Despite the Pharaoh’s edict that each *new-born Hebrew boy* be killed through being thrown into the Nile, Hebrew couples continued courageously to produce children.
One such Hebrew couple were Amram and his wife Jochebed. They already had a daughter, Miriam, and a son, Aaron, but they wanted another baby, and did – a boy.
Never had there been a more beautiful baby boy. Not only did Amram and Jochebed think this, everyone who saw him did too. He was so beautiful he could have been a baby girl.
The boy’s beauty was such that Jochabed became extra anxious that he not be discovered by an Egyptian and thrown into the Nile. So she came up with a plan.
First, she would ensure the baby was completely hidden during his first three months, a period when any human baby is at its most vulnerable. All the while, Amram would build an elaborate basket out of bulrushes, that he would make watertight with clay and tar. When the baby-boy became old enough, Jochabed would put him in the basket, then take it to a place among the reeds close to the bank of the Nile river, and leave it bobbing on the water where the Pharaoh’s daughter, Hatsheput, would be sure to see it when she came for her daily bathe there.
Jochebed’s plan made no sense to Amram, who loved his baby boy almost as much as Jochebed did.
“Allow me to explain” Jochebed said to him. “Absent the fruition of my plan, the chances of our dear baby boy being thrown into the Nile to drown are too big for my peace of mind. The thought of even the remotest chance of this happening causes me sleepless nights. It’s a situation I won’t tolerate. My doing nothing isn’t an option. I must do something.”
“I do see your logic, dear Jochebed” said Amram, “but the something you do should have a reasonable chance of success. Otherwise it’s best to do nothing, and just leave everything to fate.”
“This is weak talk” said Jochabed. “It’s not the talk of a strong man, but of a weak and silly woman. To think I let you talk me into marrying you. I had my pick of strong manly men, and I end up with you. What could I have been thinking?”
“We can talk about this another time, but not now” said Amram. “The fate of our dear baby boy is much more important. I can’t think of a more inappropriate moment than now for you to pick a fight with me about something that may have hurt your feelings long ago. It shows how self-absorbed you are. With all my faults, I’m still the best husband you could have. Now, let’s get back to talking about your plan for our baby boy.”
“I’ll be glad to” said Jochebed. “As I was going to explain before you interrupted, I want Hatsheput to bring up our baby boy. He would become a member of the Pharaoh’s household, and therefore be exempt from being thrown into the Nile by over-zealous Egyptian law-enforcement officials.”
“How’re you so sure Hatsheput will want to bring our boy up?”
“He is so beautiful, no one can resist him. I just know he’ll have the same irresistible effect on Hatsheput as soon as she sees him. I’m not worried at all.”
“Well, I am. But, as I always seem to do, I’ll go along with what you say. However, if your plan turns out badly, I’m walking away from our marriage.”
“Is that a threat; or a promise?”
Source: Exodus 2, 1 – 3