Table of Contents
Who saved Moses from the water
The princess who saved Moses from the water in biblical and other source references
The princess who saved Moses from the water is traditionally identified as the daughter of Pharaoh in the Biblical narrative. However, the Bible does not provide her with a specific name. This story is found in the book of Exodus in the Old Testament.
In Exodus 2:5-10, the account describes how Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the infant Moses in a basket among the reeds at the edge of the Nile River. She felt compassion for him and decided to adopt him as her own son.
The name most commonly associated with this princess in later Jewish and Christian traditions is “Bithiah,” although this is not found in the Biblical text itself. This name appears in Jewish Midrash and other historical sources. For example, the Jewish historian Josephus, in his work “Antiquities of the Jews,” refers to her as “Thermuthis.” However, these names are not considered part of the canonical Biblical text.
The story of Moses’ rescue by Pharaoh’s daughter highlights themes of providence and deliverance, which are central to the narrative of Moses and the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.
The narrative of Moses in a historical context
Placing the narrative of Moses in a historical context to identify the ruling Pharaoh and his daughter (who found Moses in the Nile) is challenging due to the lack of direct archaeological evidence linking the story to a specific Egyptian ruler. However, several theories exist based on the time period when Moses is traditionally believed to have lived.
- Rameses II (also known as Ramses II): Many scholars suggest that Rameses II, one of Egypt’s most powerful and longest-reigning pharaohs, might have been the Pharaoh during Moses’ time. This theory is partly based on the Biblical mention of the Israelites building the cities of Pithom and Rameses, which were major construction projects during his reign (circa 1279-1213 BCE). If this theory is accurate, then his daughter would be the one who found Moses.
- Thutmose III: Another theory points to Thutmose III, who reigned during the 18th Dynasty (circa 1479-1425 BCE). He was a powerful ruler known for expanding Egypt’s empire. This theory is less popular but is considered by some scholars who align the Exodus narrative with earlier Egyptian history.
- Amenhotep II or III: Some researchers have suggested Amenhotep II or Amenhotep III as possible Pharaohs during the time of Moses. These Pharaohs also belong to the 18th Dynasty and reigned in periods that some chronologies could align with the Biblical narrative.
The challenge in identifying the Pharaoh of the Exodus story is compounded by the lack of direct references in Egyptian records to the events described in the Bible, such as the plagues or the mass exodus of Hebrew slaves. Ancient Egyptian records often omitted events that were unfavorable or disgraceful to the Pharaohs and their dynasties.
Therefore, while it is interesting to speculate on the historical context of the Biblical narrative, any conclusions about the identity of the Pharaoh or his daughter at the time of Moses are primarily theoretical and based on indirect evidence and scholarly interpretation.
The Christian narrative and Bithiah
Bithiah, often mentioned in Jewish and Christian traditions as the name of Pharaoh’s daughter who rescued Moses from the Nile, is not a name derived from the Biblical text itself. Instead, her story and the name “Bithiah” emerge more prominently in extra-biblical traditions and writings.
In the Christian narrative and tradition, the focus on Bithiah aligns with the broader themes of mercy, providence, and God’s intervention, as seen through her actions in rescuing and raising Moses. Here’s a more detailed exploration:
- Christian Interpretation of Moses’ Rescue: In Christian teachings, the story of Moses’ rescue is seen as an act of divine providence. Moses, a future prophet and leader, is saved by an unlikely figure – the daughter of the Pharaoh, who was ordering the killing of Hebrew infants at that time. This narrative often underscores themes of God working through unexpected means and people.
- Bithiah in Extra-Biblical Sources: The name “Bithiah” is mentioned in Jewish Midrashic texts and later Christian commentaries. In these sources, Bithiah is often commended for her compassion and defiance of her father’s decree. For example, the Midrash and Talmud (Jewish texts) praise her for her righteous deeds, and these interpretations have influenced some Christian perspectives as well.
- Symbolism and Typology: In Christian typology, the rescue of Moses can be seen as a prefiguration or symbol of Christ’s mission. Just as Bithiah saved Moses from death, thereby allowing him to lead the Israelites to freedom, Jesus Christ is seen as the savior leading humanity to spiritual freedom. Bithiah’s role, in this context, is symbolic of the instruments of God’s plan for salvation.
- Moral and Ethical Teachings: Bithiah’s actions are often used in Christian teachings to illustrate moral and ethical virtues such as compassion, bravery, and the importance of doing what is right in the face of adversity or unjust laws.
- Cultural and Artistic Depictions: In Christian art and literature, Bithiah is sometimes depicted as a symbol of grace and mercy. Her decision to adopt Moses and defy the Pharaoh’s orders is seen as an act of moral courage.
In summary, while the name “Bithiah” and extensive details about her are not found in the canonical Biblical texts, her character has been expanded upon in Jewish and Christian traditions and is often used to illustrate themes of divine intervention, moral courage, and the unfolding of God’s plan for salvation.
Meaning of the name Bithiah
The name “Bithiah” is of Hebrew origin and carries significant meaning in its composition. It is derived from two elements in Hebrew:
- “Bat” (בַּת): This part of the name means “daughter” in Hebrew.
- “Yah” (יה): This is a shortened form of “Yahweh,” the personal name of God in the Hebrew Bible.
Therefore, the name “Bithiah” essentially means “daughter of Yahweh” or “daughter of the Lord.” This name, attributed in Jewish tradition to the Egyptian princess who saved Moses, reflects a profound transformation of identity and role. By naming her “Bithiah,” these traditions emphasize her spiritual transition from a pagan background to being considered metaphorically as a daughter of the God of Israel, especially due to her compassionate act of saving Moses, a future prophet and leader of the Israelites.
In the context of the story of Moses, this name underscores the idea that God can work through anyone, regardless of their background, to fulfill divine purposes. The name Bithiah signifies her important role in the Biblical narrative, symbolizing her acceptance into the community of God’s people due to her righteous actions.
Could she be the future spouse of Amun
The suggestion that Bithiah, traditionally identified as the daughter of Pharaoh who rescued Moses from the Nile, could be the spouse of Amun does not have a basis in the biblical narrative or in well-documented historical records. This idea seems to merge characters and deities from different cultures and time periods, which can lead to confusion.
Some key points to consider
- Biblical and Jewish Traditions: In the biblical account and subsequent Jewish and Christian traditions, there is no mention of Bithiah, Pharaoh’s daughter, being married to Amun or any other deity. Her story primarily revolves around her act of rescuing Moses and raising him as her own.
- Amun in Egyptian Mythology: Amun (or Amon) is a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, often associated with the sun god Ra (as Amun-Ra). Amun was revered as a creator god and a deity of wind and fertility. The pharaohs of the New Kingdom period (circa 1550-1077 BCE) particularly emphasized his worship.
- Cultural and Temporal Differences: The figure of Bithiah belongs to the Hebrew biblical narrative, whereas Amun is a deity from Egyptian mythology. While the story of Moses is set in Egypt, the narrative and its characters are distinct from the Egyptian pantheon and religious practices.
- Historical and Archaeological Evidence: There is no historical or archaeological evidence to suggest a connection between Bithiah and Amun. Such a relationship would be anachronistic and inconsistent with both the cultural context of the Hebrew Bible and the known practices of ancient Egyptian religion.
In conclusion, the idea of Bithiah being the spouse of Amun appears to be a conflation of different cultural myths and historical periods without basis in the traditional religious texts or historical records of either the Jewish/Christian or the ancient Egyptian traditions.
The narrative of Jewish historian Josephus in his work “Antiquities of the Jews,” where he refers to her as “Thermuthis.”
Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian who lived in the first century CE, provides an account of the story of Moses’ early life in his work “Antiquities of the Jews.” In this narrative, Josephus offers additional details and names not found in the biblical text. Notably, he refers to Pharaoh’s daughter, who rescues Moses from the Nile, as “Thermuthis.”
Here’s a summary of Josephus’ narrative regarding Thermuthis and Moses:
- Discovery of Moses: Josephus recounts that Thermuthis, the daughter of Pharaoh, discovered Moses in the river while she was bathing. She was immediately taken by the infant’s beauty and his crying. Moved by compassion, she decided to adopt him.
- Naming of Moses: According to Josephus, it was Thermuthis who named the child Moses. The name, as Josephus explains, derives from the Egyptian words “Mo” (meaning water) and “Uses” (meaning saved from), thus “Moses” signifying ‘saved from the water‘.
- Moses’ Upbringing: Josephus elaborates on Moses’ life in the Egyptian palace, describing how Thermuthis raised him as her own son. He portrays Moses as growing into a wise and noble character, respected in the Egyptian court.
- Additional Legends and Anecdotes: Josephus includes other legends and details about Moses’ time in Egypt that are not found in the biblical narrative. These stories serve to enhance the character of Moses, portraying him as a leader and scholar even in his early years.
Josephus’ account, while providing a rich and detailed narrative, should be understood as a blend of history, interpretation, and legend. His writings often aimed to present Jewish history in a way that would be respectable and understandable to a Roman audience. Therefore, he sometimes embellished or expanded upon the biblical narratives with additional details that reflected the cultural and literary expectations of his time.
In naming Pharaoh’s daughter “Thermuthis,” Josephus is not necessarily providing a historically accurate name but rather adding to the narrative in a way that would resonate with his contemporaries. His writings are valuable for understanding how Jewish history and stories were interpreted and understood in the first century CE, providing insight into the cultural and historical context of the period.
Meaning of the name Thermuthis
The name “Thermuthis,” as used by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in his work “Antiquities of the Jews,” does not have a clear or widely agreed-upon meaning, as it is not a traditional Hebrew or Egyptian name from the biblical period. Instead, it appears to be a name of Greek origin or influence, which was common in Josephus’ time, as he was writing for a primarily Hellenistic audience.
The etymology of “Thermuthis” is not explicitly defined in Josephus’ writings or in classical sources, making it difficult to ascertain a precise meaning. The name could be a Hellenization of an Egyptian name or concept, a practice that was not uncommon in ancient texts where authors would adapt foreign names into more familiar forms for their readers.
In the context of Josephus’ narrative, the name serves more as an identifier for Pharaoh’s daughter, who rescued Moses, rather than carrying a specific symbolic or etymological significance. It’s worth noting that in ancient texts, especially those that traverse cultural boundaries, names are often adapted, transliterated, or even completely changed to suit the linguistic and cultural context of the audience.
Given the lack of clear etymological roots and the absence of the name in earlier Egyptian or Hebrew sources, any interpretation of the meaning of “Thermuthis” would be speculative. Therefore, it’s best understood as a name used by Josephus to fit the narrative style and cultural context of his Hellenistic audience.
Meaning of the name in Greek
The name “Thermuthis,” as used by Flavius Josephus in his work “Antiquities of the Jews,” does not have a well-documented meaning in Greek. However, analyzing the name from a Greek linguistic perspective might offer some speculative insights.
Breaking down the name:
- “Thermo-” (Θερμο-): This prefix in Greek is related to “heat” or “warmth.” It’s the root for many English words that pertain to heat, such as “thermometer” and “thermodynamics.”
- “-uthis“: The suffix is less clear in its meaning. There is no direct and common Greek suffix “-uthis” that can provide a definitive meaning.
Given the lack of a clear etymological meaning in Greek, it’s possible that “Thermuthis” was not intended to convey a specific meaning in Greek but rather was a name adapted or created by Josephus to sound familiar to his Greek-speaking audience. Ancient authors often modified or chose names in their works to make them more relatable or understandable to their readers, especially when translating or adapting stories from one culture or language to another.
In summary, while the prefix “Thermo-” suggests a relation to heat or warmth in Greek, the overall meaning of “Thermuthis” is not clearly defined within Greek linguistic norms. The name seems to be a Hellenized version of a non-Greek name, created for the purposes of Josephus’ narrative rather than adhering to specific Greek naming conventions or meanings.
Meaning of mut in Egyptian language
The word “mut” in Egyptian language can have different meanings depending on the context. It could refer to the ancient Egyptian goddess Mut, who was a mother goddess and the consort of Amun. Alternatively, “mut” can also mean “mother” or “woman” in modern Egyptian Arabic. The specific meaning would depend on the context in which it is used.
The name “Thermutis” or “Thermuthis” is associated with ancient Egyptian history, and its precise meaning may vary depending on the interpretation. The name generally consists of two parts:
1. “Ther” or “Th” might be a reference to a specific deity or concept in ancient Egyptian religion or mythology. Unfortunately, the exact meaning of this part of the name is not well-documented, and it may not have a direct translation in modern terms.
2. “Mut” or “Muth” likely refers to the ancient Egyptian goddess Mut, who was a mother goddess associated with fertility and protection. Her name means “mother” or “queen” in ancient Egyptian.
So, when considering the name “Thermutis” or “Thermuthis,” it might be a name that incorporates elements related to a deity or concept, possibly with a connection to motherhood or royalty, given the presence of “Mut” in the name. However, the exact interpretation may still depend on historical and cultural context.
In ancient Egyptian cosmology, religion, philosophy, and culture, the concept of “Th” or “Ther” is not a well-documented or widely recognized term or deity. It’s possible that you might be referring to a specific aspect or deity that was known by a different name, or there might be some confusion with the transliteration or interpretation of ancient Egyptian terms.
The ancient Egyptian pantheon was quite extensive, with a multitude of deities associated with various aspects of life, nature, and the cosmos. Some of the most prominent deities in ancient Egyptian religion include Ra (the sun god), Osiris (associated with death and the afterlife), Isis (goddess of magic and motherhood), and many others. However, “Th” or “Ther” doesn’t correspond to any widely known deity in the Egyptian pantheon.
If you are referring to “Thau” and considering the omission of vowels, you are referring to the hieroglyphic symbol known as “Djed” or “Djed pillar.” The Djed pillar is one of the ancient Egyptian symbols with significant cultural and religious importance.
The Djed pillar is often associated with stability, endurance, and the backbone of Osiris, symbolizing his resurrection and eternal life. It is a symbol of strength and protection. While it doesn’t directly represent the “Th” sound, it is indeed a significant element in ancient Egyptian cosmology and culture.
Thank you for reading, shares and comments 👍
Learn affiliate marketing & build your own website with an awesome community and join me there. You can be a free starter for as long as needed. It includes free hosting and basic teachings. If you are an advanced user, you may like to level up. just have a look, and see for yourself!