Jethro the priest of Midian was Moses’ Father-in-law. Moses had married Jethro’s daughter Zipporah, who bore Moses two sons (Gershom and Eliezer), while he was a sojourner in Midian, before he meet the Lord. Jethro was called the priest of Midian. Midian was an Arabian Tribe descended from Midian, the son of Abraham through Keturah, the wife of Abraham after Sarah’s death. (Gn. 25:1-4) Jethro came with Moses’ wife and sons to the mountain of God where Moses and the sons of Israel were camping.
Moses received his father-in-law into his tent and told him all of the great things that the Lord did for Israel in Egypt. Jethro rejoiced when he heard the news and said, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods.” This is the reaction of a believer. When a believer hears the gospel he rejoices. Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and the elders of Israel sat with him to eat a meal before the Lord. This is true fellowship when men sit down together to enjoy a meal before the Lord.
The next day Jethro witnessed the work that Moses was doing for the people. Moses heard every dispute that the people had and judged according to the statures of God’s law. Jethro gave his son-in-law counsel that he should not do all of this work himself. He should give some of the responsibility to able men who fear God. Each of these men should be given leadership over sections of the people, and judge the people, but if there is a major dispute, it should be brought before Moses.
Moses listened to the counsel of his father-in-law. This indicated that Moses was a humble man. Pride would have kept him from sharing the responsibility with others and would have caused Moses to lash out at the counsel of Jethro. Moses and Jethro departed from one another in good standing.