Jochebed – The Mama of Moses

Title: Jochebed - The Mama of Moses

Bible Book: Numbers 26 : 59

Author: Ron Hale

Subject: Mother; Parenting; Family



Numbers 26:59 tells us that Jochebed was the daughter of Levi and she married Amram and they had three children:

Aaron – appointed as Priest (Ex. 28:1); appointed spokesman in Ex. 4:14-16

Miriam – a prophetess (Ex 15:20); probably about seven years older than Moses.

Moses -- baby Moses came at dangerous time in the life of the Hebrews in Egypt. The Jews had grown in great numbers and Pharaoh (a type of Anti-Christ) ordered all the male babies born to Hebrew women killed by throwing them in the Nile River.

Jochebed reminds all Mothers of certain facts:

i. Childbirth is never easy – especially when a pagan King orders your child to be killed by drowning it in a Crocodile infested river.

ii. Protecting your Child from the world is a constant job and Mom’s are so very critical.

iii. Releasing your child to God’s care is always heart-wrenching.

Jochebed lives in the great Hall of Faith, for in Hebrews, chapter 11 and verse 23, it says, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.”(NIV)

On this Mother’s Day, we are going to look at four things about this great Mother, the Mamma of Moses and “why” she was a great mother.

I. She Conceived Him

During national turmoil and tragedy, many parents decide not to have children or at least not a big family. Even though they would be born into slavery, the parents of Moses wanted children and they had them. Jochebed raised her family in very difficult times. Pharaoh wanted her baby dead and to defy his orders meant death to the family. At birth, the Momma of Moses saw something very special in her son. All mothers believe their children are precious – even the Mothers of Hitler, Charles Manson, and Osama Ben-laden once looked at their sons with adoring eyes. That’s because Mom’s try to see the best in their kids.

Jochebed saw that Moses was more special to God than even to herself! She loved her son, but she somehow saw the hand of God on his life. God chose this humble woman to conceive and give birth to the redeemer of the Hebrews from Egypt.

II. She Concealed Him

Jochebed and Amram hid baby Moses for three months in their home. They shielded the baby from the dangers of our cold, cruel world. Moses was concealed in the loving arms of his Mamma as long as possible. I’m sure when Jochebed heard that Egyptian soldiers were coming down their street, she thought the worse was about to happen. She held him tighter and prayed even harder.

A lifelong bond was established during those three short months. Jochebed was also thinking and praying during this time. She must have been asking God for a plan. And, suddenly one day it must have come to her. She remembered the Bible story of Noah and his Ark. She remembered how Noah built an Ark and covered it with pitch – inside and out. She remembered how Noah and his family went into the Ark and they were saved. She must have thought to herself, “If God did it once, He can do it again.”

Knowing that terrible day would come, one day her husband came to her and probably said, “Honey what are we going to do?”

She probably said, “I’ve got a plan, God gave it to me, go get some wood, and reeds, and pitch, because we are going to build a mini-Ark.” He probably looked at her funny, but he knew this was a “honey-do” project that he better jump right on.

So this faithful couple build their little Ark, they place their baby boy in it and they prayerfully release him into God’s care and keeping. God always honors faith.

III. She Committed Him

Jochebed committed her baby son to the Lord as she placed Moses in that basket boat and sent him adrift into the largest River in the world.

As a conscious act of believing God, she put her total faith in God. She knew that she didn’t have the power to save him. She knew that keeping him in their home would only postpone her son’s death – and sooner or later – Pharaoh would know. Also, less Godly parents who took their sons to the river and drowned them … would tell on them. Danger was everywhere.

Some will call it a coincidence that the little Ark committed into the hands of God floated into the royal waters and the royal princess sent her maid to fetch the basket boat. As the covers were pulled back, little Moses let loose a charming cry.

Little Moses stole the heart of the princess in that fateful moment.

The princess took Moses into the palace and raised him as a royal. Well, that’s not even the half of it. God doesn’t forget about the faith of Jochebed.

Since there was no baby formula and bottles back then … God used Miriam the sister of Moses to recommend a real good wet nurse to the princess.

The princess hadn’t thought about that … but it sounded like a great idea.

So only as Jehovah God can do … He re-connected baby Moses with his real Momma and she got paid for nursing him, too!

Listen … God rewards faith! And, Jochebed is living proof.

IV. She Cultured Him

We have no clue to the length of time Jochebed got to nurse and nurture Moses. It was common for children to nurse their Mothers from two to five years. Therefore, Jochebed knew that she only had a limited amount of time to pour her love and the love of the Lord God into the tender heart of Moses.

Before he went to live in the palace, this Mother would teach and instill into the mind and heart of her son the great truths and traditions of the Hebrew Oral teachings. She would teach him the great lessons of the creation story, the fall, the confusion at Babel, and tell him of the early Patriarchs. She acculturated him in the things of the one, true God of History and the ways of His people. Now, Moses could walk in two worlds (Egypt and among the Hebrews).

She explained to young Moses why the Hebrews were slaves and held in bondage. She planted the seeds of greatness in his young heart and mind. These seeds sprouted into greatness in the years that followed.

One lonely day, the order must have arrived at the home of Jochebed that Moses must move to the palace of the King. She must have cried as he was escorted away and given royal robes. Yet, the Momma of Moses knew that God’s Word never returns void. Her son would even write the beginning books of God’s Word.

Jochebed’s faith followed Moses …all the days of her life. She was a Levite. And, Levites believed in prayer.

I once heard an older pastor say, “When my Momma died, I was sad, as long as my Momma lived, I knew there would be at least one person on earth praying for me every single day.” Moses was blessed with a Godly, praying Mother. She is a model to all Mothers here today!

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