A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: Moses' birth


The Israelites had been living in Egypt for many years. The Egyptians feared their strength because there were now so many of them and so they enslaved them. Still their numbers increased, so Pharaoh told the Israelite midwives to kill all male Israelite babies. The midwives bravely disobeyed, believing this to be against God’s will. When he realised this plan, too, was failing, Pharaoh ordered his own people to throw all Israelite baby boys into the River Nile.

Moses in the rushesA Levite woman gave birth to a son. She could not bear to lose him, so she put him in a basket made from papyrus and hid it in the reeds at the river’s edge. The boy’s sister, Miriam, kept watch. Pharaoh’s daughter came to the river to bathe and saw the basket. One of her slaves brought it to her. She realised this was the child of a slave, but she wanted to keep the baby for herself. Miriam came out of hiding, and offered to fetch an Israelite woman who could feed the baby for the princess. She brought her own mother, so the boy was reared by his own mother but with the security of the Pharaoh’s family around him. He was called Moses by the princess.

The story illustrates:

  • God’s care for his followers, shown both in the personal safety of Moses and in his preservation in order to rescue the Israelites in the future.

Bible References

Exodus 1:6-22, Exodus 2:1-10
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