The Pharaoh whom Joseph had served also died, and the king who followed him did not like the Hebrews. He feared them because they had grown to be strong, so he set overseers to watch them, and make them work like slaves.
He treated them cruelly, and made them lift the great stones with which they built the tombs of the kings and temples of the gods. He also tried to kill all the little boys as soon as they were born, but the Lord took care of them. Also, the king told his servants, that wherever they found a baby boy among the Hebrews, to throw him into the river Nile, but the little girls, they should save alive.
There was a man named Amrom, who, with his wife Jochebed, had a beautiful little boy whom they tenderly loved. They hid him as long as they could, and then when he was three months old and she could hide him no longer, she made up her mind to give him into the care of God. She made a little boat, or ark of stout rushes, that grew by the river. She wove it closer than a basket, and then covered it with pitch that the water might not enter, just as Noah covered the great ark before the flood.
Then she wrapped her baby carefully and laid him in the little boat, and set it among the reeds at the edge of the river Nile. God and His angels watched the cradle of the child, and the river gently rocked it. Jochebed told the baby's sister to wait near by and see what might happen to him, and this is what happened, or rather what God prepared for the baby in the boat of rushes.
The king's daughter came down to bathe in the river, and as her maidens walked up and down by the riverside, she called one of them to bring to her the little ark that she saw rocking on the river among the reeds. When she had opened it she saw a beautiful little child, and when it cried her heart was touched, and she longed to keep it for her own.
[Illustration: Pharaoh's daughter finding Moses]
"This is one of the Hebrew's children," she said, and as the baby's sister came near she asked the princess if she should go and get a nurse from among the Hebrew women to bring it up for her, and the princess said to her, "Go," and the maid went and called the child's mother. The princess said: "Take this child away and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages."
And the mother took her baby joyfully though she hid her joy in her heart, and carried him home to nurse and bring up for Pharoah's daughter.
And the child grew, and when he was old enough his mother took him to the king's palace, and he became the son of the princess. She called his name Moses, which means "drawn out," because she drew him out of the water.