THE BEAUTIFUL BABY WHO WAS FOUND IN A RIVER
Exodus i: 1, to ii: 22.
HE children of Israel stayed in the land of Egypt much
longer than they had expected to stay. They were in
that land about four hundred years. And the going down
to Egypt proved a great blessing to them. It saved
their lives during the years of famine and need. After
the years of need were over, they found the soil in the
land of Goshen, that part of Egypt where they were
living, very rich, so that they could gather three or
four crops every year.
 Then, too, some of the sons of Israel, before they came
to Egypt, had begun to marry the women in the land of
Canaan, who worshipped idols, and not the Lord. If they
had stayed there, their children would have grown up
like the people around them, and soon would have lost
all knowledge of God.
But in Goshen, they lived alone and apart from the
people of Egypt. They worshipped the Lord God, and were
kept away from the idols of Egypt. And in that land, as
the years went on, from being seventy people, they grew
in number, until they became a great multitude. Each of
the twelve sons of Jacob was the father of a tribe, and
Joseph was the father of two tribes, which were named
after his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.
As long as Joseph lived, and for some time after, the
people of Israel were treated kindly by the Egyptians,
out of their love for Joseph, who had saved Egypt
from suffering by famine. But, after a long time
another king began to rule over Egypt, who cared
nothing for Joseph or Joseph's people. He saw that the
 Israelites (as the children of Israel were called) were
very many; and he feared lest they would soon become
greater in number and in power than the Egyptians.
He said to his people, "Let us rule these Israelites
more strictly. They are growing too strong."
Then they set harsh rulers over the Israelites, who
laid heavy burdens on them. They made the Israelites
work hard for the Egyptians, and build cities for them,
and give to the Egyptians a large part of the crops
from their fields. They set them at work in making
brick, and in building store-houses. They were so
afraid that the Israelites would grow in number, that
they gave orders to kill all the little boys that were
born to the Israelites; though their little girls might
be allowed to live.
But in the face of all this hate, and wrong, and
cruelty, the people of Israel were growing in numbers,
and becoming greater and greater.
At this time, when the wrongs of the Israelites were
the greatest, and when their little children were being
killed, one little boy was born. He was such a lovely
child that his mother kept him hid, so that the enemies
did not find him. When she could no longer hide him,
she found a plan to save his life, believing that God
would help her and save her beautiful little boy. She
made a little box like a boat, and covered it with
something that would not let the water into it. Such a
boat as this, covered over, was called "an ark." She
knew that at certain times the daughter of King
Pharaoh,—all the kings of Egypt were called
Pharaoh,—would come down to the river for a
bath. She placed her baby boy in the ark, and let it
float down the river where the princess, Pharaoh's
daughter, would see it. And she sent her own daughter,
a little girl named Miriam, twelve years old, to watch
close at hand. How anxious the mother and the sister
were as they saw the little ark floating away from them
on the river.
THE BABY IN THE ARK FLOATS DOWN THE RIVER
Pharaoh's daughter, with her maids, came down to the
river; and they saw the ark floating on the water,
among the reeds. She sent one of her maids to bring it
to her, so that she might see what was in the curious
box. They opened it, and there was a beautiful little
baby, who began to cry to be taken up.
THE PRINCESS FINDS THE BABY
The princess felt kind toward the little one, and loved
 once. She said: "This is one of the Hebrews' children."
You have heard how the children of Israel came to be
called Hebrews (see Story Sixteen). Pharaoh's daughter
thought that it would be cruel to let such a lovely
baby as this die out on the water. And just then a
little girl came running up to her, as if by accident,
and she looked at the baby also, and said:
"Shall I go and find some woman of the Hebrews to be a
nurse to the child for you, and take care of it?"
"Yes," said the princess, "Go and find a nurse for me."
The little girl,—who was Miriam, the baby's
sister,—ran as quickly as she could and brought
the baby's own mother to the princess. Miriam showed in
this act that she was a wise and thoughtful little
girl. The princess said to the little baby's mother:
"Take this child to your home and nurse it for me, and
I will pay you wages for it."
How glad the Hebrew mother was to take her child home!
No one could harm her boy now, for he was protected by
the princess of Egypt, the daughter of the king.
When the child was large enough to leave his mother,
Pharaoh's daughter took him into her own home in the
palace. She named
 him "Moses," a word that means "Drawn out," because he
was drawn out of the water.
So Moses, the Hebrew boy, lived in the palace among the
nobles of the land, as the son of the princess. There
he learned much more than he could have learned among
his own people; for there were very wise teachers among
the Egyptians. Moses gained all the knowledge that the
Egyptians had to give. There in the court of the cruel
king who had made slaves of the Israelites, God's
people, was growing up an Israelite boy who should at
some time set his people free.
Moses grew up among the Egyptians, and gained
their learning, he loved his own people. They were poor
and were hated, and were slaves, but he loved them,
because they were the people who served the Lord God,
while the Egyptians worshipped idols and animals.
Strange it was that so wise a people as these should
bow down and pray to an ox, or to a cat, or to a snake,
as did the Egyptians!
When Moses became a man, he went among his own people,
leaving the riches and ease that he might have enjoyed
 the Egyptians. He felt a call from God to lift up the
Israelites, and set them free. But at that time he
found that he could do nothing to help them. They would
not let him lead them, and as the king of Egypt had now
become his enemy, Moses went away from Egypt, into a
country in Arabia called Midian.
He was sitting by a well, in that land, tired from his
long journey, when he saw some young women come to draw
water for their flocks of sheep. But some rough men
came and drove the women away, and took the water for
their own flocks. Moses saw it, and helped the women,
and drew the water for them.
MOSES DROVE OFF THE ROUGH MEN
These young women were sisters, the daughters of a man
named Jethro, who was a priest in the land of Midian.
He asked Moses to live with him, and to help him in the
care of his flocks. Moses stayed with Jethro, and
married one of his daughters. So from being a prince in
the king's palace in Egypt, Moses became a shepherd in
the wilderness of Midian.