“I see what you mean, daughter. Young Moses is indeed an extraordinary boy,” said the Pharaoh Thutmose I to Hatshepsut as soon as Moses had left the royal chambers after his introduction to the Pharaoh. “All the while my eyes were on the boy, I felt as if in the presence of the Sun God Ra himself.”
“Or the God of the Hebrews?” said Hatshepsut.
“Ah, that droll wit of yours, that is overshadowed only by your beauty which too often makes me think unfatherly thoughts about you,” said the Pharaoh.
“I do hope, father, you’ll allow me to adopt Moses as my son, now that you’ve spoken with him and seen how extraordinary he is.”
“This is precisely the problem,” said the Pharaoh, “he’s so extraordinary I think he’s the very Hebrew boy my sacred counselors warned me about – the Hebrew boy who, when he grows up, will lead his people into bringing down our Egyptian dominion. Were I not now to have him killed, let alone allowing you to adopt him, so that he would live here in the palace in our midst, I’d be signing my death-warrant so to speak, and the death-warrant of Egypt.”
“Your sacred counselors!! Pah, they’re just manipulative and silly old men who want to frighten you, the better they can control you. And, even if Moses should one day bring about Egypt’s downfall, it would be a long time from now, because Moses is still a young boy. Because you’re so old, you’ll likely be dead anyway before all this happens. If you don’t let me adopt Moses, let alone having him killed, I would leave the palace for ever, and you’d never see me again. I would die from a broken heart. If you love me as much as you keep saying you do, you’d be a dead man walking because I’d be gone from your life. Is this not true?”
“Yes, daughter, it is true. Your hold over me is so powerful I can’t describe it. Yes, yes, you may adopt Moses. By allowing you to do this, I’m going to stoke the terrible wrath of the Sun God Ra. So he may strike me dead, even tonight in my bed. But, as you’ve said, I’d be a dead man walking were I to lose you and lose your love. I’ll just let the Sun God Ra do with me as he wishes.”
“I think you’ll find, father, that the Sun God will do nothing. And another thing, I want you to lift your decree that all first-born Hebrew boys be drowned in the Nile.”
“Your wish is my command, daughter.”