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Jochebed, from the Hebrew name (pronounced) yaw-keh-bed, was the mother of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. She is recorded as the sister of Kohath, her husband Amram's father. Jochebed is responsible for one of the best-known incidents of Bible History, the placing of her infant son Moses into the Nile river in a waterproof basket.


Miriam Jochebed is mentioned specifically by name only twice in the Scriptures, in genealogy. She was of the tribe of Levi (see Levites).

"These are the families of the Levites: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Korathites. And Kohath begat Amram. And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister." (Numbers 26:58-59 KJV)

"And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations. And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses" (Exodus 6:19-20 KJV)

After the Pharaoh ordered the killing of all Israelite male infants by casting them into The Nile River (the otherwise reasonably good classic movie The Ten Commandments is apparently mistaken when it shows the infants being killed in other ways; the other most obvious error is showing a crescent moon at Passover, which always occurs at full moon), Jochebed did put her son into the river, but in an "ark" (see Moses' Ark). When he was found by the childless daughter of the Pharaoh, Miriam made it seem that she just happened to come along and suggested that she knew of a Hebrew woman who could nurse the infant for the Egyptian princess - the infant Moses' own mother, Jochebed.

"And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive."

"And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 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. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him."

"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. 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."

"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?"

"And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. 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 woman took the child, and nursed it. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water." (Exodus 1:22-2:10 KJV)

Fact Finder: Miriam was obviously older than Moses, since she helped her mother Jochebed put the infant Moses into the Nile. But of Jochebed's two sons, how much age difference was there between Moses and Aaron, and which was older?
Exodus 7:7

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