There are just about a dozen verses in the Bible about Jochebed. Yet, she stands out as a powerful example of faith. Jochebed’s story is empowering for many women and mothers who trust God to take them through each day.
What powerful nuggets can we draw from her life to helpp us to do just that?
Who was Jochebed in the Bible
Jochebed is one of the outstanding mothers of the Scriptures. She was the mother of Moses.
Bible verses about Jochebed in the Bible
The story of Jochebed is found in the book of Exodus but she is mentioned in one other places in Scripture. Here are the other verses:
- Exodus 2:1-10
- Exodus 6:20
- Numbers 26:59
- Hebrews 11:23
Facts about Jochebed in the Bible
Extra information about Bible characters is always fun, especially when it helps to understand their stories better. Here are fun facts about Jochebed.
What does Jochebed mean in the Bible?
Jochebed means Jehovah glorified. She certainly lived out her name to bring glory to God. If you are struggling with how Jochebed is pronounced, here is a video to check out
Who was the father of Jochebed in the Bible?
Levi was the father of Jochebed.
Who is the husband of Jochebed in the Bible?
Jochebed’s husband was Amram.
How many children did Jochebed have?
Jochebed had three children: Aaron, Miriam, and Moses
What was Jochebed known for?
Jochebed is best known for saving the life of her son Moses, who became the first leader of the Israelites and was used by God to rescue them from Egypt.
Why did Jochebed hide Moses?
Jochebed hid Moses because he was in danger of being killed since he was a Hebrew boy.
Summary of the story of Jochebed in the Bible
Generations after Joseph died, the reigning Pharaoh became paranoid.
He became afraid that if an enemy of Egypt waged war against them, the Israelites would side with the enemy against Egypt.
Over 16 generations, the Israelites had multiplied and were great in number. They would make a great army.
The Pharaoh asked the chief Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, to kill all the boy babies. They refused to do so because they feared God greatly.
When Pharaoh’s plan didn’t work through Shiphrah and Puah, he came up with another strategy.
He ordered that both Hebrew baby boys be thrown into the river. Now, all babies were in trouble.
It was during this time that Jochebed gave birth to Moses. And this is the reason Jochebed hid Moses. To prevent him from being killed.
Jochebed hid Moses until he was 3 months old. When she could hide him no longer, she built a basket, put Moses in the basket, put him on the river, and asked Miriam to watch the basket.
She did this just as Pharaoh’s daughter was having her bath in the river.
Pharaoh’s daughter recognized that Moses was a Hebrew baby but her heart broke when she saw Moses crying and she decided to adopt Moses.
Miriam then asked her if she would like to get a Hebrew wet nurse. When Pharaoh’s daughter agreed, Miriam went and got Jochebed, her mother.
Jochebed raised Moses and taught him about God.
Qualities of Jochebed in the Bible
Not much detail is available about Jochebed but there are few things we see about her.
Here are some characteristics of Jochebed.
- Jochebed was a strong woman of faith.
- Jochebed was courageous.
- Jochebed had a discerning heart.
- Jochebed was a godly mother.
2 Faith lessons from Jochebed in the Bible
What can we learn from Jochebed in the Bible?
Although Jochebed has one of the shortest stories in the Bible, her life has some truly life-changing lessons because of who she was.
Let’s explore the brief account about her.
Jochebed chose faith over fear
Considering the decree that all boy babies should be killed, imagine Jochebed’s state of mind during her pregnancy.
These were not the days of ultrasound where you could tell what you’re having before you’re having it.
We will never know if Jochebed prayed for a girl so she could avoid possible anguish.
But one thing is for sure: Jochebed chose to trust God about this issue during some very terrible and turbulent times.
Hebrews 11:23 says that Jochebed and her husband “were not afraid of the king’s edict.”
Jochebed trusted God each day
Scripture tells us that Jochebed hid Moses for 3 months.
That was three months of keeping a newborn baby quiet so that nobody would hear him cry to rouse suspension about him.
At any point during these 90 days Moses could have been discovered.
It requires faith to trust God like this. This is moment by moment trust.
Like the Widow of Zarephath who had to trust God each day for food during a famine, Jochebed had to do the same thing for the preservation of her baby’s life.
2 Lessons from Jochebed in the Bible for mothers
Through the ages, mothers across time can agree about one thing: motherhood is tough.
It’s even tougher when the odds are stacked against your children.
Jochebed could relate.
Jochebed discerned the calling and purpose of her son’s life
There was a well-known prophecy about the children of Israel.
God had told Abraham that his children would be enslaved but God would release them and bring them back to the land of promise.
They also knew that someone would be chosen to lead them out.
When Moses was born, Jochebed knew he had a special purpose.
By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. Hebrew 11:23
And because Jochebed knew this she took the task of raising Moses quite seriously.
Each child has a purpose for which they are born.
Parents should ask God to reveal that purpose so they can partner with God in preparing their children for that call.
Jochebed taught Moses his spiritual and cultural identity early in his life.
If Jochebed had any doubts about Moses having a special call, those doubts would have been destroyed when God saved his life through the Egyptian princess.
Jochebed knew that she had a short time to prepare Moses.
She would only have been allowed to keep Moses until he was weaned. That could be up to the age of three years old at minimum.
But the time she had him might be longer as she was able to teach him enough to set his heart permanently on a knowledge of the God of heaven and his purpose and calling.
During this short time, Moses learned his Hebrew history, became patriotic to his people of faith, and internalized the call to deliver them.
Jochebed made very good use of the time she had with Moses before he had to be completely handed over to Pharaoh’s daughter for training in the ways of the Egyptians.
The early years of a child’s life create most of what they need to go through life. Their identity is a very important part of that.
Children should understand who they are and who they belong to. It helps them deal with this cruel world they have to function in.
5 Encouraging lessons from Jochebed in the Bible
As a woman of faith Jochebed lived out her beliefs.
Centuries later, Jochebed has some inspiring lessons for us.
Learn to let go and let God
Moses had gotten to the point where Jochebed could no longer hide him. Maybe his cries had become louder and stronger.
It was time for Jochebed to do something else.
When she put that basket with her precious baby on the water, she was putting her baby in God’s hands.
This river called the Nile was filled with all kinds of dangerous creatures that could kill and swallow a baby without much effort.
She was literally and spiritually letting go and allowing God to have his way.
That basket could end up anywhere based on the currents. But she trusted God to carry out His will.
Do your best and God will do the rest
Jochebed had a difficult situation. But much is to be said about how she approached it.
First, she made a decision not be frozen in fear. She chose faith. And then she allowed her faith to stir her to action.
She hid Moses for as long as she could. When that would no longer hold, she put Moses on the river and left Miriam to watch.
In other words, Jochebed didn’t just sit still in her faith. She put some action with her faith.
Jochebed did what she could and let God do the rest.
God orchestrates the pieces when we trust him.
When Jochebed created the plan to put her baby on the river, things could have gone in any number of ways, even with Miriam watching.
But God allowed the time she put the baby on the Nile to coincide with the time Pharaoh’s daughter was out bathing in the river.
This was not a regular bath such as one you would take at the beginning or end of the day.
The River Nile was considered sacred and was worshipped. Her bath was a ritualistic activity with a religious purpose because the river was thought to be healing as well as protecting.
The whole scene was in itself a miracle. Pharaoh’s daughter would have been raised to hate the Hebrews.
When she saw the basket with a Hebrew baby, her expected response would be to push the basket further out into the Nile and let the cruelty of nature take its course.
But Moses was crying. God put compassion in her heart and she acted on it by adopting Moses instead of allowing him to suffer and die.
And Miriam was right there to reroute baby Moses to his mother.
God can make your worst enemy your Savior
That Pharaoh’s daughter decided to adopt Moses was truly a miracle.
We have already discussed the fact that she was supposed to be the enemy. Instead, God made her a submissive friend.
This reminds me of a number of promises God makes in the Bible about bringing our enemies down to serve those who fear him.
Here’s one such promise:
When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. Proverbs 16:7
Here is another:
The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. Psalm 110:1
And here is yet another:
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Psalm 23:5a
Even your enemies can serve God’s purpose in your life.
Don’t worry about that boss, family member, church sister or regrettable business partner who clearly wants to destroy you. They might just be under God’s commission or allowance.
God rewards faith
Over and over throughout the Bible, we see God rewarding those who trust him.
Jochebed is one such example of faith. Because she trusted God and made her faith practical and active, Jochebed got her baby back.
What’s even more interesting is that she got paid for taking care of her own baby.
God truly has a sense of humor.
God asks us to trust Him. Our faith in Him, brings him pleasure (Hebrews 11:6). And God expresses his pleasure by responding to our moves of faith and our prayers of trust.
When we step out in faith, we give God permission to move as well.
Final words on Jochebed in the Bible
If you can find a sermon on Jochebed, I’m sure there are many more nuggets that you could learn.
We don’t know what happened to Jochebed but one thing is certain…
She has truly made her mark on the world. Her legacy is in the work of Moses who became one of the most powerful leaders in the Bible.
Jochebed didn’t just believe. She made her faith come alive through courageous living and practical parenting. Jochebed earned her honorary mention in the Hebrews 11 Hall of Faith.