Arrival in Egypt
Jacob and his children had arrived in Egypt to be close Joseph; he was second
in command to King Pharaoh, and with his ingenuity had saved the people of
Egypt, and by extension those from neighboring countries, from death by famine.
Jacob and his children were settled in the city of Goshen and prospered
wonderfully--their numbers grew and grew.
As long as Jacob's son's are alive, the Children of Israel are accorded
honor and respect, but after the passing of Joseph, "There arose a new king in
Egypt who knew not Joseph"--some commentaries say, chose not to know
Joseph--"And he said to his people. 'Behold the Children of Israel are more and
mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them; lest they
The Egyptians' way of dealing with their "Jewish Problem" is to
enslave the Jews. They are all forced into backbreaking labor, compelled to
build cities of treasure houses for Pharaoh. But still, the Jews continue to
multiply, to Pharaoh's eyes, at an ever frightening pace. To put a stop to this,
Pharaoh summons the Jewish midwives, Shifra and Puah, and commands them to
kill all Jewish newborn males. This, he is certain, will put an end to the
propagation of this race. When the midwives defy his order, he commands that
they cast all the newborn males into the Nile--his stargazers had predicted that
the savior of the Jews would die through water--and Pharaoh hopes his plan will ensure an early death for any potential Jewish leader.
Jocheved, the wife of the Levite Amram, gives birth to a son.
Because he is born three months early, she is able to conceal him for that
amount of time. When she can no longer hide him, she builds a small
water-proof cradle and puts her child on the brink of the Nile. The child's
sister, Miriam, hides among the brush to watch the child.
Pharaoh's daughter comes to bathe in the river when she sees the
floating cradle. When she opens it and sees the weeping baby, she realizes that
this is a Jewish child, but her compassion is aroused and she resolves to take
the baby home. She names him Moses "he who was drawn from the water."
Miriam approaches the princess and offers to find a wet-nurse for
the baby. When Pharaoh's daughter accepts, Miriam brings her Jocheved, whom
Pharaoh's daughter hires to nurse and care for the child. When Moses grows
older, he is returned to the palace, where Pharaoh's daughter raises him like a