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  The Great Bible Story #27
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Years after Joseph

Jacob Ninan
A few hundred years after Joseph, the current Pharaoh did not know about Joseph or how the people of Israel had come to Egypt. By this time these people had increased to a large number and prospered because God was with them. Pharaoh and his people began to wonder if the Hebrews, as they called them, would turn against them and join their enemies if there was a foreign attack. They thought that the best way to deal with them was to make them slaves in Egypt. As a result, the people of Israel were put to heavy labour, building huge buildings for Pharaoh. They were struggling under this bondage and cried out to God.

Pharaoh told the nurses who helped the Hebrew women to give birth that if the baby was a boy, they should kill him and allow only the girls to live. But these nurses respected God and did not do that. (God blessed them for this.) When they were questioned they explained to Pharaoh that the Hebrew women would deliver before they reached them! Then Pharaoh made a law that all Hebrew baby boys should be thrown into the River Nile.

Amram and Jochebed were two Hebrew parents who already had two children called Miriam and Aaron. When Jochebed gave birth to another boy he was so adorable that they didn't have the heart to kill him. To avoid getting punished, they made a small basket, made it water proof with tar, placed the baby in it, floated it in the river among the weeds near the banks, and asked Miriam to stand by watching it. They had obeyed Pharaoh by 'throwing' him into the river!

This happened to be near the place where the daughter of Pharaoh used to come and bathe. When she came as usual for bath in the river, the baby cried, and she sent a maid to see where it was. The maid brought her the basket, and the princess was immediately attracted to the baby. She knew it must be a Hebrew boy, adopted him as her own child and called him Moses meaning 'drawing out' (of the water). At this time Miriam went up and asked her if she wanted someone to nurse the baby. That is how Jochebed got the opportunity to take care of her baby. About three years later, according to the custom, when she stopped nursing him, she returned Moses to the princess. He grew up there as a prince and heir for the throne, getting trained in all the wisdom and knowledge of Egypt. But he knew that he was originally a Hebrew.


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