The Birth of Moses
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What Came Before:
Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, "Because I drew him out of the water."
THE BEAUTIFUL BABY MOSES WHO WAS FOUND IN A RIVER - Exodus 2
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WHEN THE WRONGS of the Israelites were the greatest, and when their little children were being killed, one little boy was born. He was such a lovely child that his mother kept him hid, so that the enemies did not find him. When she could no longer hide him, she found a plan to save his life, believing that God would help her and save her beautiful boy.
Pharaoh's daughter, with her maids, came down to the river; and they saw the ark floating on the water, among the reeds. She sent one of her maids to bring it to her, so that she might see what was in the curious box. They opened it, and there was a beautiful little baby, who began to cry to be taken up.
The princess felt kind toward the little one, and loved it at once. She said: "This is one of the Hebrews' children." Pharaoh's daughter thought that it would be cruel to let such a lovely baby as this die out on the water. And just then a little girl came running up to her, as if by accident, and she looked at the baby also, and said:
"Shall I go and find some woman of the Hebrews to be a nurse to the child for you, and take care of it?" "Yes," said the princess, "Go and find a nurse for me."
The little girl,?-who was Miriam, the baby's sister,?ran as quickly as she could, and brought the baby's own mother to the princess. Miriam showed in this act that she was a wise and thoughtful little girl. The princess said to the little baby's mother, "Take this child to your home and nurse it for me, and I will pay you wages for it." How glad the Hebrew mother was to take her child home! No one could harm her boy now, for he was protected by the princess of Egypt, the daughter of the king.
When the child was large enough to leave his mother, Pharaoh's daughter took him into her own home in the palace. She named him "Moses," a word that means "Drawn out," because he was drawn out of the water.
So Moses, the Hebrew boy, lived in the palace among the nobles of the land, as the son of the princess. There he learned much more than he could have learned among his own people; for there were very wise teachers among the Egyptians. Moses gained all the knowledge that the Egyptians had to give. There in the court of the cruel king who had made slaves of the Israelites, God's people, was growing up an Israelite boy who should at some time set his people free.
Although, Moses grew up among the Egyptians, and gained their learning, he loved his own people. They were poor and were hated, and were slaves, but he loved them, because they were the people who served the Lord God, while the Egyptians worshipped idols and animals. Strange it was that so wise a people as these should bow down and pray to an ox. or to a cat, or to a snake, as did the Egyptians!
When Moses became a man, he went among his own people, leaving the riches and ease that he might have enjoyed among the Egyptians. He felt a call from God to lift up the Israelites, and set them free. But at that time he found that he could do nothing to help them. They would not let him lead them, and as the king of Egypt had now become his enemy, Moses went away from Egypt, into a country in Arabia called Midian.
He was sitting by a well, in that land, tired from his long journey, when he saw some young women come to draw water for their flocks of sheep. But some rough men came and drove the women away, and took the water for their own flocks. Moses saw it, and helped the women, and drew the water for them.
These young women were sisters, the daughters of a man named Jethro, who was a priest in the land of Midian. He asked Moses to live with him, and to help him in the care of his flocks. Moses stayed with Jethro, and married one of his daughters. So from being a prince in the king's palace in Egypt, Moses became a shepherd in the wilderness of Midian.