The past three weeks our church, Love of Christ Community Church, has had a special bible study series for women. We learned and dove deep into the study of the Women of the Bible. Women like Sarah, Rahab, Bathseheba, Jochebed and Jabez’ Mom. I will be sharing some posts about the weeks lessons, but today I wanted to share what I learned about Jochebed, Moses’ “biological” mother.
Jochebed married her brothers son, Amram. They had three children together: Miriam, Aaron and Moses. At the time that Moses was born, the King of Egypt had noticed that the Hebrews were many. He did not want the Hebrews to overwhelm the city and overtake them. So he commanded the midwives that each time a baby boy is born, they shall kill them. But the midwives said that they couldn’t do that. They told the Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.” (Exodus: 1:19 NKJV)
“So the Pharaoh commanded all his people saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.” (Exodus 1:22 NKJV)
Jochebed was pregnant when the Pharaoh commanded all Hebrew baby boys to be killed and thrown into the Nile. At the time, she didn’t know if she was going to have a girl or a boy. When she finally had the baby, she saw that he was a beautiful baby boy. She felt that he was a special gift from God. She was immediately determined to fight for his life. She had faith and believed that God would save her son.
Jochebed nursed her baby boy for about three months until he finally got too big to hide and conceal. So she decided to make a cradle for him, “an ark of bulrushes, daubed it with asphalt and pitch…” (Exodus 2:3 NKJV)
Jochebed placed the cradle with the baby boy in the banks of the river. Miriam followed the cradle as it waded down the river. At the time, the Pharaoh’s daughter was bathing nearby. The Pharaoh’s daughter found the cradle with the baby crying inside. She had compassion for the baby and picked him up. She immediately knew that this was the baby of a Hebrew woman. Miriam then, boldly, stepped out and asked her, if she should go get a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for her?? She said, “Go.”
Miriam, retrieved a Hebrew woman… Jochebed… to come and take the child. The pharaoh’s daughter told Jochebed to nurse him and raise him until he was old enough. And when he was old enough and no longer nursed, Jochebed handed him over to the Pharaoh’s daughter so she can raise him as her own. She then named him Moses, meaning ‘drawn out of the water’ (Exodus 2:10 NKJV)
There isn’t much more information about Jochebed after that story. Once she hands him over to the Pharaoh’s daughter to be raised, she is not really mentioned anywhere else in the bible. However her bold faith, courage and belief that her son was sent from God for a special purpose consequently saved a nation. An act of faith that will never be forgotten.
One of the greatest lessons we, as mothers and women can learn from Jochebed is that, by letting go and trusting God, an even greater dream was fulfilled. She gave her son back to God. She believed that He had a plan and place for her son. And she acted out on that faith by placing him in the river. God placed the baby boy in the direct path of the Pharaoh’s daughter… and the Pharaoh’s daughter had compassion for the baby boy… knowing he was a Hebrew. She then allowed a Hebrew woman ( his own mother) to nurse him and care for him.
The pharaoh’s daughter also played a key role in saving Moses. It was to her that Jochebed owed the saving of her son. Moses was under royal protection and had all the advantages of the Pharaoh’s palace. No one would ever have thought that any of this could happen. Like Jochebed, we won’t always foresee God’s purpose in letting go, but we can trust that His plan is greater than we can ever imagine.