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The Pharaoh's Daughter

The people of Israel entered Egypt as refugees from a famine [see The Israelite Patriarchs - Joseph], but while in the rich Nile Delta region they grew into a powerful foreign nation within Egypt - so much so that the king of Egypt began to fear them:

"1:7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. 1:8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 1:9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 1:10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land." (Exodus 1:7-10 KJV)

The Pharaoh's "final solution" was an order to drown all newborn Israelite males:

"1:22 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." (Exodus 1:22 KJV)

"And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water"

It's very unlikely that many of the Israelite mothers volunteered their sons to be murdered. No doubt, most tried to hide their babies, as did a certain woman of the tribe of Levi:

The Nile River

"2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi [see Levites], 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. 2:4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him." (Exodus 2:1-4 KJV)

Whether the child's mother was expecting a miracle is not clear; but she got one nevertheless. Not only was the child found and adopted by an Egyptian woman (which was, perhaps, the actual mother's hope), the woman was the sister of the Pharoah who had ordered all of the babies killed. Moses would eventually be hidden "in plain sight" right in the Pharaoh's palace.

"2:5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river[ see The Nile 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." (Exodus 2:5-6 KJV)

The Lord's guidance continued; the Pharaoh's daughter needed someone to nurse the infant. Who was "found"? Moses' own mother, thanks in part to Moses' sister Miriam who had followed the basket along the river.

"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 woman took the child, and nursed it." (Exodus 2:7-9 KJV)

One curiosity of Bible History is that the name that Moses is famous for was the adopted name that the Pharaoh's daughter gave to him after he was weaned. What did his actual mother name him? There is no record.

"2:10 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 2:10 KJV)

Fact Finder: Was Moses' entire life, up to the Exodus, spent in training for the Exodus?
See The Education Of Moses


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