Women of Welcome
from You Version
Throughout this study, we’ve seen women making bold moves to save lives because of their faith, but what about other women in the community who weren’t loyal to the one true God?
I (Bri) wonder what the Egyptian women must have been thinking during the genocide of innocent children in their region. It’s highly unlikely that Pharaoh’s daughter mingled with Hebrews in the community, but it’s possible some of her servants were Hebrews. Though her life was privileged and mostly isolated from other Egyptian royalty, verse 6 indicates that she was aware of her father’s decree.
Egyptians believed the Nile to be sacred, a river of health and life-giving properties, yet it was also the river in which children were intentionally killed. Egyptian royalty had special bathing rooms in their palaces—filled with water from the Nile—but it was also common to bathe in the river. In doing so, during this season of genocide, Pharaoh’s daughter would likely have often seen evidence of her father’s edict in the river. Death was surely present and impossible to avoid completely, even if her servants were on the lookout along the riverbank.
Upon hearing the cries of a child still alive, she summoned her servants to investigate.
From his circumstance to his circumcision, he was a Hebrew child, and she took pity on him. (The word for pity in verse 6 can also be translated as compassion.)
With her servants standing witness to the scene, what should she do? Place the baby back in the basket, as if she’d never heard him, or save the child’s life? What would her family think? What would her father say? Her thoughts must have been racing.
There she stood, face to face with the victim of her father’s cruelty. Her proximity to the pain of this Hebrew baby in her arms must have triggered something in her heart. Scripture doesn’t tell us if she felt conflicted about her compassion, only that she simply acted on it.