Pharaoh\’s Daughter

Victoria Gisondi - Moses


In Exodus 2, the Bible points out that Moses’ parents were Levites. The tribe of Levi would be chosen to perform holy service and they would be set apart by God for His service. I doubt the Levite was certain of his own survival let alone that he was destined for the salvation of Israel out of the bondage of slavery. Moses\’ mother set him adrift in the Nile seemingly leaving him to his fate. But if you notice, she courageously took every precaution to ensure his survival and left the rest in God\’s hands.

The Levite woman was a shrewd one. She daubed the papyrus basket with bitumen and pitch making an already buoyant material waterproof. She must have known the hour of the day that Pharaohs’ daughter would be bathing, and she must have strategically stationed her daughter in the perfect place to guide Moses right into the hands of the royal princess. Then she offered herself as the perfect nursing maid for the child!

Pharaohs’ daughter most likely knew about the edict to kill all male Hebrew baby boys, but she wasn’t directly affected by it until she laid eyes on Moses. The Levite was hoping to appeal to the mothering instinct in Pharaoh’s daughter and she was correct. Pharoah\’s daughter immediately fell in love with the child Moses and interceded on his behalf to her father. Pharaoh humored her, probably imagining the child to be no more than a pet for his daughter with no rights to succession.

It’s amazing to me that a king who feared a Hebrew usurping his throne so much that he ordered the murder of all their baby boys would allow his daughter to raise one in his household. It is very telling of their relationship. Clearly he loved his daughter very much.

In some ways, I can see the typology of Mary in both these women. Pharaoh’s daughter’s concern and adoptive motherhood reminds me of Mary\’s concern and motherhood for us. She is influential and intercedes for us and the Father loves to give her the delights of her heart.

I can also see the foreshadowing of Mary in the Levite woman, who, although she had the consolation of being able to nurse her son, knew that he did not belong to her and was destined for the something great. Like the Levite, she faithfully surrendered her son.

Mary, Mother of Israel, pray for us!


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6 thoughts on “Pharaoh\’s Daughter”

  1. Pingback: Pastoral Sharings: "Dives and Lazaras" | St. John

  2. The Levites were not set aside for Temple service until the Law was given at Mt. Sinai. Up to that point heads of families would perform sacrifices. Even after the giving of the Law, the descendants of Moses were only Levites, not priests.

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  4. Pingback: Pharaoh’s Daughter - CATHOLIC FEAST - Every day is a Celebration

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