:1 When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father in law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt; 18:2 Then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back, 18:3 And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land: 18:4 And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh:

18:5 And Jethro, Moses' father in law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God: 18:6 And he said unto Moses, I thy father in law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her.

18:7 And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent. 18:8 And Moses told his father in law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them." (Exodus 18:1-8 KJV)

Jethro and Moses

Jethro was not an Israelite (he was however just as much a descendant of Abraham as the Israelites, as explained above), but he was well-familiar with the LORD: "I know that the LORD is greater than all gods."

"18:9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. 18:10 And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 18:11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them. 18:12 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 before God." (Exodus 18:9-12 KJV)

The Israelites came out of Egypt as a great multitude (see A Bible Journey, 63: The Exodus Lesson). Moses, at first, attempted to lead alone, but was soon overwhelmed by the number of people. It was Jethro who suggested an efficient command structure ("rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens") that, as it providentially happened, would be in place just before the Israelites received the Law from Mount Sinai. It would also be the means by which Moses could immediately communicate throughout the multitude, with his words quickly passed "down the line" through each level of sub-rulers.

"18:13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. 18:14 And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?

18:15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: 18:16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.

18:17 And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. 18:18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. 18:19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: 18:20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: 18:22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 18:23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace." (Exodus 18:13-23 KJV)

Righteous Jethro then departed from the Israelites and "went his way into his own land."

"18:25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 18:26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

18:27 And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land." (Exodus 18:25-27 KJV)

Fact Finder: Where are the descendants of Moses' today? What happened to the family line of Moses?
See Why Weren't The Descendants Of Moses In The Lost Ten Tribes?


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This Day In History

This Day In History, November 8

960: The Battle of Andrassos. Byzantine (the Eastern Roman Empire) forces under Leo Phokas the Younger defeated the Hamdanid Emir of Aleppo.

Byzantine Europe

1226: Louis IX succeeded Louis VIII as the French king.

1519: Following the voyages of Christopher Columbus to the same area, for the same reason (to claim the New World for Spain and the Church of Rome; see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy), Spanish Conquistador ("conqueror") Hernan Cortes entered Tenochtitlan, where Aztec ruler Moctezuma (also rendered as "Montezuma") welcomed him. Cortes took Moctezuma prisoner and thereafter began to make himself the ruler of the Aztec people.

New World

1576: The Netherlands' 17 provinces formed a national federation.

1602: The Bodleian Library at Oxford University was opened to the public.

1619: The Battle of White Mountain, near Prague. Czech Protestants under Frederick "The Winter King" were routed by Ferdinand's (Hapsburg) Catholic imperialists under Johannes Tilly (a Netherlander). The first major battle of The Thirty Years War.

1620: The King of Bohemia was defeated at the Battle of Prague.

1630: Great flocks of passenger pigeons darkened the sky over Boston. They were hunted and shot (mostly for "sport") into extinction.

Passenger Pigeons

1656: English astronomer Edmond Halley was born. He became the first to accurately predict the date of the return of a comet. The comet, which has returned every 76 years is named after him - Halley's Comet.

Halley Comet

1685: The Edict of Potsdam was proclaimed by Frederick William of Brandenburg to give the Huguenots refuge from religious persecution.

1793: The Louvre, the principal art museum of France, opened in Paris.

1895: German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen discovered x-rays while experimenting with electricity.

1917: The Canadian Press was founded by daily newspapers across the country. Before 1917, newspapers exchanged news regionally and received international news from the Associated Press, but they had no established means of sending news east and west across the vast country.

1923: Adolf Hitler's failed "Beer Hall Putsch" in Munich (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1942: During the Second World War (1939-1945; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), British, Canadian and U.S. forces landed in North Africa in "Operation Torch."

1944: 25,000 Hungarian Jews were "loaned" to the Nazis for forced labor.

1960: John Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon in one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history. Although both men were elected President (Kennedy in 1960, Nixon in 1968), neither finished their full term - Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Nixon resigned in 1974 due to the Watergate criminal investigations.

1980: Voyager 1 discovered the 15th moon of Saturn (while many scientists reject the existence of the Creator and the truth of His Holy Bible, they ironically, and hypocritically, very often name scientific "discoveries" and exploration programs after non-existent pagan gods e.g. saturn, neptune, apollo; see also No 'Flat Earth' In The Bible).

1987: 11 people were killed by a terrorist IRA ("Irish Republican Army") bomb at an Ulster Remembrance Day service.

1988: 900 people were killed by an earthquake in China.

2004: During the invasion of Iraq, 10,000 U.S. troops began the siege of Fallujah.

2011: The asteroid 2005 YU55 passed 0.85 lunar distances from Earth, the closest known approach by an asteroid of its brightness since 2010 XC15 in 1976.




Copyright © Wayne Blank