Amongst the reeds – baby Moses

Pharaoh was FURIOUS!

“How dare the Israelites become bigger and stronger than us!” He roared, “We must do something!”

With fists clenched, the king thought long and hard. No one dared speak.

“I have it!” Pharaoh jumped up from his throne, “They will become my slaves! From this day forward, the Israelites will no longer be free: they will build my cities and make me rich.”

For a long time the Israelites were put to hard work building mighty cities and doing everything that Pharaoh wanted.

One day when Pharaoh was in his flashy chariot, he noticed that the Israelites seemed to be multiplying!

Beetroot red with anger, he declared an awful, mean law, “From now on, every baby boy that is born must be thrown into the Nile River! Kill them all!”

With that, he stomped off to his chariot. Big clouds of dust enveloped him as he disappeared around the corner.


The awful news reached Amram and Jochebed. They had three children: Miriam was the eldest daughter, their son Aaron was the middle child, and they had a small baby boy, only three months old!

Jochebed grabbed her baby boy and held him close. She knew she couldn’t keep him hidden in the house any longer. She had to send him away! But where?

That night as the family prayed, Jochebed had a beyond-brilliant idea! She knew the idea wasn’t hers; it had come from God.

When Amram and Aaron were tucked away in bed, Jochebed called Miriam aside and told her the plan.

Miriam’s eyes rounded in fear, “Mother, are you sure that’s a good idea? What if something happens to the baby? We can’t risk it!”

“No, Miriam. God will take care of your baby brother. I know it.”

Every night both Miriam and Jochebed worked silently and quickly, weaving the basket. The thick black tar and pitch was heavy and smelly, but it seemed to be helping the basket stick together well enough to make it waterproof.

Finally, it was dry and complete. Jochebed lined the basket with warm blankets, making it soft and cushioned so her baby could rest comfortably.

That night, they ventured out into the darkness. Everything was still. The only movement were the stars twinkling above them.

Jochebed carried her baby and Miriam wobbled under the weight of the basket. In the distance, they heard the sound of footsteps. They froze, but the footsteps drifted away and both exhaled in relief.

When they reached the Nile River, Miriam knelt down and held the basket open while her mother placed the baby inside. She cushioned him and covered him lovingly. Silent tears rolled down her cheeks.

Jochebed closed her eyes for a few more minutes and then bent over to kiss the baby’s chubby, soft cheek. He stirred slightly, then continued sleeping peacefully, un-aware that he was going to be placed in the basket and sent down the Nile River in his little boat.

On the cool banks of the Nile, mother and daughter knelt and prayed over the baby. Jochebed knew that God would look after this precious cargo. Before closing the lid, she grabbed Miriam’s hands in her own, “Miriam stay and look after your brother. Keep a close eye on the basket as he floats down the river. Don’t lose sight of him!”

Miriam nodded, round-eyed. “Yes mother. I promise I will.”

Jochebed looked at the baby one more time and latched the lid closed.

Slowly they pushed the basket out into the river and saw it gently float away. With tears streaming down her face, Jochebed fled to the privacy of her house.

The morning sun was a welcome sight to Miriam as she continued watching over her brother in the distance. She gasped when the water moved violently in a gust of wind and almost tipped the basket over. She knew that angels were working overtime to keep her baby brother safe.

Mud squished between her toes as she ran amongst the reeds on the riverbank, pretending she was playing.

Soft, silvery laughter echoed in the distance. She halted. Heart pounding, Miriam crouched low among the reeds. She placed her hand across her mouth to keep from making any sound.

The laughter and footsteps came closer until she could see the perfectly pedicured toes through the reeds. She bit her lip. What if they found her?

“Princess, this looks like a safe place to bathe,” someone said.

Miriam gasped! Princess? Oh no! Pharaoh’s daughter? If she saw the baby, she might kill him or take him to her father. Miriam prayed. There was nothing she could do. Only trust God.

Peering from under the reeds she saw the beautiful princess rub scented oils on her skin, her maids close by.

Suddenly her hand froze in mid-air and she pointed at something, “What is that? Kiya, fetch me that basket!”

Miriam closed her eyes and prayed harder. The basket was slowly pushed toward the princess and she opened it.

He was crying – probably hungry, thirsty and hot. The princess’s heart went out to him and tears filled her eyes, “This is one of the Hebrew babies. He’s very cute,” she whispered. His little fat hand held her index finger. His cries grew louder and louder. Miriam couldn’t hold back anymore. She had to speak.

She jumped out from behind the reeds and exclaimed, “Princess, shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

The princess and her maids stepped back in surprise. Blinking a few seconds, she finally spoke, “Yes, go. What a great idea!”

Through the mud and goo, Miriam ran as fast as her legs could carry her until, puffing and panting, she arrived home. Wet, dirty and overjoyed she cried, “Mother! Baby is safe. The princess wants you to look after him! Come.”

Both ran towards the banks of the river Nile. A precious cargo awaited Jochebed.


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(The original illustrations are the copyright of Sweet Publishing and these digitally adjusted compilations of them the copyright of FreeBibleimages.)

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