AudioEvangelism.com - The Birth of Moses The Birth of Moses
Exodus 1 ended with a command from Pharaoh on how to slow the population growth of the Hebrews. He instructed that all male Hebrew infants be thrown into the river. Chapter 2 opens with the birth of an exceedingly special Hebrew baby boy. Although he should have been destroyed, he was providentially spared by God because God had a great role for him to fulfill 80 years later!
"And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him" (Exo. 2:1-4).

Only a mother can fully fathom the anguish of Jochebed here. After carrying this child for nine months and hiding him another three, it is becoming impossible to keep her baby a secret. She loves this beautiful boy dearly, but instead of him potentially being taken by force and thrown into the river, she decides to make a small boat for him, place him in it, and hope for the best. The baby's big sister (presumably Miriam) spies on the little craft, desiring to know what would happen next.

"Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, 'This is one of the Hebrews' children'" (2:5,6). I believe God's providence is at work here. Besides those of Pharaoh's family, who else could have found a Hebrew baby boy and saved him if they so desired? If Pharaoh had found him, we know what he would have done as the issuer of the heinous command. But, Pharaoh's daughter evidently had the freedom to do what she wanted in this regard (or the ability to keep it a secret). Can we think of a more ideal person to find this child?

Miriam then volunteered to find a suitable nurse for the baby among the Hebrew women. So, in a short span of time, Jochebed secretly puts her son on the river and soon has him brought back to her. Some have speculated that such was her plan (or hope) all along, since it is possible she knew where Pharaoh's daughter typically bathed. Jochebed would thus nurse her own baby and be paid to do so until he was weaned! Then he would be brought back to Pharaoh's daughter (who didn't know the connection between Jochebed and the baby) who would adopt him as her own son.

"And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, 'Because I drew him out of the water'" (2:10). Moses would thus survive where other Hebrew boys were killed. He would be raised as an Egyptian though he would know he was a Hebrew. He would benefit from the finest education that Egypt could offer him (cf. Acts 7:22). Isn't it incredible how God can use Pharaoh's murderous edict to train and prepare the human deliverer of Israel?

We know almost nothing about Moses' early years (the same is true of the Christ). In fact, nothing more is recorded about him until he is approximately 40 years old!