How Baby Moses got His Name

After Joseph died, a new man became king over Egypt. He did not know about Joseph and his relatives, the Israelite people. By this time there were so many Israelites that the new king was afraid the Israelites might join the Egyptian's enemy and fight against them, so the Egyptians made slaves out of the Israelites. They forced the Israelites to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses. But the harder the Israelites worked, the more they grew in number.

So the king of Egypt told the women who helped the Israelite women give birth to kill the babies that were boys. These women, however, feared God and would not kill the baby boys. So then the king commanded all the people to throw the Israelite baby boys into the Nile River when they were born.

Now there was a family belonging to the tribe of Levi that had a baby boy. When his mother saw what a lovely child he was, she kept him alive and hid him for three months. When he became too big to hide, she made a basket out of reeds and covered it with tar to keep water out. Then she put her baby in it and placed it in the river among the tall grass that grew out of the water. She left her daughter to watch and see what would happen to the baby.

Now the king's daughter came down to the river to take a bath. She saw the basket among the tall grass and sent one of her slave girls to get it. When the king's daughter opened the basket, she saw a baby boy. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is a Hebrew baby," she said.

Then his sister came up and asked the king's daughter, "Do you want me to go and find a Hebrew woman who will take care of the baby for you?" "Yes, go," said the king's daughter. So the girl went and brought the baby's own mother. The king's daughter told the woman, "Take care of this baby for me, and I will pay you." So his mother took him home and took care of him. When he was old enough, she took him to the king's daughter, who raised him like her own son. And the king's daughter named him Moses, which means "pull out," because she said, "I pulled him out of the water."

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