1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.
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.
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.
4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.
5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the 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.
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.
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?
8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother.
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 women took the child, and nursed it.
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.
The King of Egypt had failed in his plan to control the growth of Israel and now his decree was to fling all the male Hebrew children found into the Nile. During this episode, we learn that a special Hebrew child is born and we learn some special things about him through the text that tie in with special Biblical events.
Moses was born a Levite.
The tribe of Levi would eventually be separated and sanctified as priests for God. This will also play into the relationship we see between Moses and God in relation to the people of Israel. His father, Amram, and his mother, Jochebed, trusted in God and hid him for three months.
Moses was goodly
His parents saw that he was a goodly child and his him while other male children were dying. The Hebrew word used here is “tov” and it reminds the reader of the beginning of Genesis as God creates and sees that it was good.
Moses was saved in an ark.
His mother did place him in the Nile but she made what the text calls and “ark” and sends him into the hands of God. The Hebrew word used here is “tevah” and the only other place it is used is once again in Genesis, as we see Noah and his family saved from the flood in an ark. First we see God saving mankind through an ark and now He will save a nation through an ark.
Moses is a type or shadow of Jesus.
This decree of Pharaoh was another attempt of Satan to try to wipe out the line of the Messiah and evidently, he wasn’t very creative because something similar happens again centuries later when Herod tries to keep the Son of God from being born. Notice the fact that Egypt is mentioned here as well.
13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.
21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
Moses was a part of the Divine Providence of God.
His parents placed his fate in the Hands of God. The little ark floated down to where the daughter of Pharaoh was bathing. She had compassion on this little baby even though she knew he would have been a Hebrew. A striking contrast from her father. Moses had two older siblings, Aaron and Miriam, and it was Miriam who suggested that she knew someone who could take care of the baby for the Kings’ daughter. So now his mother was able to take care of her own son, while being paid for it through the very group who wanted to kill her people.
Moses would have been around 6 or 7 when he would have been given back to the daughter of Pharaoh. This would have been ample time for him to learn about his people and grow close to his own family. We are not given an idea that he thought himself to be the deliverer of his people but it does seem that he may have had this idea.
25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.
So Moses is taken away from his mother, given his name, and raised in the courts of the King.
In Egyptian his name would have been “Mose,” which means “child or son.” This was a very common name for Pharaohs.
In Hebrew it would have been “Mosheh,” which means “drawn out.”
Stephen tells us in Acts that Moses was given the best in education.
20 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months:
21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.
22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds
Tradition tells us that Moses was a beautiful child who was wise beyond his years and that he was adopted as part of the Pharaohs’ family.
Yet his heart was with his people and we will soon see that he had made a choice to identify with his people and God
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
He would have lived a very luxurious life in the palace of the King of one of the most richest countries. He would have had whatever he wanted given to him whenever he wanted it. It would have been easy to accept that God had placed him here for a reason. It would have been easy to say that he could do more from within the walls of the enemy than without.
Yet I wonder if he would have felt guilt as he looked out of the windows of his plush estate and saw his people suffering.
He chose to identify with his people and his God and for him to sit idly by while his brethren suffered was to him a sin. The pleasures of sin and material things last for only a little while and they leave you empty and yearning for more of the same.
As long as we are on this earth in these physical bodies, we will never be free from sin:
Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard
But if we abide in Christ and confess our sins, God will forgive us:
1 John 1:7-9 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
And through Christ we have victory over sin:
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.