1When 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;
2Then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back,
So staying with Jethro as the name of Zipporah's father not Ruel as he was first introduced into the story.
3And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land:
4And 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:
5And 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:
So Pharaoh with all his resources as ruler of Egypt was unable to find Moses and the runaways but Jethro came straight to him.
Two minor points
1. Perhaps Pharoah was glad to get rid of the hebrews and their constant complaining.
2. Could Jethro not have used his unerring sense of direction to lead the Israelites to where they needed to be ?
6And he said unto Moses, I thy father in law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her.
7And 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.
8And 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.
9And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians.
Is this some archaic meaning of the word that I am unaware of ?
Well it would explain the phrase "god is good" I suppose.
10And 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.
11Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them.
Greater than all gods......or perhaps they were all busy doing more important things like running the universe, visiting Eccentrica Galumbits or preparing the Earth for the arrival of the great Douglas_Adams. The true eventuall saviour of mankind.
12And 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.
No thought about giving food to real people though.
13And 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.
I Will bet the murmerings went something like this
Fuck off big nose!
I told you we should have stoned the cunt.
We could still stone the cunt
But the cunt is the only cunt who knows where we are going, so we can't stone the cunt. Wait till we get there, then we can stone the cunt!
Yeh but all I am sayin' is .......
.../we should've stoned the cunt.
14And 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?
15And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:
16When 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.
17And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.
Which is another way of saying...
...Sort yourself out you cunt or they'll stone you
18Thou 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.
19Hearken 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:
20And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
Ordinance and laws.. they're either escaped slaves/prisoners or refugees
They are hungry, thirsty hated by all around them and are led by a raving mad man, who now wants them to obey the laws of his imaginary freind. No doubt he will start punishing them for disobeying rules he has not made up yet.
21Moreover 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:
That will exclude the Abrahmic line then.
22And 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.
Yes that's just what any refugees need a bunch of holier than thou"aint it awfulls"
23If 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.
24So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.
Now Jethrop is speaking for god......Midianite Preist.......?
Now just an observation.... not at all suggesting it's fact... but a little thought just entered my head..... Was it not unknown for some preists to rule behind puppet rulers they had hoodwinked with sleight of hand and simple parlour tricks, where was Jethro when Moses was philosophizing with a shrubbery? Of course it is sheer coincidence that Jethro knew exactly where to find them.
25And 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.
26And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.
27And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land.