Women of the Bible: Pharoah’s Daughter and the Heart of Adoption


We know little about her, not even her name. But the daughter of King Menephtah and Queen Isinefer-t is famous for one act: her benevolence. Attended by her maidens, she went to the river to bathe and instead found a son. Exodus tells the story this way:

Exodus 2:5

Then Pharoah’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. Then his sister asked Pharoah’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharoah’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying “I drew him out of the water.” 

Ok, I’m not going to ignore the horror of the situation. The reason that Moses was put afloat in the first place is that the Pharoah had ordered all Jewish boy babies to death. The fear was that the slaves would overrun the Egyptians and revolt. So besides the atrocity of slavery, the Pharoah was also participating in a mass genocide.

Still, I cannot ignore the heart of the princess. By bringing the baby into the palace, the unnamed girl risked her own punishment by directly opposing her father’s laws. And, knowing Moses was Hebrew, he was not simply added to the servants. He became family. By growing up in the royal household, he learned the innermost workings of the politics of the day. In the end, Pharoah’s daughter rescued the baby who would be the man to take down the whole country, a clear example of the sovereignty of God. Even when the night seems darkest, He is always in control.



One thought on “Women of the Bible: Pharoah’s Daughter and the Heart of Adoption

  1. Thanks Tina! In Sunday School tomorrow, I’m teaching on her and Miriam – thanks for giving me a new perspective 😊 Especially since several of my kiddos are adopted!!! ❤️❤️❤️


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