you cannot handle it alone.
and may God be with you.
and bring their disputes to him.
you will be able to stand the strain,
- Jethro is honest about a problem which he perceives. He doesn't mince words, yet he doesn't make it a personal attack upon Moses, either. He sees the crowds of people surrounding Moses all day and waiting for their problems to be addressed and he knows that this is not good for either party.
- Jethro asks Moses to explain why the situation exists. He doesn't assume he knows it all.
- Moses explains that as the leader, naturally the problems are brought to him. He has the responsibility to represent the people before God and to explain to them God's commands.
- Jethro acknowledges this fact of Moses' responsibility before God, and fashions his advice in such a way that he both acknowledges Moses' concerns and offers a possible solution so that Moses can meet the needs of the people without exhausting himself.
- Jethro also acknowledges that God is the One who will bring success to this idea if it is His will. Jethro never acts as though his own great idea will be the final reason for success.
- The division of the multitude into more manageable groups brings both a sense of order to the administration of justice and a way to hold individual leaders responsible for the people within their sphere of influence. The fact that there are different types of leaders (those officials who will be in charge of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens) highlights the fact that some leaders may be better at caring for small groups, while others may be capable of ministering to a wider audience.
- Moses does not seem to be worried that such division of labor will be a threat to himself or his position.
- Jethro also gives very sound advice regarding the selection of men who will be fit for such responsibility: They must be capable, God-fearing, trustworthy, and not interested in gaining treasures for themselves.
- Moses will still need to teach the people God's laws and decrees. In this way, people will know what is right and may avoid situations which would require judicial rulings. Moses is free to handle the more difficult cases which may arise. These 'larger' issues will affect the whole body of Israel, so it is good that Moses has some authority in these important cases.