In the past couple of weeks we have told you stories on mothers & their role in the bible.
Today we’re going to go back in time a bit from one of our previous posts about Rebekah to Moses’ mother, Jochebed. Her name means “Yahweh is glory” or “Jehovah is our glory”, & what a wonderful name that is.
Of course we can’t speak of Jochebed without mentioning the story of Moses as a baby. How he was born when the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt & how he was hidden away to save him from Pharaoh’s cruel decree that all newly born Hebrew boys be thrown in the Nile. And the Nile in those days was not only a deep river, it was the haunt of crocodiles & the deadly hippopotamus.
Clever Jochebed made a cradle of reeds (which were believed to protect against those crocodiles) & hid little Moses in reeds by the river’s bank. Even at so early an age, we learn from the Bible in Exodus, Acts & Hebrews that Moses was recognized as a special child. There was just something special & angelic about him from the beginning. Of course any mother would do everything she could to preserve her child in such circumstances, but we can assume that Jochebed, in addition to being resourceful, also had the help of the Lord.
Anyway, here is Jochebed, hiding baby Moses & having her daughter, Miriam to stand watch by the reed stand… but they we’re counting on Pharaoh’s daughter & her handmaidens coming to that place by the river to bathe.
Again we see how special Moses was from infancy, because Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the babe, but instead of taking him to her father (or tossing him into the river), she was moved to compassion by his beauty. She decided to defy her father & save the infant, but knew he would need a wet nurse since he was so very young. Miriam, as clever as her mother, offered to go find such a woman & brought back Jochebed, the baby’s mother, all unbeknownst to Pharaoh’s daughter.
When Jochebed appeared, Pharaoh’s daughter tasked her with not only caring for the child, but offered to pay her a wage for the task. In this way not only was Moses saved, but Jochebed & her family received a benefit directly from the house of Pharaoh.
Moses’ name was actually bestowed on his by this kind daughter of Pharaoh. It means “drawn out of the water”, but he was always son to Jochebed, even though Pharaoh’s daughter continued to treat him as if he were her own child.
We don’t know how long Jochebed lived, but we do know that she was the mother of Aaron as well as Moses & Miriam.
How wonderful is the love of a mother that it can, with the Lord’s help, defeat even the mighty Pharaoh & indeed use the ruler’s resources for good.