Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jochebed - Mother of Moses

Exodus 6:20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses
Jochebed was a slave living in Egypt. The children of Israel had moved to Egypt during a horrendous seven year famine. At the time, Pharaoh gave the children of Israel the best land in the delta area to raise their cattle. However when the friendly Pharaoh died, the Egyptians became envious of the Israelites and enslaved them. The new Pharaoh hated the Israelites so much he ordered all infant boys to be slaughtered upon birth.

Imagine yourself pregnant, unable to sleep as your neighbors howled and mourned for their slaughtered sons. You're praying that you have a girl, that she'd be spared. Every night, when you tuck in your firstborn, Aaron, and your daughter, Miriam, you pray for the unborn child.

The birth of the child should have been a joyous occasion, one for celebration. But in Jochebed's case, it was one fraught with anguish and fear. For a baby boy was born.
Exodus 2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.
2:2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.
2:3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.
By faith, Jochebed hid her son from the authorities. But try as she might, the baby grew too noisy and she could no longer hide him. When you read the Bible story, it is easy to gloss over it. After all, we all know there is a happy ending, that Moses was found by Pharaoh's daughter. But put yourself back in time with Jochebed.

Trembling and prayerfully, Jochebed had to not only give up her son, but place him in the hand of God. She did not know the ending. Her tears mixing with the pitch and slime, she carefully wrapped her precious infant in a blanket, kissed him for the last time, and rocked him to sleep. Sobbing and tripping over her feet, she tiptoed to the river's edge, away from the eyes of Pharaoh's guards, and placed him in the basket.

Could you do this? Not knowing what would happen to your baby? Behind her, certain death for the baby. In front of her, the mighty Nile infested with ferocious river crocodiles. Jochebed knelt at the water's edge, said her prayers, and gently, ever so reluctantly, pushed the little ark into the water.
Exodus 2:4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.
2:5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.
2:6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.
2:7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?
2:8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother.
2:9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the women took the child, and nursed it.
What a happy circumstance God arranged for Jochebed. Not only was Moses safe from harm, but his own mother would be nursing him and getting wages for it. You can bet Jochebed thanked the Lord God for blessing her with this opportunity. She made the most of her few years with Moses and taught him her unfeigned faith, a faith so strong that when Moses reached adulthood, he forsook the riches of Egypt and chose to be numbered with the Hebrew slaves.
Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God,
Moses' faith stemmed from his mother's faith, from the moment he was born, to when she put him in the river, and then later gave him back to Pharaoh's daughter. She knew she had only a few short years with him, but her influence on him was immeasurable.

Mothers, you too have a calling, to not only nurture and care for your child, but to pray for him and show him your faith, so that by example, he will learn to depend not on himself or the world, but on God. May God richly bless you and your family.



  1. Isn't this an amazing story, Rachelle? You told it well and summed it up nicely. Thanks.

  2. Hmmm....that is a very difficult situation she found herself in. I don't think I'd have the courage...but maybe I would...Idk. :(
    This was like a mini action packed movie, imo.

    1. Thanks. I truly don't know what I would have done. I think she might have done some reconnaissance and spied where Pharaoh's daughter takes her baths. Notice she had Miriam posted to chat up Pharaoh's daughter. Miriam did a nice bit of work too. Pharaoh's daughter hadn't said anything about adopting the baby when she chimed in, "Want me to find someone to nurse the child for you?"

      Yep, Miriam, the world's first saleslady. ;)

  3. Congratulations Rachelle! You’ve been nominated for a Beautiful Blogger Award! Click here for more info: http://acostaeveli.blogspot.com/