Parsha Yitro יִתְרוֹ is translated as “Jethro”. It’s the seventeenth Torah reading in the annual reading cycle and fifth in sefer Shemot, the book of Exodus. I found five different spellings – “Yitro”, “Yithro”, “Yisroi”, “Yisrau”, or “Yisro”
Parsha Yitro Summary
Parsha Yitro begins with Yitro’s advice to Moses. YHVH speaks to Moses several times preparing him and Israel for His “appearance on Mount Sinai. YHVH gives the ten words.
Yitro יִתְרוֹ is the second word and in the Hebrew text (see text below).
Parsha Yitro Readings
Torah: Exodus (Shemot) 18.1-20.23
Halftorah: Isaiah 6.1-7:6; 9.5-6
Brit Hahagaddah: Mt. 5.8-20
Parsha Yitro Aliyah
First reading — Exodus (Shemot) 18.1–12
Second reading — Exodus (Shemot) 18.13–23
Third reading — Exodus (Shemot) 18.24-27
Fourth reading — Exodus (Shemot) 19.1–6
Fifth reading — Exodus (Shemot) 19.7–19
Sixth reading — Exodus (Shemot) 19.20-20.14
Seventh reading — Exodus (Shemot) 20:15–26 (Heb v.23)
Parsha Yitro Stats
- Hebrew letters – 4,022
- Hebrew words – 1,105
- Pesukim (sentences) – 116
- Lines in a Torah Scroll – 216
- Double Count – 0
- Scribal Practices – 1
- See Hebrew text for Parsha Exodus
- Number of Mitzvot in Parsha Exodus- 0
- Maimonides says: 0
- Positive – 0
- Negative – 0
- Sefer ha-Chinuch says: 17
- Positive – 3
- Negative – 14
Parsha Yitro Scriptures
Exodus (Shemot) 18.1–12 (Parsha Yitro, Aliyah 1)
Exo 18:1 Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel His people, how that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt.
Exo 18:2 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her away,
Exo 18:3 and her two sons; of whom the name of the one was Gershom; for he said: ‘I have been a stranger in a strange land’;
Exo 18:4 and the name of the other was Eliezer: ‘for the God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.’
Exo 18:5 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness where he was encamped, at the mount of God;
Exo 18:6 and he said unto Moses: ‘I thy father-in-law Jethro am coming unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her.’
Exo 18:7 And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and bowed down and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent.
Exo 18:8 And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them.
Exo 18:9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, in that He had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.
Exo 18:10 And Jethro said: ‘Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh; who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.
Exo 18:11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods; yea, for that they dealt proudly against them.’
Exo 18:12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt-offering and sacrifices for God; and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.
Exodus (Shemot) 18.13–23 (Parsha Yitro, Aliyah 2)
Exo 18:13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood about Moses from the morning unto the evening.
Exo 18:14 And when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did to the people, he said: ‘What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand about thee from morning unto even?’
Exo 18:15 And Moses said unto his father-in-law: ‘Because the people come unto me to inquire of God;
Exo 18:16 when they have a matter, it cometh unto me; and I judge between a man and his neighbour, and I make them know the statutes of God, and His laws.’
Exo 18:17 And Moses’ father-in-law said unto him: ‘The thing that thou doest is not good.
Exo 18:18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee; for the thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.
Exo 18:19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God be with thee: be thou for the people before God, and bring thou the causes unto God.
Exo 18:20 And thou shalt teach them the statutes and the laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
Exo 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
Exo 18:22 And let them judge the people at all seasons; and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge themselves; so shall they make it easier for thee and bear the burden with thee.
Exo 18:23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people also shall go to their place in peace.’
Exodus (Shemot) 18.24-27 (Parsha Yitro, Aliyah 3)
Exo 18:24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said.
Exo 18:25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
Exo 18:26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.
Exo 18:27 And Moses let his father-in-law depart; and he went his way into his own land.
Exodus (Shemot) 19.1–6 (Parsha Yitro, Aliyah 4)
Exo 19:1 In the third month after the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
Exo 19:2 And when they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the wilderness of Sinai, they encamped in the wilderness; and there Israel encamped before the mount.
Exo 19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying: ‘Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel:
Exo 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself.
Exo 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will hearken unto My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all peoples; for all the earth is Mine;
Exo 19:6 and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.’
Exodus (Shemot) 19.7–19 (Parsha Yitro, Aliyah 5)
Exo 19:7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the LORD commanded him.
Exo 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said: ‘All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.’ And Moses reported the words of the people unto the LORD.
Exo 19:9 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and may also believe thee for ever.’ And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
Exo 19:10 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Go unto the people, and sanctify them to-day and to-morrow, and let them wash their garments,
Exo 19:11 and be ready against the third day; for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
Exo 19:12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying: Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it; whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death;
Exo 19:13 no hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live; when the ram’s horn soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.’
Exo 19:14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their garments.
Exo 19:15 And he said unto the people: ‘Be ready against the third day; come not near a woman.’
Exo 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a horn exceeding loud; and all the people that were in the camp trembled.
Exo 19:17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
Exo 19:18 Now mount Sinai was altogether on smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
Exo 19:19 And when the voice of the horn waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice.
Exodus (Shemot) 19.20-25 (Parsha Yitro, Aliyah 6)
Exo 19:20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, to the top of the mount; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
Exo 19:21 And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.
Exo 19:22 And let the priests also, that come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.’
Exo 19:23 And Moses said unto the LORD: ‘The people cannot come up to mount Sinai; for thou didst charge us, saying: Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.’
Exo 19:24 And the LORD said unto him: ‘Go, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee; but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest He break forth upon them.’
Exo 19:25 So Moses went down unto the people, and told them.
Exodus (Shemot) 20.1.14 (Heb vv 1-13) (Parsha Yitro, Aliyah 6)
Exo 20:1 And God spoke all these words, saying:
Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
Exo 20:5 thou shalt not bow down unto them, nor serve them; for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me;
Exo 20:6 and showing mercy unto the thousandth generation of them that love Me and keep My commandments.
Exo 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.
Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work;
Exo 20:10 but the seventh day is a sabbath unto the LORD thy God, in it thou shalt not do any manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates;
Exo 20:11 for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Exo 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Exo 20:13 Thou shalt not murder.
Exo 20:14 (20:13) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Exo 20:15 (20:13) Thou shalt not steal.
Exodus (Shemot) 20:15–26 (Heb vv 13-23) (Parsha Yitro, Aliyah 7)
Exo 20:16 (20:13) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Exo 20:17 (20:14) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Exo 20:18 (20:15) And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the horn, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off.
Exo 20:19 (20:16) And they said unto Moses: ‘Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.’
Exo 20:20 (20:17) And Moses said unto the people: ‘Fear not; for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before you, that ye sin not.’
Exo 20:21 (20:18) And the people stood afar off; but Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
Laws About Altars
Exo 20:22 (20:19) And the LORD said unto Moses: Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel: Ye yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.
Exo 20:23 (20:20) Ye shall not make with Me – gods of silver, or gods of gold, ye shall not make unto you.
Exo 20:24 (20:21) An altar of earth thou shalt make unto Me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt-offerings, and thy peace-offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come unto thee and bless thee.
Exo 20:25 (20:22) And if thou make Me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stones; for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast profaned it.
Exo 20:26 (20:23) Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto Mine altar, that thy nakedness be not uncovered thereon.
Isaiah 6:1-13 (Parsha Yitro, Haftarah)
Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.
Isa 6:2 Above Him stood the seraphim; each one had six wings: with twain he covered his face and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
Isa 6:3 And one called unto another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.
Isa 6:4 And the posts of the door were moved at the voice of them that called, and the house was filled with smoke.
Isa 6:5 Then said I: Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
Isa 6:6 Then flew unto me one of the seraphim, with a glowing stone in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar;
Isa 6:7 and he touched my mouth with it, and said: Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin expiated.
Isa 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said: ‘Here am I; send me.’
Isa 6:9 And He said: ‘Go, and tell this people: hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Isa 6:10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they, seeing with their eyes, and hearing with their ears, and understanding with their heart, return, and be healed.’
Isa 6:11 Then said I: ‘Lord, how long?’ And He answered: ‘Until cities be waste without inhabitant, and houses without man, and the land become utterly waste,
Isa 6:12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and the forsaken places be many in the midst of the land.
Isa 6:13 And if there be yet a tenth in it, it shall again be eaten up; as a terebinth, and as an oak, whose stock remaineth, when they cast their leaves, so the holy seed shall be the stock thereof.’
Isaiah 7:1-6 (Parsha Yitro, Haftarah)
Isa 7:1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to war against it; but could not prevail against it.
Isa 7:2 And it was told the house of David, saying: ‘Aram is confederate with Ephraim.’ And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest are moved with the wind.
Isa 7:3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah: ‘Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shear-jashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, in the highway of the fullers’ field;
Isa 7:4 and say unto him: Keep calm, and be quiet; fear not, neither let thy heart be faint, because of these two tails of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram, and of the son of Remaliah.
Isa 7:5 Because Aram hath counselled evil against thee, Ephraim also, and the son of Remaliah, saying:
Isa 7:6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set up a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeel;
Isaiah 9:5-6 (Parsha Yitro, Haftarah)
Isa 9:5 (9:4) For every boot stamped with fierceness, and every cloak rolled in blood, shall even be for burning, for fuel of fire.
Isa 9:6 (9:5) For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele- joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom;
Isa 9:7 (9:6) That the government may be increased, and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it through justice and through righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts doth perform this.
Matthew 5.8-20 (Parsha Yitro, Renewed Covenant)
Mat 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Mat 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Mat 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Mat 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Mat 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Mat 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
Mat 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
Mat 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Mat 5:15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Mat 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Mat 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Mat 5:18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Mat 5:19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
- Covenant & Conversation Commentary – Rabbi Sacks book on Amazon. Parsha Yitro contains a total of four different articles on pages 126 – 156.
- Exploring Exodus: The Origin of Biblical Israel – Nahum Sarna
- The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon – One of the most used Hebrew and English Lexicons among serious Bible students.
WSB Show Podcast
- Exodus (Shemot) Introduction
- Exodus 18 (Shemot) | Bible Hub Interlinear Exodus 18
- Exodus 19 (Shemot) | Bible Hub Interlinear Exodus 19
- Exodus 2o (Shemot) | Bible Hub Interlinear Exodus 20
- Shemot – 13th Parsha – Ex. 1.1 – 6.1
- Vaeira – 14th Parsha – Ex. 6.2 – 9.35
- Bo – 15th Parsha – Ex. 10.1 – 13.16
- Beshalach – 16th Parsha – Ex. 13.17 – 17.16
- Yitro – 17th Parsha – Ex. 18.1 – 20.23 (26)
- Mishpatim – 18th Parsha – Ex. 21.1 – 24.18
- Terumah – 19th Parsha – Ex. 25.1 – 27.19
- Tetzaveh – 20th Parsha – Ex. 27.20 – 30-10
- Ki Tisa– 21st Parsha – Ex. 30.11 – 34.35
- Vayakhel – 22nd Parsha – Ex. 35.1 -38.20
- Pekudei – 23rd Parsha – Ex. 38.21 – 40.38
- Hebrew in Israel – Torah Portion Yitro– Yoel HaLevi’s teaching series Learn Torah on Parsha Yitro
- Hebrew in Israel – Haftarah Portion Yitro– Yoel HaLevi teaching series Learn Torah on the Haftarah on Parsha Yitro, Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6.
- Torah Pearls #17 – Yitro– Nehemia Gordan’s teaching on Parsha Yitro
- Prophet Pearls #17 – Yitro– Nehemia Gordan’s teaching series on the Haftarah for Parsha Yitro, Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6.
- Covenant and Conversion – Rabbi Sacks Video teaching in 5771 on Shemot.