According to the Torah, Jochebed[a] was a daughter of Levi[1] and mother of Aaron, Miriam and Moses. She was the wife of Amram, as well as his aunt.[2] No details are given concerning her life. According to Jewish legend, Jochebed is buried in the Tomb of the Matriarchs, in Tiberias. She is praised for her faith in the Epistle to the Hebrews.[3]

Pedro Américo - Misés e Jocabed - 1884
Moses and Jochebed by Pedro Américo, 1884.

Birth of Moses

The story of Jochebed is thought to be described in the Book of Exodus (2:1–10) - although she is not explicitly named here. (Her name is first mentioned in Exodus 6:20.) She lived in Egypt, where the descendants of Israel were being oppressed. The Pharaoh had decreed that all their baby boys were to be thrown into the Nile, because he feared that they might become too powerful. When Moses, her youngest child, was born, Jochebed therefore hid him for three months until she could hide him no longer. To save her son's life, she made a wooden chest of bulrushes, made it watertight with slime and pitch and put the child in it. Fully aware that she (Jochebed) would not be able to protect Moses from the Pharaoh's cruelty, Jochebed placed Moses in a basket and released him in the flow of River Nile. The basket fell in the hands of the Pharaoh’s daughter who was bathing in the river. She was a kind-hearted lady and was filled with love and compassion on seeing the baby. Moved with compassion when she discovered the child, she decided to adopt him. The "sister" of the child (presumed to be Miriam), who had come forward, suggested to find her a Hebrew woman to nurse the child. The Pharaoh's daughter agreed and so Miriam called her mother, who was appointed to take care of him. Thus Jochebed nursed her son until he was old enough and brought him to the Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted him as her son. As Moses grew up Jochebed educated Moses in the religion and history of Israel, ensuring that Moses did not lose his Hebrew identity. As result, he could not bear the injustice done by Egyptians on the Hebrews. Moses convinced the Pharaoh to amend his oppressive laws. His behavior made him popular among the Hebrews.[4] The story continues with Moses, who grew up to become the leader of the Exodus, leading his people out of the land of Egypt.

Relation to Amram

According to the Book of Numbers, Jochebed was born to Levi when he lived in Egypt.[1] Amram was the son of Kohath, who was a son of Levi. This would make Jochebed the aunt of Amram, her husband. This kind of marriage between relatives was later forbidden by the law of Moses.[5] Jochebed is also called Amram's father's sister in the Masoretic text of Exodus 6:20, but ancient translations differ in this. Some Greek and Latin manuscripts of the Septuagint state that Jochebed was Amram's father's cousin, and others state that she was Amram's cousin.[6] In the Apocryphal Testament of Levi, it is stated that Jochebed was born, as a daughter of Levi, when Levi was 64 years old.

In Jewish rabbinic literature

Jochebed is identified by some rabbis in the Talmud with Shiphrah, one of the midwives described by the book of Exodus as being ordered by Pharaoh to kill the new-born male children.[7] In making this identification, the rabbis interpret the houses, with which the Book of Exodus describes God as having compensated the midwives,[8] as having been those of priesthood and of royalty; these houses are interpreted by the Talmudic rabbis as allegorical references to Jochebed's sons—Moses and Aaron respectively.[9]

The Exodus Rabbah argues that when the Pharaoh instructed midwives to throw male children into the Nile, Amram divorced Jochebed, who was three months pregnant with Moses at the time, but Miriam soon persuaded him to marry Jochebed again;[10] it goes on to argue that the Egyptians estimated the date that Moses would be due to be born by counting nine months from the start of this marriage, hence allowing Jochebed to hide him for the three months that were overestimated.[10] The Targum Pseudo-Jonathan identifies Jochebed as also having been wife of Elitzaphon Ben Parnach, and the mother of Eldad and Medad;[11] the text is ambiguous as to when this marriage occurred in relation to the marriage(s) to Amram.

Jochebed's name is given various allegorical interpretations;[12][13] the Leviticus Rabbah identifies her as the person named in the Book of Chronicles as Jehudijah,[14] by arguing that the name should be interpreted as meaning the Jewess, in reference to her founding the Jewish nation by disobeying the Pharaoh's order to dispose of the firstborn males.[15]

Some rabbinic literature attempts to resolve the textual discrepancy in which the Torah lists 34 children of Leah born in Mesopotamia, stating that two were dead, and then immediately states that there were 33 in total,[16] by arguing that the figure referred only to the surviving children, and that Jochebed was the 33rd;[17][18] however, since the Book of Numbers describes Jochebed's birth as occurring in Egypt,[1] this necessitated the further rabbinic argument that Jochebed was born exactly on the border of Egypt, in the gateway of the city.[17][18] Biblical scholars have instead simply proposed that the discrepancy in the enumeration of Leah's children is due to the list not originally having included Dinah, who was added by a later editor to introduce consistency with the story of the Rape of Dinah.[19]

According to traditional rabbinic biblical chronology, Moses was 80 years old when the Exodus occurred, the Israelites had been in Egypt for 210 years in total, and thus in combination with the rabbinical claim that Jochebed was born on the border of Egypt, as her parents had entered it, this would require Jochebed to have been 130 years old when she gave birth to Moses;[20] rabbinical literature regards this to have been alluded to by the biblical description of the dedication of the Israelite altar, at which 130 shekel weight of silver was offered.[18][21]

According to Josephus Flavius the birth of Moses was an extraordinary event because Jochebed was spared the pain of child-bearing due to both her and Amram's piety. The Haggadah extends this miraculous nature to Moses' conception by marking as 120 the age of Jochebed at conception. Several rabbinic commentaries attest to this and comment that maidenhood was restored to Jochebed at the time of her marriage to Amram. The restoration of maidenhood also included the resumption of her fertility.[22]

Textual criticism

Textual scholars attribute the genealogy to the Book of Generations, a hypothetical document originating from a similar religiopolitical group and date to the priestly source.[23] According to biblical scholars, the Torah's genealogy for Levi's descendants, is actually an aetiological myth reflecting the fact that there were four different groups among the Levites – the Gershonites, Kohathites, Merarites, and Aaronids;[24] Aaron – the eponymous ancestor of the Aaronids – couldn't be portrayed as a brother to Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, as the narrative about the birth of Moses (brother of Aaron), which textual scholars attribute to the earlier Elohist source, mentions only that both his parents were Levites (without identifying their names).[25] Biblical scholars suspect that the Elohist account offers both matrilinial and patrilinial descent from Levites in order to magnify the religious credentials of Moses.[24]

It has been proposed by a number of Biblical scholars that Ichabod and Jacob may ultimately be linguistic corruptions of Jochebed, and possibly once have referred to the same individual.[26]

Family tree

According to the masoretic text, Jochebed's family tree is as follows:


According to the Septuagint however, Jochebed's family tree would be either as follows, or alternatively, with having Jochebed being the daughter of Merari or Gershon:


Islamic view

The Quran relates the story of Moses with some added details and slight differences. Jochebed's (Arabic: يوكابدYūkābad) efforts to save the baby Moses are recounted, along with the parting of the Red Sea, the burning bush and the Ten Commandments.[27]

Stories of unusual events during the pregnancy of Aminah, mother of the Islamic prophet Muhammad,[28] are compared with the similar experiences of Jochebed when she was carrying Moses.[29] The significance of this comparison is understood to spring from the affinity of Arabic folklore for Hebrew traditions.[29]

In popular culture

The film The Ten Commandments calls her "Yoshebel".

She appears briefly in The Prince of Egypt under the name 'Yocheved', portrayed by (and resembling) the late Israeli vocalist Ofra Haza. In the film, she sings a lullaby to baby Moses as she sets the basket carrying him adrift in the river, also pleading the river to deliver Moses "somewhere he can live free". Ofra sang the lullaby in 18 languages for the film's dubbing (including her native Hebrew).


  1. ^ /ˈjɒkɪbɛd/; Hebrew: יוֹכֶבֶד / יוֹכָבֶד, Modern Yoḫéved / Yoḫáved Tiberian Yôḵéḇeḏ / Yôḵāḇeḏ, "Yahweh is glory"


  1. ^ a b c Numbers 26:59
  2. ^ Exodus 6:20
  3. ^ Hebrews 11:23
  4. ^
  5. ^ Leviticus 18:12
  6. ^ Exodus 6:16–20, LXX
  7. ^ Exodus 1:15–16
  8. ^ Exodus 1:21
  9. ^ Exodus Rabbah 48:5
  10. ^ a b Exodus Rabbah 1:17
  11. ^ Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, Numbers 11:26
  12. ^ Babylonian Talmud Sotah 11b
  13. ^ Midrash Exodus Rabbah i. 17
  14. ^ 1 Chronicles 4:18
  15. ^ Leviticus Rabbah 1:3
  16. ^ Genesis 46:15
  17. ^ a b Genesis Rabbah 94:8
  18. ^ a b c Exodus Rabbah 1:23
  19. ^ Richard Elliott Friedman, Who wrote the Bible?
  20. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia
  21. ^ Numbers Rabbah 13:19
  22. ^ Dale Allison (1 February 2013). The New Moses: A Matthean Typology. Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-1-62032-876-7.
  23. ^ Richard Elliott Friedman, Who Wrote The Bible?
  24. ^ a b Peake's commentary on the Bible
  25. ^ Exodus 2:1–2
  26. ^ Cheyne and Black, Encyclopedia Biblica
  27. ^ Roraback, Amanda (2004). Islam in a Nutshell. Enisen Publishing. p. 27.
  28. ^ Lassner, Jacob (2010). Islam in the Middle Ages: the origins and shaping of classical Islamic Civilization. ABC-CLIO. p. 21.
  29. ^ a b Lassner, Jacob (2010). Islam in the Middle Ages: the origins and shaping of classical Islamic Civilization. ABC-CLIO. p. 31.

In the Book of Exodus, Amram () is the husband of Jochebed and father of Aaron, Moses and Miriam.Alternative spellings of the name include Hebrew: עַמְרָם, Modern: ‘Amram, Tiberian: ʻAmrām, "Friend of the most high" / "The people are exalted".

Denise Del Vecchio

Denise Del Vecchio Falótico (May 3, 1954 in São Paulo) is a Brazilian actress.

Franklin Simmons

Franklin Bachelder Simmons (January 11, 1839 – December 8, 1913) was a prominent American sculptor of the nineteenth century. Three of his statues are in the National Statuary Hall Collection, three of his busts are in the United States Senate Vice Presidential Bust Collection, and his statue of Ulysses S. Grant is in the United States Capitol Rotunda.


According to the Torah, Gershon (Hebrew: גֵּרְשׁוֹן‎ Gêršōn) was the eldest of the sons of Levi, and the patriarchal founder of the Gershonites, one of the four main divisions among the Levites in biblical times. The Gershonites were charged with the care of the outer tabernacle including components such as the tent and its covering, screens, doors, and hangings. Biblical scholars regard the name as being essentially the same as "Gershom" (Hebrew: גֵּרְשֹׁם, Modern: Geršom, Tiberian: Gēršōm), which appears to mean "a sojourner there" (גר שם), and it is Gershom rather than Gershon who is sometimes listed in the Book of Chronicles as a founder of one of the principal Levite factions. The Torah names Gershon's sons as Libni and Shimei.Textual scholars attribute the genealogy to the Book of Generations, a document originating from a religiopolitical group similar to that behind the Priestly source, and at a similar date. According to some biblical scholars, the Torah's genealogy for Levi's descendants is actually an aetiological myth reflecting the fact that there were four different groups among the Levites — the Gershonites, the Kohathites, the Merarites, and the Aaronids. In these scholars' view, Levite was originally just a job title, deriving from the Minaean word lawi'u, meaning "priest", rather than the name of a tribe.

Herem (priestly gift)

In the Tanakh, the term herem (Hebrew חֵרֶם ḥêrem) is used, among other meanings, for an object or real property to be devoted to God, with God authorizing a kohen (Jewish priest) to be its receiving agent.

Holy Child High School, Ghana

Holy Child School, also known as Angel's Hill/Monks, is a female second-cycle institution in Cape Coast in the Central Region of Ghana. In 2003, the school was ranked among the best 10 schools in Africa, producing the best overall female student in the 2003 Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSSCE)

Holy Child School also produced the best overall student,Jochebed Adwoa Sutherland and the second best overall student, Audrey Emefa Awuttey for the 2017 West African Senior School Examination, WASSCE. It was founded by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus (SHCJ) in the year 1946 to provide education to Catholics within the region.The current student population stands at over 1000 girls aged between 14 and 18 years. All students of Holy Child School are boarders. The School has always prided itself in providing holistic education for females so that they may strive to achieve higher heights and become "Women of Substance". The school motto is "Facta Non Verba" which simply means Actions Not Words. The present headmistress of the school is Rev. Sister Josephine Anto, commonly known as "JoJoy" or "Joezzy" Their colours are yellow and brown.

Jacob Querido

Jacob Querido (‘the Beloved’, ca. 1650–1690, Alexandria, Egypt) was the successor of the self-proclaimed Jewish Messiah Sabbatai Zevi. Born in Thessaloniki, he was the son of Joseph the Philosopher and brother of Jochebed, Shabbatai Zevi's last wife. Jochebed (also called ‘Ā’ishah following her conversion to Islam) claimed that he was the reincarnation of her late spouse, so that he might succeed to the leadership of Sabbatai's followers. He attracted a considerable following of his own, called Ya‘qōviyīm or Yakubiler.Querido converted to Islam taking his name as Yakup in 1687 and playing an important role in the Dönmeh. He led his disciples on a pilgrimage to Mecca. He died in Alexandria on his way back.


According to the Torah, Kehath (Hebrew: קְהָת, Qəhāṯ) or Kohath was one of the sons of Levi and the patriarchal founder of the Kehathites, one of the four main divisions of the Levites in biblical times. In some apocryphal texts, such as the Testament of Levi and the Book of Jubilees, Levi's wife, Kehath's mother, is Milkah, a daughter of Aram.


Levi (; Hebrew: לֵּוִי; Levi) was, according to the Book of Genesis, the third son of Jacob and Leah, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Levi (the Levites) and the great-grandfather of Aaron and Moses. Certain religious and political functions were reserved for the Levites.

List of people in both the Bible and the Quran

The Bible and Quran have many characters in common.

Sarah, Zipporah, Elizabeth, Jochebed and Noah's wife are mentioned, but unnamed in the Quran. Sarah and Elizabeth have the respective names Sara and al-Isbat in Islamic tradition.

Meir ben Samuel

Meïr ben Samuel (Hebrew: מאיר בן שמואל), also known by the Hebrew acronym RaM for Rabbi Meir, was a French rabbi and tosafist, who was born in about 1060 in Ramerupt, and died after 1135. His father was an eminent scholar. Meïr received his education in the Talmudical schools of Lorraine, his principal teachers being Isaac ben Asher ha-Levi and Eleazar ben Isaac of Mainz, with whom he later carried on a correspondence.Meïr married Rashi's first daughter, Jochebed, by whom he had three sons, Samuel ben Meïr (RaSHBaM), Isaac ben Meïr (RIBaM), and Jacob ben Meïr (Rabbenu Tam), all of them well-known scholars. According to Gross, Meïr had also a fourth son, Solomon. Simhah ben Samuel of Vitry's son Samuel, father of the tosafist Isaac the Elder, was Meïr's son-in-law. Meïr's son Isaac, the often-quoted tosafist, died in the prime of life, leaving seven children. This loss distressed the father to such an extent that he felt indisposed to answer a halakic question addressed to him by his friend Eleazar ben Nathan of Mainz.Meïr attained a very great age, and is sometimes designated as "the old" (ha-yashish). From the fact that his grandson, Isaac ben Samuel, born about 1120, speaks of religious customs which he found conspicuous in his grandfather's house, and from other indications, it has been concluded that Meïr was still alive in 1135.

Meïr was one of the founders of the school of tosafists in northern France. Not only his son and pupil Rabbenu Tam, but also the tosafot quote his ritual decisions. It was Meïr ben Samuel who changed the text of the Kol Nidre formula. A running commentary on a whole passage of the Gemara, written by him and his son Samuel in the manner of Rashi's commentary, is printed at the end of the first chapter of Menachot. Meïr composed also a seliḥah beginning "Abo lefaneka," which has been translated into German by Zunz, but which has no considerable poetic value.


Miriam (מִרְיָם Mir-yām) is described in the Hebrew Bible as the daughter of Amram and Jochebed, and the sister of Moses and Aaron. She was a prophetess and first appears in the Book of Exodus.

The Torah refers to her as "Miriam the Prophetess" and the Talmud names her as one of the seven major female prophets of Israel. Scripture describes her alongside of Moses and Aaron as delivering the Jews from exile in Egypt: "For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam". According to the Midrash, just as Moses led the men out of Egypt and taught them Torah, so too Miriam led the women and taught them Torah.


Moses () was a prophet according to the teachings of the Abrahamic religions. Scholarly consensus sees Moses as a legendary figure and not a historical person, while retaining the possibility that a Moses-like figure existed.According to the Hebrew Bible, he was adopted by an Egyptian princess, and later in life became the leader of the Israelites and lawgiver, to whom the authorship of the Torah, or acquisition of the Torah from Heaven, is traditionally attributed. Also called Moshe Rabbenu in Hebrew (מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ, lit. "Moses our Teacher"), he is the most important prophet in Judaism. He is also an important prophet in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and a number of other Abrahamic religions.

According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was born in a time when his people, the Israelites, an enslaved minority, were increasing in numbers and the Egyptian Pharaoh was worried that they might ally themselves with Egypt's enemies. Moses' Hebrew mother, Jochebed, secretly hid him when the Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites. Through the Pharaoh's daughter (identified as Queen Bithia in the Midrash), the child was adopted as a foundling from the Nile river and grew up with the Egyptian royal family. After killing an Egyptian slavemaster (because the slavemaster was smiting a Hebrew), Moses fled across the Red Sea to Midian, where he encountered The Angel of the Lord, speaking to him from within a burning bush on Mount Horeb (which he regarded as the Mountain of God).

God sent Moses back to Egypt to demand the release of the Israelites from slavery. Moses said that he could not speak eloquently, so God allowed Aaron, his brother, to become his spokesperson. After the Ten Plagues, Moses led the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they based themselves at Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died within sight of the Promised Land on Mount Nebo.

Jerome gives 1592 BCE, and James Ussher 1571 BCE as Moses' birth year. In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses was called "the man of God".

Samara Felippo

Samara Felippo Santana (born October 6, 1978) is a Brazilian actress.


Shebuel (Hebrew: שבואל‎) was a descendant of Gershom, the son of Moses and Zipporah. He, along with his kinsman Rehabiah a descendant of Eliezer, were described as chiefs and included in the Tribe of Levi. Shebuel is also described as "ruler of the treasures". His name means "captive of God" or "returned of God". His patrilineal lineage can be traced back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob since Levi is both his great-great grandfather (through Jochebed) and great-great-great grandfather (through Amram). He is also descended from Jethro and Jethro's ancestor Midian, son of Abraham and his second wife Keturah, through his paternal grandmother Zipporah.

The Ten Commandments (miniseries)

The Ten Commandments is a 2006 miniseries that dramatizes the biblical story of Moses. It ran on the ABC TV network.

The series was filmed in Egypt, Mount Sinai, and the Sinai Peninsula.

Tomb of the Matriarchs

Not to be confused with the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Hebron.The Tomb of the Matriarchs, (Hebrew: קבר האמהות, Kever ha'Imahot), in Tiberias, Israel, is the traditional burial place of several biblical women:

Bilhah, handmaid of Rachel.

Zilpah, handmaid of Leah.

Jochebed, mother of Moses.

Zipporah, wife of Moses.

Elisheba, wife of Aaron.

Abigail, one of King David's wives.The marble structure beside a modern apartment building block is surrounded by a stone wall.

People and things in the Quran
Important women in Islam
Generations of Adam
Generations of Ibrāhīm and his sons
Generation of Mūsa
Reign of Kings
House of Amram
Time of Muhammad
Early Sufism

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