The parsha of Yitro (Jethro) is divided into two episodes. In the first (chapter 18), Israel receives its first system of governance – devolved to leaders of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens – at the advice of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, whose name the parsha bears. In the second (chapters 19–20), it receives its eternal constitution by way of covenant with God. A brief summation of its key elements is given by the voice of God Himself in the form of the Ten Commandments (or Utterances).

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