3-The Mystery of Childhood

Highlighting Children in the Bible

Part 3: Moses

Joseph was happy to have his family close to him in Egypt, and as the years went by and the little children grew up and became Mommies and Daddies in their turn, the family got bigger and bigger and soon there were many grandpas and grandmas, and great-grandpas and great-grandmas and all of them made up one huge happy family.

In those years the Pharaohs and their families were changing too, and eventually a Pharaoh came along who did not know Joseph, and this Pharaoh was not pleased to see this big foreign family living in his land. So he began to make them his slaves by forcing them to work hard for him in the hot sun to make bricks of mud. When they didn’t work fast enough, the mean Pharaoh ordered the taskmasters or bosses to whip them so that they would get sick and die.

When the Pharaoh saw this, he thought of another mean trick: he would order all the people in his land to find and then throw all the Hebrew boy-babies into the big Nile River.

Yet, even as they worked so very hard and suffered horribly from the stinging lashes on their backs, this large Hebrew family kept growing and growing.

At this time there was one small Hebrew family —from among the much larger family—living in Egypt who loved and served God with all their hearts. The Dad was called Amram and the Mom’s name was Jochebed. They had a sweet daughter named Miriam, who was about twelve years old, and then a precious little baby boy was born. They were happy to have this boy baby, but knowing the horrible decree of Pharaoh, they were afraid for him. They tried to hide him as best they could, but his cries were becoming louder and louder. What should they do? The Mom had an idea. She would make a little basket for him that would not leak, and she would float the basket in the nearby river, hidden by the tall grasses called reeds. Miriam then offered to hide in the reeds near the basket and watch over her baby brother.

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So when the basket was ready the Mom took her smiling baby and put him in it, and then she and Miriam went to the river. There they placed the child among the tall rushes on the edge of the river, and Miriam laid down on her tummy to watch from a distance. After a while she saw a lovely lady come near the river, along with her maids or helpers, to take a bath. Miriam’s heart beat hard and fast and her body trembled as she recognized the lovely Princess who was the daughter of Pharaoh. Would she see the basket? Yes, indeed she did see the strange little basket floating among the reeds, and told her slave-girl to go and bring it to her. When the baby was taken out of the basket he began to cry. The Princess was sorry for the baby and took him in her arms and held him him close while she caressed and patted his back to soothe him. “This must be one of the Hebrew babies,” she said as she kissed the baby, “and I am going to save him and adopt him as my own little boy.”

Miriam then quietly approached and said, “Would you like me go get a Hebrew woman to care for your baby?”

The Princess looked at Miriam with a gentle smile, “Well hello little girl,” she said and with kindness in her eyes she added, “Indeed, I will need help to care for this baby.”

“I can get her right away,” Miriam blurted out.

“That would be just fine,” the Princess said.

So Miriam ran off and got her Mom. Soon after they both stood panting before the Princess who was now holding their precious baby.

The Princess looked at the woman and noticed the sweet and anxious face of the real Mom, so she gently put the baby in her arms. “Take care of him for me,” she said, “and I will pay you for your work.

The family no longer needed to worry about saving their little boy because now he was a Prince, the son of a Princess who named him “Moses.”

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He grew up in the palace and after many years had passed he helped his people to escape from Egypt so that they could go back to their own land of Canaan—the land God had promised to them.

 

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