Journey in Review: Leaving Mount Sinai
Moses speaks to the people of Israel in the final weeks of their sojourn in the desert. He reminds them of God’s promise to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give the land to their descendants.
He then begins with a review of the leadership structure put in place during his father-in-law Jethro’s visit, although Jethro’s name is not mentioned. Instead, Moses explains that the nation had become too numerous for him to deal with individual’s problems. He tells of how he had turned to the nation to propose a multi-tiered system of courts, where leaders of the communities would sit in judgement over tens, fifties, hundreds and thousands. According to Moses, the people accepted his proposal and he instructed the newly-appointed judges to serve righteously, showing no favoritism, and coming to Moses himself when a matter was too complex or unclear.
Virtual Classroom Discussion
Why do you think Jethro’s name is not mentioned in this retelling of events? In Exodus 18, where the story is first recounted, Jethro plays a significant role in this proposal and it is Moses who needs to be convinced of its benefits!