Three “events” come to mind when I think about the things non-believers might know about the Bible. Noah and the Ark, Exodus (the Egyptian plagues and the parting of the Red Sea), and the crucifixion of Christ. Each of these events in the Bible is dramatic enough to capture the attention of those in the world. I started reading Exodus today and will continue for the next couple of weeks. As I go through this pivotal book in the Bible, I hope to share with you the things I’m learning as I learn them. 

Today I want to talk about the birth of Moses and some of the events surrounding his birth. 

Suffer the Children

Before the birth of Moses, the Israelites how grown into such a great number that the Egyptian king felt threatened by them (cf. Exodus 1:7-10). The king of Egypt decided to enslave the Israelites to bring them under control but their enslavement failed to inhibit their extraordinary growth (cf. Exodus 1:11-14). When the growth of the Israelites wasn’t stemmed by their oppression, the king of Egypt enacted more drastic measures.

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”

Exodus 1:15-16 (NIV)

Considering the number of Israelites having children and the number of midwives available, it’s unlikely that there were only two midwives available for all of those births. In addition, only two midwives following the king of Egypt’s orders probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference to the population growth. It’s more likely that Shiphrah and Puah were leaders of sorts amongst the midwives. 

Why did the king of Egypt order that only the boys should be killed? Given the mindset regarding men and women, we would have thought they would have kept the men. The men could work better at hard labor and the like. I do suppose if you’re trying to cull the birth control rate, then eliminating either of the sexes would do. Perhaps the males would be a better choice since one man can impregnate many women, while a woman can’t be pregnant more than once in nine months. These have been my thoughts on the issue for years, so I did some research to see what I might uncover.

Several commentators mention another reason for killing all of the males. The king (or Pharaoh) either had a dream that a male Hebrew would be born to lead all of the Israelites out of captivity or one of his astrologers predicted it. In either case, it makes sense to kill all of the males since they would be more aggressive than the females. If there was ever going to be a revolt, it would be the males leading it. 

There is something in the Bible that could point to this decree to kill all of the males as being for only a short time. This would account for a dream or vision. Moses’ brother Aaron. Aaron was Moses’ older brother by three years. If the decree had been in place when Aaron was born there’d be no Aaron.

Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

Exodus 7:7 (NIV)

This tells us the decree to kill the male children started after the birth of Aaron. We can ascertain by the number of fighting men at the time of the Exodus, that the decree likely stopped shortly after the birth of Moses. The book of Numbers tells us there were over 600,000 men (Numbers 1:46).

The Birth of Moses

After Moses was born, his mother kept him in hiding for three months (cf. Exodus 2:2). When she couldn’t hide Moses any longer, his mother put him into a basket and let him go into the Nile (cf. Exodus 2:3). Pharaoh’s daughter finds Moses, recognizes him as one of the Hebrew babies, and feels sorry for him (cf. Exodus 2:5-6). Pharaoh’s daughter then gives Moses back to his mother to wean (cf. Exodus 2:7-10). 

There’s someone we have to recognize who played a critical part in Moses’s mother being able to wean him. Miriam, Moses’ older sister.

His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

Exodus 2:4 (NIV)

Moses only had one sister, and that was Miriam. While Miriam was watching over the baby Moses, the Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses. 

Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother.

Exodus 2:7-8 (NIV)

We can see that Moses was returned to his mother for a short time because of Miriam. I’ve heard a couple of sermons over the years that have spoken of the miracle of Pharaoh’s daughter randomly finding Moses’ actual mother to wean him. Well, it wasn’t random, and the Bible tells us this. I mention this because it’s possible you’ve might have heard the same thing. Was it a miracle that Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses and returned him to his mother? Albeit for a short time. I’d say so. It just wasn’t random.

Conclusion 

As Christians, it’s important to know the events of the Bible. Especially when these events might be thought to be well known. We want to make sure the facts about these events line up with Scripture and not with some popular film about them. 

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away. 

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.