Lessons from Five Wise Women Who Loved Moses

Receiving the death sentence before he was born, Moses lived to become one of the greatest spiritual and social liberators of all times. His survival and success are partly credited to the wisdom and courage of five women who crossed his path.


"Pharaoh's daughter finding baby Moses"

By Konstantin Flavitsky
By Konstantin Flavitsky | Source

The story of Moses offers hope to other women working with children who are underprivileged minorities, victims of poverty and prejudice, and those who, by any means, have been fed the notion that their lives are worthless.

See how five women intentionally rescued a child doomed to die, then watched that child become a prominent leader who rescued an entire nation from slavery. Their contribution to the life of Moses is recorded in Chapters 1 and 2 of Exodus. (For the rest of the story, read the entire book of Exodus).


The Two Midwives: Shiprah and Puah

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.” . . . The midwives, however, feared God and . . . they let the boys live (1: 16, 17).

The outstanding characteristic of these professional women is that they feared God. They were wise to participate with the Life Giver, rather than the one who owes his life to that said Giver.

How different would be the attitude of doctors, educators, legislators, neighbors if they saw divine potential in every child? What if they thought that every child deserves an equal opportunity to live? Such an attitude would have to be rooted in respect for the Omniscient God who does not make mistakes concerning whom He allows to be born.

The Associated Press (December 15, 2011) reports that the smallest surviving baby born weighing 9.2 ounces is now a healthy 7-year-old and another who weighed 9.9 ounces at birth is an honors college student studying psychology.

Shiprah, Puah and other women who imitate their respect for life teach us that we should never underestimate the survival chances of any child who is born. We may not save them all, but each is worth a try.


The Mother: Jochebed

Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. . . Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile (2: 1-3).

Jochebed (See Exodus 6:20) realized that she gave birth to a beautiful, promising child, who could become a capable, productive, male adult. Her purpose in hiding him had national significance, although she was not fully aware.

At three months, the baby became difficult to hide, and Jochebed’s motherly instinct coupled with her national loyalty triggered her creativity. She made a watertight, papyrus cradle, put the child in it and placed it on the Nile to float. The midwives Shiprah and Puah had disobeyed the king because of their respect for the child’s life. How could she the mother, not cooperate with the divine scheme to let her baby live?

His Mother and Sister Put the Baby Moses to Float in the River

If every mother would see her child as a gift from God, and depend on Him for wisdom to guide and sustain the child, she would would nurture the expectation that her child would prosper and succeed.

Jochebed was wise to begin her responsibility as a mother with an act of faith. Mothers with a Jochebed mentality will pray, “Lord, I have no idea how this will turn out, but I surrender myself and the child to Your plan."


The Sister: Miriam

His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him (2: 4). See also Number 26:59

Big sisters usually become an extension of the mother in the life of the newborn. Miriam somewhere between the ages of five to seven, watched Moses floating on the river, not only because of her mother’s request but also because she loved him.

Miriam watched alert and levelheaded when the Egyptian princess discovered her brother. Her childish wisdom motivated not by fear that the princess would harm him, but by faith that she was sent to help him, offered to find a caregiver for the baby. So Miriam arranged with the princess for a Hebrew woman, Moses' own mother to nurse and care for him. Miriam’s earliest contribution to the life of Moses was a major turning point in his story.

On a daily basis, siblings and other family members should relate to the child with the awareness that every interaction counts. We never know which conversation or which activity will have eternal consequences.


Female Wisdom In A Nutshell


  • Never underestimate the survival chances of a child who is already born.


  • Recognize that every child is a gift from God.


  • Consider that every word or action you share with a child could have eternal consequences.


  • Treat every woman’s child with the same love and compassion with which you would treat your own.


  • Be part of the team dedicated to helping the child live.


The Godmother: The Egyptian Princess

Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him (2: 5, 6).

By definition of the godmother’s role—participation in the upbringing and development of the child—Pharaoh’s daughter wrote herself into the script as Moses’ godmother. She was the daughter of the king who decreed the child’s death. Yet, she determined that the child should live.

When the child grew older, she (the mother Miriam) took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water (2:10).

The princess made sure that Moses was educated in Egyptian culture and experienced in royal customs; although for the last 40 of his 120 years, he performed as a Hebrew in the prophetic role for which he was born. The princess had given him what she could give—part of the life she had and the opportunity to resume the life for which he was born. His future was always in God’s hands.


© March 30, 2012 by Dora Isaac Weithers. Click on MORE for other articles by MsDora.

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Comments 10 comments

Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

I don't think I've read anything this powerful, not for a long time, about the strenght, wisdom and sheer power of women when God has placed His hand on them. I love your statement "every woman has an opportunity to make a positive contirbution to the lives of children around her." An opportunity that if we take advantage of would bring an abundance of blessings.

Voted up, awesome and beautiful.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Dee. Women are a great resource of strength in the church and in the community; but nowhere is our strength as evident as in tending and nurturing our children. May those who take this responsibility seriously reap a favorable reward!


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

This is amazing and powerful. Thank you so much for sharing this. Women can have the power that God has given them, and she can help her children with that. Voted up!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Michele, you got the message. Thanks for your comment and your vote. I appreciate you.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

This is a well written hub MsDora. You preached it better than I've ever heard it preached by a preacher.

And to think that I had just finished reading an article about a black school girl from Rochester NY. that had to be pulled out of school because she was being bullied by her own teachers and peers for daring to point out in her essay that the teachers in her predominantly white school are failing to see, if I may use your own words, the "divine potential in every child" by allowing 'skin color' to dictate what information they pass on to their students.

It's a shame that this type of atrocities still happen today.

Great hub, voted Up and Useful!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks Comfort B, for your kind encouragement. So a writer-preacher is what I'll be. I pray that the situation will change for the better on behalf of that little NY girl. Her teachers have failed to respect the God who gave life to her, consequently failing to respect the potential He placed within her. They probably don't respect the fact that she has the same right that they do to self-expression. What a pity!


Eve 4 years ago

Amen to this hub, MsDora. Thanks for making us aware of how far-reaching one good deed to a child can be. Lord, make us more aware of these opportunities.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Amen to your prayer, Eve. Every time a child comes into a view, we can bless him or her with a compliment, a smile, or nay gesture that says, "You're special."


Eve 4 years ago

The pictures are very impressive, MsDora. They really help tell the story.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Eve. I agree with you. Thanks to the artists and photographers.

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