(An except from A Light to the Gentiles by Brother Jonathan Cope)
Obedience to the laws of Egypt was clearly open to discretion where the royal house was concerned! Not only was the child saved, but, as proposed by his brave sister, a nurse was employed (Exodus 2:7-9). He was then sustained until he was old enough to live in the palace.
How did Pharaoh’s daughter know that the child was a Hebrew? He was three months old (verse 2). All males in Israel were circumcised on the eighth day (Genesis 17:12). We assume, therefore, that this outward demonstration of a spiritual principle enabled the child to be identified as an Israelite.
It is ironic that, in the eyes of the king of Egypt, daughters of Israel were perceived as no threat and could therefore be permitted to live (Exodus 1:22). Yet it was a daughter of the king himself who oversaw the salvation of a male Israelite. She had greater power than almost anyone else within Egypt. How remarkable, then, that her actions would, in due course, result in precisely what her father had been trying to avoid! He was concerned that the Israelites would turn against the Egyptians. He was grieved that Egypt would suffer if this took place. Little did he or his daughter know it, but eighty years on (7:7), the child they permitted to live would play his part in bringing these very calamities upon their land.
We are reminded of Samuel, who also stayed with his natural mother until he was old enough to live with Eli (1 Samuel 1:19-28). In both cases the word describes sons who would go on to play great roles within Israel, leading God’s people through difficult and trying times.