Journey in Review: Leaving Mount Sinai

Deuteronomy 1:1-18

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!

Comments ( 11 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

Post a Reply

Comments must adhere to our guidelines or they may be removed.

  • Willem Moolman

    Maybe Moses came to deeper insight and connected the Sin of the Spies with the establishment of the judges – God through me is not enough to judge all the people and parallel God leading the nation into the promised land under my leadership is not enough for us to concur the giants.

    • Willem Moolman

      Conquer rather than concur.

  • Bob Boynton

    Maybe Yitro(a righteous Gentile went on ahead to the promised land just like the Bride of Yeshua will go on ahead of Israel to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Reference Daniel 9:24-29

  • Pauline Graham

    I would sumise at this point in Moshe' life, that his father-in-law Jethro is dead. As such Mishe is telling the people about moving forward into the Land that they gave been given and how to conduct themselves as followers of Yehovah. Also imparting his knowledge to them.

  • Herman Arentsen

    it has been years since Yethro was there. Moshe has digested the plan of Jethro and applied. It had become part of normal life in Israel. It was integrated into their life and then you don't have to mention the proponent; it has become something of your own. It should be different when there was a celebration in grateful remembrance of the conception of this plan.

  • Diana Brown

    I keep reminding myself that the first telling of the journeys of Bnei-Yisrael was from the Lord God’s point of view. This is the retelling by Moses so he is free to be open about his subjective point of view. Since he regarded his father-in-law kindly and did take his advice, I think that he did not feel he needed to credit Yitro here. The proof was in the pudding by this point so to speak. Yitro, by and large, was regarded as a righteous gentile by this time in history I think. Moses was clearly wanting Israel to remember that the Lord God was the true leader of His People. He did not want Israel to forget the Lord or His Commands for their sake and the purposes God created and called them out of Egypt for. One day, the Lord will call His People out of Babylon. When that happens, Moses’s words will once again ring in Israel’s ears.

    • Angela B

      I agree with you, He wanted to keep it between the people and Yahweh, a Yisraeli bond between them and their Elohim, and making the people see the consequences of their actions, whether good or bad.

  • Shirley

    Is it true that Jethro was no longer with Moses at that time?

    • Tsivya Fox

      Yes. Jethro went back to Midian.

Skip to toolbar