Jochebed. Exodus 1:8-22 & Exodus 2:1-10
Us Levites have grown immensely as a people. Our numbers have increased significantly, and we are a mighty and strong people. The new king, a man not of Joseph’s line, is not pleased about our increasing numbers. There has been whispers among the midwives that the new king has ordered them to kill any male child born to a Hebrew woman, but the female children should be spared. Thank the Lord they are good, God fearing Hebrew women. They have told the king that we are quick in labor and deliver before they arrive. The king is working us so much harder! It seems he is working us even harder since the whispers from the midwives. He is forcing us to work ever so much more in brick, mortar and the fields. Despite all the work our numbers are still increasing. Our numbers are so great we have spread across this land of Egypt. Pharaoh has ordered to all the people that “every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live”. What kind of king is this? Is he so impotent that he fears us? Is his kingdom so weak he fears our numbers? What have the Levetical people done to him and his land to deserve such a decree? Have we done anything but serve him obediently?
I have laid with my husband and am now with child! This should be a joyful time, but I am plagued with fear. I pray to the Lord our God it is not a boy! How is a mother to throw her child into the Nile? I see the other mothers after they are forced to do this. I have tried helping them, consoling the. Their pain is great and consuming. They are inconsolable. I cannot bare the thought of it! Should I bare a son, I have to believe God will deliver my him from this horrible fate.
The day has come! Today my child will arrive! I have prayed about this moment all these months. That my child be born a girl. The pains have arrived, I can feel the pains of child birth begging. I will now find out the fate of my innocent child. My beloved child. With hushed voices I am told it is a boy. My heart sinks. He has been born into a death sentence. When I look at my son I see great beauty in him. I cannot simply throw him into the Nile! I will not! I can conceal him! Protect him! My beautiful boy. I absolutely will not!
Concealing him at first was not so hard to do. Though it is getting increasingly more difficult. He is in his third month now. I don’t think I can conceal him any longer. My heart aches and hurts at the thought of not only losing my infant son but also for him to suffer such a death. At the hands of his mother no less. I just know that, should he have been allowed to live he would have been a great man and have gone on to do great things. I do not want to do this! To toss my child into the Nile. The thought not only pains me but I can also see the pain it is causing Miriam. She has great sadness within her, this too pains me. If only there was another way. We both know what must be done, and both feel the pain and conflict involved in doing so. I have retreaved a papyrus basket, coated in tar and pitch to lay my innocent son in. No parent should out live their child, let alone be the one to fulfil such a fate. My hands shake as I lay my young son down in the basket. Tears stream down my face as I set my dear boy among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. While I do so Miriam stands at a distance. Watching. Crying. After one last look I say goodbye to my beautiful baby boy forever.
I lay and lament over the loss of my baby boy. Suddenly Miriam bursts in calling for me. There is excitement in her voice. She tells me that Pharaohs daughter has found my son. That she needs a Hebrew woman to nurse him for her. My heart fills with joy and gratefulness. He has been saved! He has escaped a certain death! He lives! Miriam and I run to where Pharaohs daughter and my son are. She asks that I nurse him for her and in return she will give me my wages. I almost want to refuse the wages, but that may raise suspicion. I lift the basket containing my son and bring him back to his home. The Lord our God has truly found favour in me! My heart is overwhelmed with joy! As time passes he grows and learns. He is a delightful child. He will be wise and fair. I know that once he is completely weaned I will once again lose him, but he will be alive! He will have a life of royalty and privilege. I pray he does not forget me, his family, or all I have taught him about his God and his people. Our Lord has granted him life! Has chosen him so survive against the wills of man. God must have great plans for my beautiful boy.
The time has come for me to hand over my precious son. I pray God grants me strength. That he works through Pharaohs daughter, even though she is a heathen, to raise my son well. That she may love and adore him as I his mother does. My heart wrenches as my son reaches his third year. As before I know what I must do. Though this time I know he will surly survive. I must put my trust and faith in the Lord our God. For He delivers those who fear and obey Him. I have to keep my faith in Him. He will give my boy a wonderful full life. Why else wou he have saved him from certain death? Still I can’t help but wonder a few things. Will she love him as I do? Will he be treated fairly despite being of the house of Levi? What will his life be? Will he be happy? All these questions, thoughts and many others run through my mind as I prepare to give my child away.
I bring my beautiful son to Pharoahs daughter. Her eyes light up the was a mothers does upon seeing her child. Yes, he will be in good hands. I hand over my son to the woman who is now to be his mother. I walk away from them with tears in my eyes and a mix of gratefulness and sadness in my heart. For the years leading up to my death I hear updates and news of how my beautiful son lives. She has named him Moses. He has the royal life he was destined to have. As I lay dying I know that myself, my family and my beloved baby boy have been blessed and have found favour with the Lord our God. I pray He continues to bless them all long after I am gone. I am Jachebed.