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Parash 17 Yitro (Jethro/Abundance) Sh’mot/Exodus 18:1 – 20:23


Theme & Message The focus of this lesson is the order of God’s kingdom. There is no other god before Him. Before any person, family, tribe, or nation can begin to realize the peace and prosperity of the kingdom the Lord has created, they must first recognize the power, supremacy and omnipotence of the one true God. Before we can draw near to him, before we can learn about Him, before we can learn His ways, we must fear and respect Him. God’s order among men begins with the choosing of leaders in spiritual teaching and government. Once we place the Lord above all other gods in our hearts, He will show us His ways, and teach us His commandments. It is through this process that we will belong to the Lord and share in the riches and the abundance of His kingdom.



Hebrew Names:

H3503  יתרו  yithrô  BDB Definition: Jethro = “his abundance”

1) father-in-law of Moses; also ‘Jether’

Part of Speech: noun proper masculine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H3499 with pronominal suffix


H4080  מדין  midyâBDB Definition: Midian or Midianite = “strife”

1) son of Abraham by Keturah and progenitor of the tribe of Midianites or Arabians (noun proper masculine)

2) the tribe descended from Midian (noun proper masculine)

3) the territory of the tribe descended from Midian; located principally in the desert north of the Arabian peninsula; land to which Moses went when he fled from Pharaoh (noun proper locative)

Part of Speech: see above in Definition


H6855  צפּרה  tsippôrâBDB Definition: Zipporah = “bird”

1) daughter of Reuel or Jethro, wife of Moses, and mother of Gershom and Eliezer

Part of Speech: noun proper feminine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H6833


H1647  גּרשׁם  gêreshôBDB Definition: Gershom = “foreigner”

1) firstborn son of Moses and Zipporah, 2) firstborn son of Levi

3) a son of the priestly family of Phinehas who returned from exile with Ezra

Part of Speech: noun proper masculine


H461  אליעזר  'ĕlîy‛ezer BDB Definition: Eliezer = “God is help”

1) Abraham’s Damascene servant, 2) a son of Moses, 3) a Benjamite

4) a priest who helped move the ark, 5) a Reubenite, 6) a prophet who spoke to Jehoshaphat

7) a Levite chief, 8) son of Harim, 9) priest with foreign wife

Part of Speech: noun proper masculine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H410 and H5828


H7508  רפידים  rephîydîym  BDB Definition: Rephidim = “rests” or “stays” or “resting places”

1) a station of Israel in the wilderness between Egypt and Sinai

Part of Speech: noun proper masculine plural locative

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from the same as H7507


H5514  סיני  sîynay  BDB Definition: Sinai = “thorny”

1) the mountain where Moses received the Law from Jehovah; located at the southern end of the Sinai peninsula between the horns of the Red Sea; exact site unknown

Part of Speech: noun proper locative

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: of uncertain derivation

Same Word by TWOT Number: 1488



TORAH LESSON This portion of Torah begins with the reunion of Moses’ family.  His father-in-law, Jethro comes to meet Moses and to bring Tzipporah, his wife, and his two sons to be with him.  Upon hearing of the mighty deeds the Lord had done for the Israelites, Jethro responds “Now I know that the Lord is the greatest of all deities” We see here a nearly immediate fulfillment of one of God’s purposes for the plagues and the hardening of the Pharoah’s heart. The Lord had said that he wanted for other peoples to know Him while he was also introducing himself to His chosen people.

            The next day, Moses began the overwhelming task of hearing all the problems of and between all the people of Israel and counseling them according to the laws and decrees the Lord had given to him.  Jethro advised Moses to appoint God- fearing men of truth as leaders who could be trained to judge according to God’s ways. He recommended this as a way to ease the burden on Moses and to bring shalom to the entire community.  

            Three months after leaving Egypt, the Israelites were led by the Lord to camp opposite Mt. Sinai. The Lord proposed to Moses a covenant that would make the Israelites a special treasured people unto the Lord as a holy nation of priests. Once the people agreed, Moses was instructed to prepare the people by immersing themselves and cleansing themselves for two days. On the third day, the Lord would descend onto the mountain to speak to Moses in the presence of the people.

            On the third day, the people heard the thunder, saw lightning with a heavy cloud on the mountain.  There was a loud blast of the shofar followed by a blast of increasing volume. The  mountain shook. Moses spoke and the Lord answered.  The people and even the priests were warned not to cross the boundary at the foot of the mountain or they would be destroyed.  Then the Lord presented the Ten Commandments. It is at this time that the Lord clearly establishes His supremacy.  He states, “You shall have no other gods before me.” The people trembled in fear and asked that Moses speak directly to the Lord on their behalf.  Moses encouraged the people not to be afraid of the Lord destroying them.   Moses encouraged the people that the Lord’s intent was to raise them up. The fear of the Lord was respectful and would prevent them from sinning. The Lord concludes this portion with a second warning not to make any representations (pictures or statues) of Himself. Moses was instructed to build an earthenware altar for offerings. Moses is told that wherever  the Lord  sets His name, He will come to bless the people. They are not to build any altars of cut stone, nor are they to place the altar on steps lest their nakedness be revealed.    


Chapter Review-


Sh’mot/ Exodus 18 -

Yitro/Jethro, called the father-in-law of Moshe, hearing of the deliverance which God had granted to Israel, Exo_18:1, took Tzipporah and her two sons, Gershom and Eli’ezer, and brought them to Moshe, when the Israelites were encamped near Horeb, Exo_18:2-5. He sends to Moshe, announcing his arrival, Exo_18:6. Moshe goes out to meet him, Exo_18:7, and gives him a history of God’s dealings with the Israelites, Exo_18:8. Yitro greatly rejoices, and makes striking observations on the power and goodness of God, Exo_18:9-11. He offers burnt-offerings and sacrifices to Yehovah, and Aaron and all the elders of Israel feast with him, Exo_18:12. The next day Yitro, observing how much Moshe was fatigued by being obliged to sit as judge and hear causes from morning to evening, Exo_18:13, inquires why he did so, Exo_18:14. Moshe answers, and shows that he is obliged to determine causes between man and man, and to teach them the statutes and laws of God, Exo_18:15, Exo_18:16. Yitro finds fault, and counsels him to appoint men who fear God, love truth, and hate covetousness, to be judges over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, to judge and determine in all smaller matters, and refer only the greater and most important to himself, Exo_18:17-22; and shows that this plan will be advantageous both to himself and to the people, Exo_18:23. Moshe hearkens to the counsel of Yitro, and appoints proper officers over the people, who enter upon their functions, determine all minor causes, and refer only the most difficult to Moshe, Exo_18:24-26. Moshe dismisses Yitro, who returns to his own country, Exo_18:27.

Verse 3: The two names of Moshe’s sons, Gershom & Eli’ezer. My God takes care of the foreigner. I foreshadow and the way it always has been. The Lord is always taking care of all those who wish to follow His ways.


Verse 11: Yitro a Priest of another faith come to the knowledge that Adonai is greater then all other gods.


Verse 16: The teaching of the Lords ways to new followers. The delegation of roles to those who would raise up and take on there mantle.


Sh’mot/ Exodus 19 -

The children of Israel, having departed from Rephidim (thorny), come to the wilderness of Sinai (rest) in the third month, Exo_19:1, Exo_19:2. Moshe goes up into the mount to God, and receives a message which he is to deliver to the people, Exo_19:3-6. He returns and delivers it to the people before the elders, Exo_19:7. The people promise obedience, Exo_19:8. The Lord proposes to meet Moshe in the cloud, Exo_19:9. He commands him to sanctify the people, and promises to come down visibly on Mount Sinai on the third day, Exo_19:10, Exo_19:11. He commands him also to set bounds, to prevent the people or any of the cattle from touching the mount, on pain of being stoned or shot through with a dart, Exo_19:12, Exo_19:13. Moshe goes down and delivers this message, Exo_19:14, Exo_19:15. The third day is ushered in with the appearance of the thick cloud upon the mount, and with thunders, lightning, and the sound of a Shofar, at which the people are greatly terrified, Exo_19:16


Verse 5-6: The Lord telling us that IF we follow His ways and KEEP His covenant we would be His own treasure. A Nation set apart a wholly priest hood. If you want to be part of His Kingdom, after accepting His grace in your life you are to let go of worldly things to being set apart. That is what Kefa was writing in his epistles. Read Kefa Aleph “1 Peter” 1:16 & 2:9)


Verse 13 & 16: Who sounds this incredibly loud Shofar that a 1,000,000 people would hear it? (See “The Thread” in the NT section)


Sh’mot/ Exodus 20 -

The preface to the ten commandments, Exo_20:1, Exo_20:2. The First commandment, against mental or theoretic idolatry, Exo_20:3. The Second, against making and worshipping images, or practical idolatry, Exo_20:4-6. The Third, against false swearing, blasphemy, and irreverent use of the name of God, Exo_20:7. The Fourth, against profanation of the Sabbath, and idleness on the other days of the week, Exo_20:8-11. The Fifth, against disrespect and disobedience to parents, Exo_20:12. The Sixth, against murder and cruelty, Exo_20:13. The Seventh, against adultery and uncleanness, Exo_20:14. The Eighth, against stealing and dishonesty, Exo_20:15. The Ninth, against false testimony, perjury, etc., Exo_20:16. The Tenth, against covetousness, Exo_20:17. The people are alarmed at the awful appearance of God on the mount, and stand afar off, Exo_20:18. They pray that Moshe may be mediator between God and them, Exo_20:19. Moses encourages them, Exo_20:20. He draws near to the thick darkness, and God communes with him, Exo_20:21, Exo_20:22. Farther directions against idolatry, Exo_20:23. Directions concerning making an altar of earth, Exo_20:24; and an altar of hewn stone, Exo_20:25. None of these to be ascended by steps, and the reason given, Exo_20:26.


These are so important that it is worth printing out:

Exo 20:1  Then God said all these words:

Exo 20:2  א "I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery.

Exo 20:3  ב "You are to have no other gods before me.

Exo 20:4  You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline.

Exo 20:5  You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, Adonai your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

Exo 20:6  but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot.

Exo 20:7  ג "You are not to use lightly the name of Adonai your God, because Adonai will not leave unpunished someone who uses his name lightly.

Exo 20:8  ד "Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.

Exo 20:9  You have six days to labor and do all your work,

Exo 20:10  but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property.

Exo 20:11  For in six days, Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself.

Exo 20:12  ה "Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land which Adonai your God is giving you.

Exo 20:13  ו "Do not murder.

Exo 20:14  (20:13) ז "Do not commit adultery.

Exo 20:15  (20:13) ח "Do not steal.

Exo 20:16  (20:13) ט "Do not give false evidence against your neighbor.

Exo 20:17  (20:14) י "Do not covet your neighbor's house; do not covet your neighbor's wife, his male or female slave, his ox, his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor."


The Lord makes a special point about His Shabbat. What we can and can’t do on it. What day it is. And why we should observe it on that day. If anyone, any man tries to change it he is going against what God said. If you are follow a tradition of the past. As we say here in New York, “forgetaboutit”. The talmidim of the Messiah Yeshua would NEVER go against this COMMANMENT. It was the pope who changed the day of worship so he could worship the sun god.


Many times I have heard from believers that I worship God all the time and it does not matter what day I set aside. The first part is good. We should worship the Lord every day. But when it comes to a certain day that we shut down and do no regular work what does Adonai think is good and what does He think is bad?

Exo 20:8  ד "Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.

So Adonai wants us to set this day apart from all others.


What day is the Shabbat?

Exo 20:9  You have six days to labor and do all your work,

Exo 20:10  but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work


So any other day to set aside to worship God by His standards is bad. Now you might say that we are under a different covenant and I will point you to Yochanan Joh 10:30  I and the Father are one." If Yeshua and the Father are one did Yeshua write Sh’mot/Exodus 20? So would Yeshua go against His rules and lower His standards for us? No He would never lower His standards and Yes He did write Sh’mot 20.

            For those who will say the Talmidim met on the first day of the week I say they met not Worshiped. It was a meeting not worship of the Lord.





Exo 19:5  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine;

Exo 19:6  and you shall be to me a kingdom of Kohanim, and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Yisra'el."



BRIT HADASHA LESSON – The entire account of the Lord freeing the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and leading the people into the promised land is a foreshadow, or a picture of the Lord’s plan of salvation for the entire world.  From the account, we can learn about our Heavenly Father as He introduces himself to the Israelites after they had been separated from Him for nearly 400 years.

            Just as Moshe was reunited with his family and told them of the mighty things God had done for him and the Israelites, we are encouraged in the Word to do the same. (Luke 8:39) In Matthew 8:2-4 Yeshua instructs the healed leper to go to show the priest the healing had been done for him and to offer a gift of thanksgiving according to the Law given to Moshe. We know from scripture that Yitro was a priest in Midian. The Word encourages us to share good reports of the Lord’s mighty deeds (Acts 1:1) as an encouragement and testimony so that others might believe and be saved as Jethro was.

            The concept of prayerfully taking wise counsel from elders is repeated several times throughout the word of God just as Moses received such advice from Yitro. We are encouraged to faithfully teach others about the Word and about God’s ways (Mat 5:19) Yeshua, Himself, directed His disciples to teach what He had taught to them (Mat 28:19). Yeshua also warned us that the harvest would be plentiful, but the workers would be few.  But we need not feel burdened to work alone. Leaders are encouraged to seek faithful co-workers as the harvest and the ministry grows (2Tim 2:20) (Gal 6:6)) In this way we can ease the burdens of the leaders and of our brothers and sisters in the Lord (Gal 6:2) and promote shalom among the brethren.

            We read in the Brit Hadasha the fulfillment of the plan foreshadowed in the Exodus account of salvation. Scripture tells us that those of us, Jew and Gentile alike, are participants in the New Covenant made of blood. (Mat 26:28) We, just like the ancient Israelites, must first willingly agree to accept the covenant (2Cor 9:13). We are instructed to be baptized, immersed, as a cleansing process to clear or wash away the old life and to begin the new one. We read in scripture that after Yeshua’s baptism, Heaven opened up and the Lord spoke just as He did after the Israelites were immersed at Mt Sinai.(Luke 3:21-22)  Even as Yeshua was baptized before starting His ministry, we are to follow His example.(Mat 28:19) Upon entering into the covenant we become an honorary citizen of Israel, being grafted into the inheritance (James 2:5) (Eph 1:11) and the promises of God (Rom 11:17-24) (Eph 2:19-20). We then become a priest of God with His Holy Temple placed within our hearts. (2Cor 6:16) We become part of a nation of priests (1Pet 2:9) who are a treasured possession of God.

            This relocation of the temple was a process that began approximately 2000 years ago. The temple was rebuilt in our hearts in three days, just as Yeshua had promised he would do (John 2:19-22)). The procedure required that our Lord lay in the tomb for 2 days, but he rose from the dead on the third day (Mat 28:2-3). Even at his death, the hill on which His body died shook with and earthquake (Mat 27:54), there was thunder and there was lightning. This was foreshadowed with the thunder, lightning and earthquake on the third day on Mt Sinai. Just as the Lord proclaimed to the Israelites that the “Law is your life.”(Deut 32:46-47) He gave eternal life by the sacrifice of Yeshua.

            Yeshua said that he had come to fulfill the Law. (Mat 5:17)  Each saved person has the Law written on His heart by the hand of God (Jer 31:33) just as the tablets of stone were written by God’s hand.  The Law clearly establishes the supremacy of the Lord. Yeshua taught that there is no “neutral ground”. A person must choose whether he or she will serve God or His enemy (Mat 6:24) because there is only one God. Once the choice is made to serve God alone and to receive Yeshua, the Lord promises that He will always be with that person pouring out blessings, even into eternity (Mat 18:20, 28:20)

            The sound of the shofar and the sound of the Lord’s voice are to be familiar and meaningful to His people. Yeshua’s second coming will be ushered in by the sound of a great and final shofar blast.(1Co 15:52) Even the disciple John tells us that the Lord’s own voice sounds like a loud shofar blast (Rev 1 10-11)


The Thread:

From Sh’mot 19:5-6

1Pe 1:13  Therefore, get your minds ready for work, keep yourselves under control, and fix your hopes fully on the gift you will receive when Yeshua the Messiah is revealed.

1Pe 1:14  As people who obey God, do not let yourselves be shaped by the evil desires you used to have when you were still ignorant.

1Pe 1:15  On the contrary, following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life;

1Pe 1:16  since the Tanakh says, "You are to be holy because I am holy."


Also what does it mean to God to be Holy?

1Pe 2:9  But you are a chosen people, the King's cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.


The Loud voice from Sh’mot 19:13 and verse 16 is;

Rev 1:8  "I am the 'A' and the 'Z,' " says Adonai, God of heaven's armies, the One who is, who was and who is coming.

Rev 1:9  I, Yochanan, am a brother of yours and a fellow-sharer in the suffering, kingship and perseverance that come from being united with Yeshua. I had been exiled to the island called Patmos for having proclaimed the message of God and borne witness to Yeshua.

Rev 1:10  I came to be, in the Spirit, on the Day of the Lord; and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet,

Rev 1:11  saying, "Write down what you see on a scroll, and send it to the seven Messianic communities — Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea!"



TODAY’S TEMPLE Titus 2 As those who have the temple of the living God within us we must encourage others by our actions and words.  We must show gratefulness and joy in sharing our testimony and in sharing the Gospel. It is critically important that we never lose sight of our mission on this earth to reach others for our King’s sake and for the advancement of His kingdom. We must always remember that we have been set apart, purified, and purchased for a direct purpose. We literally have the temple placed within us by the power of our mighty God; and, as such, we are expected to be diligent and knowledgeable priests. This means that we are teachers and counselors of His Word. We have a healthy fear and respect for God and His Word. We are witnesses of the power from Heaven that is unleashed when, by faith and acceptance of the High Priest, Yeshua, we walk in the power of the Ruach HaKodesh.



As today’s disciples of Yeshua we are to learn through the example of Moses and the ancient Hebrews. God has a plan and an order of things that He established to accomplish His purposes.  The Lord of Heaven and Earth is a jealous God whose love has the power to free us from sin and empower us to accomplish anything He asks us to do.




Looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Yeshua the Messiah; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works. Titus 2:13-14




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