Jochebed [JAH-kuh-bed] meaning, YAHWEH IS GLORY. She lived approximately 1525 B.C. and, was of the family of Levi, who was the third son of Leah and Jacob. Jochebed married her brother Kohath’s oldest son, Amram. They had three children, Miriam, Aaron, and Moses, all of whom distinguished themselves among God’s chosen. (From Every Woman in the Bible by Sue and Larry Richards).
Jochebed and I have something in common. We each had three children, the eldest being a girl. I can relate to her. Her youngest, Moses, was born when her oldest, Miriam was approximately nine or ten…just like my children. And, as it was in my family that older sister took sisterhood very, very seriously. She was like Moses’ second mother!
Saved from government mandated abortion
Remember Shiphrah and Puah (read about them here)? Baby Moses was one of the boy babies they allowed to live. Jochebed, along with Shiphrah and Puah, were God-fearing women and Jochebed was willing to take drastic measures to save her baby boy.
Jochebed gave birth to a boy and saw that he was a beautiful child and decided she must hide him, which she did for three months.
It’s fairly easy to hide a newborn for three months but she also knew the older her son grew the harder it would be to keep him hidden from the government officials.
Throw the boys into the river
What? Well, you see the government officials interrogated Shiphrah and Puah to find out why Hebrew baby boys were still being born in Egypt and these two midwives told them that the Hebrew women were so hearty that they had their babies before the midwife was even called!
What did the Egyptian officials do next? They ordered all little boys to be thrown into the river. (Exodus 1.22)
Jochebed takes action
She was going to put her handsome baby boy into the river but first…
She made an “ark” of bulrushes, coated it with asphalt and pitch, put the baby in it, and laid it in the tall reeds by the river’s bank.
Remember big sister, Miriam? She stood afar off and watched.
Pharaoh’s daughter takes a bath
The daughter of the Pharaoh went to the river to bathe, along with a few of her maids. They walked along the river’s edge and the royal woman saw the little ark in the reeds. She sent her maiden into the river to retrieve the small boat. (Exodus 2.5)
Lo and behold she saw the baby inside and he was startled and cried.
The young woman of royal blood had great compassion on the infant and knew immediately he was one of the Hebrew women’s baby. (Exodus 2.6)
Afar off, watching? She appears out of “nowhere” and says to the Pharaoh’s daughter, (Exodus 2.4, 7-8)
Shall I go fetch a nurse for you from the Hebrew women so that she can nurse the baby for you?
Miriam went straightaway to her mother and brought her back to Pharaoh’s daughter.
God’s sovereign plan put into action
The Pharaoh’s daughter gave the baby boy to Jochebed and gave her instructions, “Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will pay you to do this.” (Exodus 2.9)
Jochebed lowered her gaze, took (her) beloved baby boy and went home to nurse him until he was weaned, four to five years from that time.
The boy grew
At the end of almost five years, Jochebed brought the boy back to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son.
Moses shall be his name
The Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses, meaning “drawn out,” because he had been drawn out of the water. (Exodus 2.10)
Moses grew up in the Pharaoh’s kingdom, he was considered a prince until he could not bear to see the oppression of the Hebrews any longer.
Moses, son of Amram and Jochebed
Jochebed was a brave woman, who went to desperate measures to save her son. Her son, then went to desperate measures to bring the Hebrews out from the slavery and bondage of the Egyptians.
Jochebed, we honor you today.