In the following verse we learn quite a bit about Jochebed and her family:
Here is the breakdown of the above family relationships:
- 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.
- Moses was Levi’s grandson.
- Amram lived 137 years.
- People were still living very long lives.
There is a lot of information packed into that one sentence. Most notably, we learn that Moses was the grandson of Levi. Understanding this is important, because people have a tendency to view Biblical people being further separated by time than they actually are.
Was Jochebed An Egyptian or A Hebrew?
The Bible does not 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 have been Hebrew, Egyptian, or a mix of both.
Jochebed was born in Egypt, which means she was born after the Israelites migrated from Canaan to Goshen, thanks to Joseph. What we are not told is where Levi got his wife. It is possible that he was married before he moved into Egypt, but it’s also possible and likely that he took an Egyptian wife, either as his first or as one of several wives. Mixing among Israelites and Hamites was a common occurrence in the Bible.
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, and then 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
What Did Jochebed Look Like?
The Bible does not give us a description of Moses’ parents, but we know that Moses mistaken for an ancient Egyptian. That being the case, Moses likely had dark skin like the ancient Egyptians. If Moses had dark skin, then his parents likely had dark skin as well.