Jochebed, Mother of Moses

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 09 - God Uses Christian Mothers

TEXT: Exodus 2:1-10; Hebrews 11:23-26


The students will be able to explain how God used Jochebed to protect and instruct Moses in the things of God.


Introduction: Bring to class several items used for protection such as a hard hat (falling objects), umbrella (rain), life jacket (deep water), or shield (weapons). Discuss what each protects us from, but conclude by pointing out how much better God's protection is.

Progression of Events:

  1. Because of Pharaoh's decree, Moses' parents hid him until he was three months of age.
  2. His mother made an ark of bulrushes and placed the baby in it.
  3. The basket was placed on the river, and Miriam watched nearby.
  4. Pharaoh's daughter came to the river, saw the basket and discovered the baby.
  5. She had compassion on the child.

Climax: Miriam was sent to find a nursemaid for the child, and brought the baby's own mother.

Conclusion: God's protective hand was over Moses, and He allowed the baby's mother to have her child once more. Thus, she could instruct him in the ways of God.


The clan of 70 Israelites had entered Egypt 430 years earlier at the request of Joseph. They lived in peace in the rich land of Goshen (the Nile delta) for probably only 30 years (compare Acts 7:6 and Exodus 12:40). In spite of the next 400 years of hardship, the people multiplied greatly until there were at least two million Hebrews.

The Pharaoh was determined to stop the growth of this people and so issued the decree to kill all the male babies. However, Scripture tells us that Jochebed and Amram (Numbers 26:59) were not afraid of the king's command because of their faith and trust in God (Hebrews 11:23).

Although Moses became the son of Pharaoh's daughter, he was raised by his own godly mother. She no doubt instilled within the heart of Moses faith in God and a sense of purpose as she repeated the story of his miraculous deliverance from death.

Pharaoh thought he had "dealt wisely" (Exodus 1:10) with the Hebrews in order to keep them in subjection. However, God used Pharaoh's treachery and hardness of heart to bring about the miraculous deliverance of His own people through Moses. When it came time for Moses to choose for himself, the humble faith of his mother was more attractive than all the wealth of Egypt (Hebrews 11:24-25).


  • Cattail—Cut cattail head from brown felt or velour paper, and stems and leaves from green construction paper (see Patterns). Glue to blue background. Across the bottom print the words, "A Mother Has Faith."
  • Allow each of your students to make a baby in a nutshell. For each baby, you need half a walnut shell, one peanut in the shell, one square of flannel about 1½'', and markers. Draw a face on the peanut, wrap in flannel, and put into the walnut shell. Let each child take his baby home.
  • Make a copy of the baby and one of the basket in the bulrushes (see Patterns). Color the basket and the baby. Cut a slit in the basket. Cut out Baby Moses and slip in the basket.
  • Help your students "hide" Baby Moses and Miriam. Copy the picture of the basket and the bulrushes. Color the picture. Color the bulrushes green or cut from green paper. Cut on heavy lines. Put glue along bottom of picture. Glue on bulrushes to hide Baby Moses and Miriam.
  • Fold a large sheet of brown construction paper. Draw semi-circle baskets on both top and bottom. Inside, put Baby Moses, or draw him (see Patterns). If you use the pattern, have children color the baby, cut out and glue into the basket.
  • Mini Viewer—Needed: Scissors, transparent tape, crayons, an empty kitchen matchbox, a roll of adding machine tape, and lots of imagination! To make the viewer: Cut two slits in the center of the top of the matchbox, about two inches apart. You may decorate the viewer by wrapping the outside in paper and then coloring it or covering it with contact paper. To make the film: Mark off 2" spaces on the adding machine tape to make frames. Write the title of your film on the second frame. Then begin drawing each part of your story. You make figures talk by using a "word bubble." Write THE END on the last frame of your film. Color your film. Slip the inside of the box into the sleeve, bottom side down. Thread your film from right to left through the slits and in between the bottom of the box and the sleeve. Pull the film slowly through the viewer to see the story. You might make a pre-recorded sound track to go along with the frames of your story. Use a bell or some special sound to indicate when to move the film forward. You can store your films in the viewer. Suggestion: For older youngsters, frames could be cut from Christian comic books and glued onto the tape to make a film.


  1. Why did Jochebed, mother of Moses, have to hide him when he was a baby?
  2. What do you think were the feelings of Jochebed when she put her baby in the little ark in the river?
  3. Because of God's protecting hand, who found Moses when he was hiding in the River Nile?
  4. How was Moses' mother able to help her baby after he was found by Pharaoh's daughter?
  5. Miriam was just a young girl at this time. What characteristics might describe her? Were you in her place, what might your feelings have been?
  6. What incidents in this story reveal God's answer to the prayers of this family?
  7. Did Moses' mother talk to him the most about God or Pharaoh? How was Jochebed able to implant the truths of God and Moses' true heritage in his mind and heart?
  8. What influence did that have in his later life and the decision he made as a young man?
  9. What might Moses' life have been like had he chosen to remain in Egypt as the son of Pharaoh's daughter?
  10. How might we compare the decision Moses made with the one we all must make at some time in our life?


  • Give each child a copy of the simple drawing of the baby in the basket (see Patterns). Let them draw in the tall grass which hid the baby.
  • Tell the story with a doll with blanket in a basket (nut shell may be used). Use blue cellophane for water, plastic or silk greens for flags. Make a simple line drawing of the king with a frown. Make scroll and write "decree" words on it. Doll figures can act out the story.


Start with the square sheet of paper at least 3 feet by 3 feet. Fold each corner to the center, making another smaller square. Turn over and repeat folding in the corners, making a smaller square. Turn over again and on the outside flaps write "Mom," "Mother," "Mommy," and "Mama." On the inside of the flaps put stickers of faces, including Jesus' face. Underneath the flaps write questions about each of the lessons.

Examples: Today's memory verse
Name of Bible mother
Name or sing one of the songs learned this unit
Name three ways to help Mom
Who taught Moses about God?

To start, child picks one of Mother's nicknames. You move your fingers back and forth saying the letters of that word (M-o-m-m-y). The child picks a sticker that is showing and you raise the flap to ask the child a question. The child should be able to answer. It is a good idea to have at least two questions under each flap in case the same flap is chosen again. This could involve several children.

Cut out the lesson symbols (see Patterns) in a size appropriate for display with words on a chalkboard. Arrange the symbols in a random order on a bulletin board. Explain to your group that to review the lesson they will help you write a story using these symbols. Write simple sentences on a chalkboard but leave blanks to fill in with the pictures. When they tell you which picture should be placed there, remove the symbol from the adjacent bulletin board and use a piece of double stick tape to mount it in the proper spot. Note: You may need to cut out some of the symbols more than once. Write your story out in advance and count the number needed. Be sure you identify what each symbol stands for with your group before starting the story.


  • Baby Moses — Suede—graph, Concordia
  • Baby Moses — by Ruth Odor, Standard Publishing
  • Baby Moses — Happy Day Book, Standard Publishing
  • Baby Moses — Magic Picture Book, David C. Cook
  • Baby in a Basket — Palm Tree Book, Concordia
  • Baby in a Basket — Scripture Press
  • The Baby in a Basket — by Ruth Odor, Standard Publishing
  • God Watches Over Baby Moses — Inlay puzzle, Standard Publishing
  • Stories About Moses — Pict-o-graph, Standard Publishing
  • Princess and the Baby — Arch Book, Concordia
  • The Young Moses — Coloring and Activity Book, Bible Discovery Aids