About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Chapter 18
Visits Moses (ch. 18:1 - 27)
Verse 1 tells us that
Moses' father-in-law had heard all that had happened to
Verse 2 begins with,
"after Moses had sent away his wife…"
First of all the words "sent away" in the Old
Testament, as it refers to wives mean divorce, or at least literally
sending the wife away. We
have no direct or clear mention that Moses divorced his wife.
Back in Exodus 4:24 we note that Moses and his wife had a major
difference with each other. His
wife did not want to circumcise their son, and Moses knew that he must
be circumcised. God was ready to kill Moses for not obeying the command
to circumcise his son. Moses' wife finally gave in, but threw the bloody
foreskin of their son at Moses' feet in disgust.
It thus appears that Moses sent his wife away then. It thus
appears from this verse that Moses sent her back to her father.
Verses 3 and 4 simply
state the names of Moses two sons, something that we've already seen
earlier in Exodus.
In verses 5 through 8 we
note that Moses and Jethro greet each other.
Moses invites Jethro into his tent to talk things over.
Moses relates the story of
Note the word
"rescue" in verse 8. This
reminds me of how the first generation church viewed the world. Peter
and the other apostles told people to save themselves, or rescue
themselves from this evil and corrupt generation.
The early church viewed the world as being corrupt, something to
be rescued from, just as
In verse 11 we see that
Jethro is polytheistic, as was the majority of people and cultures back
then. He told Moses that his
God was greater than all other gods.
Some people believe that even Israel, at least prior to Exodus was polytheistic.
They see God's revelation of Himself as being progressive, and
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, didn't fully understand that their God was
one God, and that He was the only God.
The point to whom God really is, is clarified beyond a doubt in
the book of Exodus.
In verse 12 we see that
Jethro brought a sacrifice to offer to the God of Israel, and that him,
Aaron, and Moses, ate bread together.
This suggests to me that there was more to this event than a
simple meal. I could be
wrong, but this looks like some kind of ceremonial meal to me.
It could possibly be because Jethro was coming to Moses with
Moses' estranged wife and the reunion was celebrated with a ceremonial
meal. Or, it could possibly
be over the nature of the things that Jethro wanted to talk to Moses
The main part of this
chapter is seen in verses 13 to 23.
Jethro watches Moses act as judge over all the relational
Jethro tells Moses that
what he is doing won't work out. There
is too much work for him to do. Jethro
tells Moses that he must train trusted men to be judges of disputes in Israel.
We see in verse 24 that
Moses listened to his father-in-law and trained capable men to be judges
in Israel. You might wonder why Moses
accepted the advise of a non-Israeli, even though Jethro was Moses'
father-in-law. Some people
think that Numbers 11:16 has something to do with this.
In that verse God tells Moses to take seventy of
Another thing to note
here is found in verse 24. Jethro
says that "if you do this and if God so commands…"
Basically, Jethro tells Moses that if your God so commands you to
appoint judges then do so. I
think then that Moses sought out the Lord and God did command Moses to
appoint judges, and that is why Moses did what Jethro said.
This chapter is all about
Verse 27 simply states
that Moses sent his father-in-law on his way.
There is no mention of Moses wife and two sons leaving.
It appears they stayed.