Bible Commentaries
Exodus 18

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-27

The Visit of Jethro

1. On the name Jethro, see Exodus 2:16, and on Midian, Exodus 2:15.

2. Sent her back] see on Exodus 4:26.

3, 4. See on Exodus 2:22.

5. The mount of God] Horeb or Sinai: see on Exodus 3:1.

11. See on Exodus 15:11. The second half of the v. is obscure. RV reads, ’yea, in the thing wherein they (the Egyptians) dealt proudly against them (the Israelites).’

12. The burnt offering was wholly consumed upon the altar, and signified the complete devotion of the offerer to God: see Leviticus 1. The sacrifices were peace offerings, and were consumed by the offerers in token of fellowship with God and each other: see Leviticus 3 and on Numbers 22:40. Before God] at the place consecrated by the offering of the sacrifices: see on Exodus 16:9 and Exodus 19:22.

15. To enquire of God] This phrase is explained by the words that follow at the end of the next v., I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws: cp. 1 Samuel 9:9. Already we see that the decisions given by Moses are regarded by the people as possessing divine sanction.

19. And God shall be with thee] RV ’and God be with thee,’ i.e. may God grant thee the needed wisdom.

21. Hating covetousness] A judge must be above bribery. Bribery was, and still is, a common Oriental vice, and is frequently referred to in Scripture: cp. Exodus 23:8; 1 Samuel 8:3; 1 Samuel 12:3; Psalms 15:5; Isaiah 1:23; Amos 5:12; Micah 3:9-11.

23. If. God command thee so] Jethro does not presume to dictate to Moses. The matter must be referred to God for sanction: cp. Deuteronomy 1:9-18. To their place] Each one to his tent, satisfied with the expeditious settlement of his case, instead of waiting all day, as hitherto: see Exodus 18:13.

25. According to Deuteronomy 1:13 it appears that Moses left the selection of the ’able men’ to the people. Cp. Acts 6:3.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Exodus 18". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.