(As the scene opens we see Jochebed preparing a wicker basket and she
can either lay a doll in it, or she already has him in it. Her
midwife, Puah is present.)
PUAH: Jochebed, are you certain that this is the right thing to do?
JOCHEBED: I have no choice, Puah. I will not destroy my son, and
this seems to be the only thing. We can no longer hide him here.
The Egyptian soldiers will find him and I could not bear to see them
kill my son before my eyes.
PUAH: But he is three months old! He cannot survive in the river!
JOCHEBED: I give him to God. Amram and I have prayed and wept over
this decision. We have to trust in God that this is the right thing
to do. We did not come upon this quickly. We have been praying
fervently for three months! We knew we could not kill our son, and
we also knew that it would be very hard to keep him hidden for very
MIRIAM: (Running in) Mother! Your friend, Hadassah is here!
JOCHEBED: No! Do not let her in! She mustn’t see!
HADASSAH: (Entering) Jochebed! I have been worried about you.
(Jochebed tries to hide the basket behind her) Are you alright?
JOCHEBED: I am well, Hadassah. I am sorry that I have not been to
HADASSAH: Nonsense! You have given birth and then your time of
grieving must have been just….well, I must say you seem to be
handling it very well. (She looks at Puah and the strange way that
the ladies are acting.) Why is your midwife here?
PUAH: (Fumbling over her words) There have been complications since
JOCHEBED: Puah…there is no need to make a falsehood on my account.
Hadassah is my friend and she can know the truth. (She moves from
in front of the basket) My son is in here.
HADASSAH: Your son? Jochebed! He is living?
JOCHEBED: We have been hiding him these three months.
HADASSAH: Hiding him?! Oh Jochebed! How could….
JOCHEBED: How could we not? You have not given birth to a son,
Hadassah. You cannot possibly know the grief that it brings to a
Hebrew family. When I gave birth and Puah told us we had a son….we
all wept. A man is not supposed to weep when he has a son! A son
born into a Hebrew home is supposed to be joyful occasion. We have
Aaron, he is three, and thankfully he was born before the Pharaoh
commanded that wicked law! But it is not comfort enough. We could
not obey such a wicked command!
HADASSAH: Jochebed…I am sure I would have done the same thing. It
is a miserable time in Egypt for all Hebrews. Male children being
cast alive into the Nile is so hideous and unbearable. Oh that God
would deliver us from this evil! That somehow we could leave Egypt
and go back to our homeland!
PUAH: Some day the Lord will send us a deliverer.
JOCHEBED: Amram and I have prayed and prayed. We trust the Lord.
He opens and closes the womb. He would not give us a son just so we
could drown him in the river! There is a purpose for every child
born. Thus there is a purpose for this child. We are giving him
back to God.
HADASSAH: How are you doing that?
JOCHEBED: In this basket.
HADASSAH: In a basket?
JOCHEBED: We are commanded to cast him into the Nile…so into the
Nile he will go.
HADASSAH: But in a basket.
PUAH: It is covered with tar and pitch… so the baby will float.
HADASSAH: Surely it will tip over and the child will drown.
JOCHEBED: I will not be there to see it. I cannot watch my son die.
He will be in God’s hands. If some Egyptian finds him, they will
know he is Hebrew. I know it sounds like we are sending him to his
watery grave…but what else can we do?
HADASSAH: Where is your husband?
JOCHEBED: Amram is working. We wanted today to be just like any
other day. We don’t want to bring attention to ourselves. I asked
Puah to come over and watch Aaron while Miriam and I take the basket
to the river.
HADASSAH: I will stay and wait for your return. This will be hard
for you, Jochebed. May God go with you…and with him. (Jochebed and
Miriam exit with the basket as Hadassah and Puah just look at each
PUAH: Jochebed is a remarkable woman.
HADASSAH: Indeed. I wonder if I could have the courage to do such
a thing. I came over to see her and comfort her in her grief. I had
not heard from her since the birth. I knew that if it had been a
girl then I would have heard and there would be rejoicing. Since I
heard nothing, I assumed the worst. I waited because I did not know
what to say to bring comfort to her in her loss.
PUAH: It was good that it was you who entered the house and not
someone who would turn them in to the authorities.
HADASSAH: Yes. And as it turned out… I did not need to bring
comfort to her at all. Instead, she is teaching me a lesson in