Verse 19. Be thou for them to God-ward - That was an honour which it was not fit any other should share with him in. Also whatever concerned the whole congregation must pass through his hand, ver. 20. But, he appointed Judg. in the several tribes and families, which should try causes between man and man, and determine them, which would be done with less noise, and more dispatch than in the general assembly. Those whose gifts and stations are most eminent may yet be greatly furthered in their work by the assistance of those that are every way their inferiors. This is Jethro's advice; but he adds two qualifications to his counsel. (1.)That great care should be taken in the choice of the persons who should be admitted into this trust; it was requisite that they should be men of the best character.
1. For judgment and resolution, able men: men of good sense, that understood business; and bold men, that would not be daunted by frowns or clamours. Clear heads and stout hearts make good Judges.
2. For piety, such as fear God, who believe there is a God above them, whose eye is upon them, to whom they are accountable, and whose judgment they stand in awe of. Conscientious men, that dare not do an ill thing, though they could do it never so secretly and securely.
3. For honesty, men of truth, whose word one may take, and whose fidelity one may rely upon.
4. For a generous contempt of worldly wealth, hating covetousness, not only not seeking bribes, or aiming to enrich themselves, but abhorring the thought of it. (2.) That he should attend God's direction in the case, ver. 23. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so - Jethro knew that Moses had a better counsellor than he was, and to his counsel he refers him.
Verse 24. So Moses hearkened unto the voice of his father-in-law. When he came to consider the thing, he saw the reasonableness of it, and resolved to put it in practice, which he did soon after, when he had received directions from God. Those are not so wise as they would be thought to be, who think themselves too wise to be counselled; for a wise man will hear, and will increase learning, and not slight good counsel, though given by an inferior.
Verse 27. He went into his own land - It is supposed the Kenites mentioned 1 Sam. xv, 6, were the posterity of Jethro, (compare Jude i, 16,) and they are taken under special protection, for the kindness their ancestor shewed to Israel.