Mothers of the Bible: Jochebed, Protected her Children

Jochebed is not mentioned by name in the description of Moses’ birth, but it is believed her name was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi.

The midwives were told to kill infant boys

Centuries had passed since the time of Joseph and the Israelites were oppressed into slavery by the Egyptians.  Pharaoh was threatened and decreed that all baby boys be thrown into the Nile.

Jochebed already had a daughter, Miriam, and son, Aaron, when she discovered a third child was on the way.  This was when Pharaoh made the decree.  Tears must have filled her eyes to hear the cries of her fellow Israelite sisters who followed the decrees.

But we know from Exodus 1, that the midwives did all they could to help the Israelite mothers protect their children.

Jochebed hid Moses as long as possible

When Moses was born, Jochebed saw that he “was a godly child”.  {Exodus 2:2}

The Women of the Bible devotional says, “this one, she vowed, would never be fodder for the Egyptian river god.  She and her husband, Amram, would pray, they would plan, and they would trust God to help them.”

So Jochebed comes up with a plan.  She kept him and cared for him until she could no longer hide her son.   She then hid him in a wooden chest of bulrushes.  She then had her son placed in the river.

Jochebed hatched a plan to protect her son

Pharoah’s daughter came to bathe and the chest was brought to her.  {Exodus 2:4-6}  More than likely Jochebed knew this was where Pharaoh’s daughter went to bathe and even what her bathing schedule was.

Our devotional says, “Jochebed had one thing in mind when hiding her son and leaving him in a basket in the river.  Her goal was to preserve is life for one more day, one more hour, one more moment.  She could not have known God planned to work in her life or in the life of her son… Jochebed was a God fearing woman who took desperate measures to protect her son”

Pharoah’s daughter found the infant

Miriam was sent to keep watch over her infant brother.  She approached Pharaoh’s daughter and asked “Shall I go and call thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?”   {Exodus 2:7}

Imagine the surprise on Jochebed’s face as Miriam comes in and tells her Pharaoh’s daughter wants to see her.  “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 woman took the child, and nursed it.”  {Exodus 2:8}

Jochebed must have felt as if she won the lottery.  She had longer with her son and he was protected by the Pharoah’s own daughter.

Jochebed cared for her son until he was weaned and he was raised in the palace

“And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. “  {Exodus 2:10}

Jochebed loved her son enough that she gave her son up for another woman to raise.

Jochebed is even described, alongside her husband, in the Hall of Faith.  “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw he was a goodly child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.”  {Hebrews 11:23}

Our devotional reminds us that “Mothers need to be flexible and creative, especially in difficult circumstances…never lose faith that God will work in the lives of their children.”

In what difficult situations are you flexible and creative?  How have you allowed God to work?


Pictures from

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.