Moses’ father in law brings Moses his wife and two sons to him at Sinai, and worships God with Moses there.
Exodus 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.
Moses wet out to see his family and tells them of all the things that had happened since he last saw them.
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.
Jethro the man of God from Midian rejoiced and praised God.
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.
Jethro then proclaimed the Eternal to be the God above all gods, and sacrificed to him; and a great feast was made with Jethro and all the elders of Israel before the LORD.
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.
Jethro wisely advises Moses.
This was about judging the people and was a body of godly men OUTSIDE of the priesthood! The priesthood was of the sons of Aaron, but this body consisted of Godly men from all tribes called by God and given his spirit as as the first civil judicial system or Sanhedrin [70 elders] of Israel. See our articles on The Priesthood and Ministry beginning with 101 Levites and Priests and 102 the Mosaic Administration.
18:13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by [came to Moses for decisions] 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.
The very Jesus Christ who inspired this through Jethro to Moses, also sent out 70 teachers during his physical life, to the people just as he had sent 70 men to help Moses.
- The wrong men are ordained for the wrong reasons, and
- when the ordained people seek to exalt themselves above the Word of God instead of focusing the brethren on God to live by every Word of God.
All authority comes from God and when men depart from any part of the Word of God; they lose all godly authority and become the adversaries of God.
Today most elders are chosen by men; because they proved loyal to men above any loyalty to God; and therefore – no matter how sincere they may be – they have NO authority, because they are not of God!
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.
18:24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. 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.
Numbers 11 is a totally different occasion which is explained in our articles on The Priesthood and Ministry beginning with 101 Levites and Priests and 102 the Mosaic Administration.
Numbers 11:24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.
11:25 And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
11:26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written , but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
11:27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
11:28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
11:29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord‘S people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!
Oh how different the godly attitude of Moses was from the attitude of most of today’s ministry!
A civil government was established to judge civil disputes according to the whole law and Word of God; as separate from the priesthood which was to teach the Word of God and to fulfill the role of Mediator between God and repentant humanity.
Exodus 18:27 And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land.
On the fifteenth day of the third month Israel arrived at Sinai and was married to God.
Exodus 19:1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 19:2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
There, the marriage covenant took place with the Eternal declaring his requirement that they love by every Word of God and physical Israel accepting, binding themselves together with their Deliverer in a Marriage Covenant. See The Law and the Covenants.
19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
God commanded Moses to speak all these words to Israel. In this, Moses was the Marriage Intermediary [like today’s presiding official] arranging the marriage between God and Israel.
. . . These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 19:7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
Then Israel responded to the Word of God and entered into a Marriage Covenant with him. All marriages are the same agreement; the husband vows to care for and love his wife, and the wife vows to love and obey her husband in all things.
This is precisely the same agreement that we make with Jesus Christ by being baptized! We agree love him and to do all that our espoused Husband says, and He agrees to fulfill the duties of a husband, and if we continue and are faithful in our spiritual espousal we will be fully married at the resurrection.
When we compromise with the Word of God and pollute his Sabbaths; or idolize any man or organization above our love for our espoused Husband: Then we have BROKEN our baptismal marriage vows!
19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
Then the Being who married Israel and was later made flesh, instructed Moses to prepare the people to hear his voice, so that they will always remember him and their marriage agreement with him.
19:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
God told Moses to sanctify the people because he would speak to them on the third day.
19:10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 19:11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
19:12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: 19:13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
19:14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. 19:15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet [Shofar] exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
The awesome meeting between God the Husband and his new bride!
19:17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether [back part] part of the mount.
19:18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. 19:19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
Christ called Moses up to the top of the Mount to meet with him.
19:20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
The Eternal then commanded Moses to get back down and to warn the people not to approach the Mount; Moses protested that he had already done so, but the Eternal demanded that Moses go back down and warn the people again.
19:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. 19:22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.
19:23 And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. 19:24 And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.
19:25 So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.