Civil disobedience and the women in Exodus. Hmmm…keeps happening. The thirteenth woman in scripture to speak, Pharaoh’s daughter falls instantly in love with little Moses, who has been placed in the River Nile by his mother, Jochebed. Seems that Mom doesn’t want her boy slaughtered. Yep. Can understand that.
Case: Pharaoh is threatened by the Hebrew people, who have grown tough and strong and keep having all those babies. Apparently he must think of them as rabbits, quickly multiplying rabbits that will conquer the country if left unimpeded. So he decrees they be put to death, first by the midwives — and when that doesn’t work (see last week’s blog), by whoever spots them, it seems.
Mom has another plan. After somehow keeping the little guy quiet for three months, she builds a sturdy ark for her son and sets him in the river, home to crocodiles and ancient little palaces for gods like Isis (see her temple at the Metropolitan in NYC).
Moses’ sister, Miriam, is posted in the weeds as a lookout.
It could, however, have worked out really badly.
If she were a daddy’s girl, Pharaoh’s daughter could have had Moses’ head bashed against the rocks (check Psalm 137:9..it happens). Or Jochebed — and you know she had to be watching from somewhere nearby — might have seen her little one drowned, crocodile-bait style.
Not this time. The beautiful young woman (well, she was beautiful — she saved a baby’s life — what more proof do you need?) discovers Moses and decrees he shall be raised in the palace. Sister Miriam emerges from the cattails, volunteers her mother as a nurse and hears the lovely word, “Yes.” She fetches Jochebed, who cares for her son until the age of seven, teaching him the faith of the Hebrew people. Then he joins Pharaoh’s household and is educated in Egyptian ways.
Pharaoh’s daughter names Moses, which means “I drew him out of the water.” Like the midwives before her, she has delivered Moses from death. Because of her kind nature — which will indeed bring pain and suffering to the Egyptians in the years to come — Moses goes on to be a kind of midwife himself: delivering his people from the bonds of slavery into a new life, a life of freedom and wholeness.