“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict” (Hebrews 11:23 ESV).
To eliminate the perceived threat posed by Israel’s growing population, the Biblical book of Exodus tells us that Pharaoh, the Egyptian king, authorized the murder of every male infant born to a Hebrew mother. However, there was an unanticipated obstacle in Pharaoh’s plan…
“But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives. ‘Why have you done this?’ he demanded. ‘Why have you allowed the boys to live?’
‘The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women,’ the midwives replied. ‘They are more vigorous and have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time.’ So God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful” (Exodus 1:17-20 NLT).
Nevertheless, Pharaoh was undeterred by this setback…
“Then Pharaoh gave an order to all his people: ‘Throw every baby boy born to the Hebrews into the Nile River, but you can let all the girls live'” (Exodus 1:22 CEB).
Since Pharaoh could not depend upon these midwives to execute his plan, he simply enlisted the aid of every Egyptian citizen. That was the political environment that surrounded Moses at the time of his birth…
“About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. The baby’s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him.
Soon Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the river, and her attendants walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it for her. When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This must be one of the Hebrew children,’ she said.
Then the baby’s sister approached the princess. ‘Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?’ she asked. ‘Yes, do!’ the princess replied. So the girl went and called the baby’s mother. ‘Take this baby and nurse him for me,’ the princess told the baby’s mother. ‘I will pay you for your help.’ So the woman took her baby home and nursed him” (Exodus 2:1-9 NLT).
We’ll continue with our look at this portion of Moses’ life next.