Why Did Moses' Mother Put Him in a Basket?
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Why Did Moses’ Mother Put Him in a Basket?


The story of Moses is well-known and significant in both the Christian and Jewish faiths. It is a story of faith, love, and divine intervention in the midst of persecution and hardship.

In this blog post, we will delve into the specific event where Moses’ mother put him in a basket, the reasons behind her actions, and the significance of this event in the larger narrative of the Bible.

As we take a closer look at this biblical account, we will uncover the courage and faith of Moses’ mother, the divine providence at work, and the foreshadowing of events that would unfold in the life of Moses. Let’s begin by exploring some key takeaways from this story:

  • The oppression of the Israelites by the Egyptians
  • The faith and courage of Moses’ mother
  • Divine providence and protection
  • The role of Moses’ sister, Miriam
  • The significance of the Nile River in the story
Why did moses' mother put him in a basket?

The Oppression of the Israelites by the Egyptians

The story of Moses takes place during a time when the Israelites were enslaved under the rule of the Egyptian Pharaoh. Fearing the rapid growth of the Israelite population, the Pharaoh issued a decree that all newborn Hebrew boys should be killed (Exodus 1:15-16).

This was a desperate and cruel attempt by the Egyptian ruler to control the Israelite population and prevent any potential uprising.

Moses was born to a Levite family during this time of oppression. His mother, Jochebed, knew the danger her son would face if discovered by the Egyptians.

She was determined to protect her child at all costs, and so she hid him for three months until it became impossible to continue (Exodus 2:2).

The Faith and Courage of Moses’ Mother

In a remarkable act of faith and courage, Jochebed made a basket of bulrushes, waterproofed it with asphalt and pitch, and placed her infant son inside (Exodus 2:3).

This was a desperate attempt to save her child’s life, knowing full well that if discovered, they would both face severe consequences.

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By placing Moses in the basket, Jochebed put her trust in God to protect and guide her son. This act of faith reflects the unwavering belief that God would not abandon them in their time of need.

Jochebed’s actions demonstrate the lengths a mother is willing to go to protect her child, even in the face of death.

Divine Providence and Protection

As Jochebed placed the basket with baby Moses among the reeds by the bank of the Nile, she demonstrated her trust in God’s divine providence. The Nile River was considered sacred in Egyptian culture and was associated with life and fertility.

By placing Moses in the Nile, Jochebed was symbolically entrusting her son’s life to God and the life-giving waters of the river.

As the story unfolds, we see God’s hand at work in the life of Moses. The daughter of Pharaoh discovers the basket and decides to keep the child, raising him as her own son (Exodus 2:5-6).

In this way, God not only protected Moses from the Pharaoh’s decree but also provided him with an upbringing in the royal household, which would later prove instrumental in his mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

The Role of Moses’ Sister, Miriam

While Jochebed’s faith and courage are central to this story, it is also essential to recognize the role of Miriam, Moses’ older sister. Miriam watched from a distance as her brother’s basket floated among the reeds, ready to intervene if necessary (Exodus 2:4).

When the Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the baby, Miriam approached her and offered to find a Hebrew nurse to help care for the child (Exodus 2:7-8).

Miriam’s quick thinking and bravery ensured that Moses would be nursed by his own mother, allowing Jochebed to remain close to her son during his early years.

This connection to his family and his people would prove vital in Moses’ later life and his calling to deliver the Israelites from bondage.

The Significance of the Nile River in the Story

The Nile River plays a significant role in this biblical account. As mentioned earlier, the Nile was considered sacred and life-giving by the Egyptians. However, it also served as a means of destruction, as Pharaoh ordered Hebrew baby boys to be cast into the river to die (Exodus 1:22).

By placing Moses in the Nile, Jochebed turned the very instrument of oppression and death into a means of salvation and life for her son.

This act foreshadows the many ways in which God would use Moses to turn the Egyptians’ attempts at suppression into a path to freedom and deliverance for the Israelite people.


In conclusion, the story of Moses’ mother placing him in a basket is a powerful testament to the faith, courage, and love of a mother determined to protect her child from the dangers that surround them.

Jochebed’s actions set the stage for God’s intervention in the life of Moses, ultimately leading to the deliverance of the Israelite people from Egyptian bondage.

Furthermore, this story demonstrates the importance of trusting in divine providence, even when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Jochebed’s faith in God’s protection and guidance allowed her to take a bold and courageous step in the face of danger, ultimately altering the course of history.

Finally, the story of Moses’ mother serves as a reminder that God works in mysterious ways, often using the most unlikely of circumstances to accomplish His divine purposes.

From the banks of the Nile River to the courts of Egyptian royalty, God’s hand was at work in the life of Moses, preparing him for the great mission that lay ahead.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.