Summary: Jochebed was the mother of Moses. Because of her faith in God and her refusal to drown her son in the River Nile, he became the FIRST leader AND prophet of the Hebrews. His REMARKABLE achievements are ALL recorded in the Bible.and Talmud.
Exodus 2:3 “But when she could no longer keep him hidden, she made a basket out of reeds and covered it with tar She put him in the basket and placed it in the tall grass along the edge on the River Nile.”
Exodus 2:10 “And when he was old enough, she took him to the king’s daughter, who adopted him.”
Jochebed was born into the house of Levi, the tribe from which God chose his priests. Although she was born a slave in Egypt, and lived a life of captivity, misery and hardship, the priesthood teaching she received from her parents as a child, had a decisive influence and impact on her faith. The fact that her back was scared by her slave master’s whip, she was a captive, that she was NOT free to choose HOW she lived OR died, could NOT suppress her faith in her God…the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. She was taught among others that NO other god should be worshiped, but THIS God who was ALSO known as YHWH and “I AM THAT I AM.” In her heart was the burning hope and promise of God that He would ONE DAY send the deliverer to free her and the rest of the Hebrew people from oppression and slavery. From her marriage to a man of the SAME tribe, two sons and a daughter were born. They were ALSO raised in the fear of the Lord.
When her youngest son Moses was born in 1393 B.C, the Pharaoh issued a decree that ALL Hebrew boys born in THIS period had to be killed…drowned in the River Nile. She however ignored the decree of the king, EVEN if it meant DEATH to her. For three months she hid him from the Egyptians. AFTER this period the chance that he WOULD be discovered and killed by the Egyptian death squad, became TOO great, and she decided to hide him between the reeds on the edge of River Nile in a basket. His sister Miriam was appointed to watch over him.
One day the basket, in which Moses was hidden, broke free from the reeds, and floated down-stream to where the Pharaoh’s daughter was bathing. I believe THIS incident was the FIRST step of God’s four hundred year old promise to free His people from Egyptian bondage. When she opened it, she discovered Moses inside. Miriam, who was watching from a distance, walked up to the princess and offered to find a Hebrew woman who could raise the boy for her. Of course it turned out that THIS woman was Moses’ biological mother…his OWN mother. Jochebed’s faith was rewarded by God, and she could raise her son without fear. He was however NEVER to know that she was his birth mother.
It was during THIS period that Moses’ biological mother influenced his thinking AND life with her Hebrew teachings and faith. I believe she poured out ALL her love and passion on him, knowing that they ONLY had a short while together, BEFORE he would be taken from her forever. ONE of her worries MUST have been the fact that her son would be educated by idol worshippers and that HIS Hebrew faith and teachings would fade to the back ground….that he would forget about the God of his fathers. Nevertheless, being a servant of the Almighty, she MUST have trusted her God to protect her son wherever He would lead him. I speculate she MUST have cried before God on her knees, to guide his path AND footsteps in the UNKNOWN future ahead.
The day that she feared MOST arrived …the day of FINAL separation. As she entered the palace gates, there MUST have been brief thoughts of fleeing with her son to safety, where NO ONE could take him away from her. Mothers have a natural tendency to live THEIR lives through their children. Dreams which THEY could NOT live out or ambitions which THEY could NOT fulfill as children,are channeled through the lives of THEIR children. In SUCH instances THEIR children's natural gifts and potential are discarded and suppressed. This in turn leads to broken dreams in their OWN children's lives, because they are deprived of the right to fulfill their OWN destiny.However, God gave Jochebed the strength AND the courage to hand him over to the princess of Egypt, so that he could be educated AND prepared to lead the Hebrew people out of captivity to the promised land. God fearing mothers would ALWAYS entrust the hopes,dreams, lives and destiny of their children to God, because only HE knows what HIS plans for them are.
As a parent, I can ONLY imagine how painful and EMPTY her heart and life must have felt as she walked away from her son, leaving him behind forever, NEVER to see him again. Her heart must felt as if it was torn into a thousand pieces. But, her faith in her Creator compelled her to set him free. His freedom from the bondage of slavery which SHE was enduring, and a secured future, was her primary concern. THIS was the sacrifice she HAD to make for HIS freedom…..the price she had to pay. Her yearning for him and her aching heart in the years to come would be but a SMALL price to pay.