Tuesday, August 21Exploring The Black Presence In The Bible

Amram and Jochebed: The Father and Mother of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam


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Because the spotlight tends to be shined on Moses, his parents are often overlooked. While there isn’t a lot of information on his parents in the Bible, there is enough to put together a few facts about who they were and where they were from.

Who Was Moses Father and What Was His Name?

We don’t get too many details on the birth of Amram, but the one detail we do get, tells us which tribe he’s from, and his relation to his patriarchs.

“And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years.” – Exodus 6:18

Kohath was the son of Levi (Genesis 46:11), which would make Amram Levi’s grandson, which would make Moses Levi’s great grandson. With this information we can assume that the Hebrews were put under bondage very quickly after the death of Joseph (Exodus 1:8-11).

Who Was Moses Mother and What Was Her Name?

In the following verse we learn quite a bit about several family members, based on Jochebed’s origin.

“And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.” – Exodus 6:20

Let’s break down everything before we continue:

  • Kohath and Jochebed are brother and sister.
  • Jochebed is Levi’s daughter.
  • Jochebed is Amram’s aunt.
  • Jochebed is the mother of Aaron and Moses.
  • Amram lived 137 years.
  • People were still living very long lives.

There is a lot of information packed into that one sentence.

Was Jochebed An Egyptian or A Hebrew?

The Bible doesn’t tell us anything about the wife of Levi until we reach the following verse in the book of Numbers. However, given the circumstances, she could’ve been Hebrew, Egyptian, or a mix of both.

“And the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.” – Numbers 26:59

Jochebed was born in Egypt, which means she was born after the Hebrews made their move from Canaan to Goshen, thanks to Joseph. What we’re never told is where Levi got his wife. It’s possible that he was married before he moved into Egypt, but it’s also very possible and very likely that he took an Egyptian wife, either as his first or as one of several wives.

This is also the first verse in which Aaron, Moses, and Miriam are all mentioned together. The second being 1 Chronicles 6:3.

Jochebed Raised All of Her Children

When Moses was put in the water, it was Miriam that followed him until he was rescued by the daughter of Pharaoh. What often goes overlooked is that Miriam convinced the daughter of Pharaoh to allow one of the Hebrew women to nurse and care for the child.

Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.” – Exodus 2:7-10

We don’t know exactly how old Moses was when he was turned over to Pharaoh’s daughter, but we do know that his mother raised him at least for a short while thanks to Miriam’s quick thinking.

What Did Amram and Jochebed Look Like?

The Bible definitely doesn’t give us a description of Moses’ parents, but we know that Moses mistaken for an Egyptian. That being the case, Moses had dark skin like the Egyptians. If Moses had dark skin, then his parents definitely had dark skin as well.

Suggested Reading – The Family of Amram and Jochebed

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