Bithiah Pharaoh's daughter

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Bithiah Pharaoh's daughter

Hebrew: בת–יה בת–פרעה Pharaoh's daughter
Immediate Family:

Wife of Mered Ben Ezra Ben Asareel
Mother of Miriam Ben Ezra De Egypt; shammai ben mered ben ezra de egypt; Ishbah Ben Mered Ben Ezra De Egypt and Mered Caleb Ben Ezra De Egypt

Managed by: Stanley Welsh Duke, Jr.
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About Bithiah Pharaoh's daughter

Bithiah, Bitya (בִּתְיָה, literally daughter of God) was the daughter of a Pharaoh of Egypt. The name of her father is not in the Bible, but Rabbinic Midrash makes her the daughter of one of the Pharaohs of the Exodus. (see Pharaoh of the Exodus).

Bithiah, daughter of Pharaoh rescued Moses, Islamic tradition has her as "one of the four best women", Jewish Tradition Bithiah has highest honors in the Garden of Eden.

The Rabbis applied to the daughter of Pharaoh the verse from the “Woman of Valor” poem. The midrash asserts that Bithiah did not die, but was among those who entered the Garden of Eden while still alive. She was so privileged because she cared for Moses (i.e., rescued him and raised him) (Midrash Eshet Hayil 31:15).

The Bible and Midrash assert that she was the foster mother of Moses, having drawn him from the Nile and bestowed upon him his name (Exodus 2:10). In Jewish tradition, she was exiled by the Pharaoh for bringing Moses the Levite into the house of Pharaoh and claiming him as her own child. She radiated warmth and loved him as if he were her own son, and accordingly was richly rewarded: she married Caleb son of Jephunneh and joined the people of Israel.

Another exegetical tradition has God saying: “Since this one brought salvation to Israel and brought them forth to life, I shall prolong her life. Kallah Rabbati loc. cit.). This midrash attributes the salvation of all Israel to the daughter of Pharaoh, because she saved Moses from death, and thereby facilitated the redemption of Israel from Egypt by means of their leader Moses.

Bithiah was the first-born of her parents, but, through Moses' prayer, was spared at the time of the death of the first-born (Pesiḳ., ed. Buber, vii. 65a). She is numbered among the persons who entered paradise alive; having saved Moses, she was forever freed from death ("Derek Ereẓ Zuṭṭa," i.; Yalḳ. i. 42, ii. 367). Compare Moses in Rabbinical Literature.K. L. G.

Bithiah married Mered the Judahite. Her children were Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah (the father of Eshtemoa).

Islamic tradition In the Hadith, Bithiah is known as Asiya, one of four of "the best of women". She is also known as the Pharaoh's wife, not daughter, in the Qur'an.

In Josephus' works The daughter of Pharoh who drew Moses (MO Yses) from the Nile was called Thermuthis and not Bithia.

In Christian tradition Eusebius of Caesarea (Preparation for the Gospel 9.15) names her as Merris, and Eustathius of Antioch (Commentary on Hexameron MPG 18.785) as Merrhoe.

In movies She is often portrayed as being the sister or wife of Pharaoh in adaptations of the story, in order to have Moses appear as Pharaoh's son.

In the film The Ten Commandments, she is portrayed (by Nina Foch) as the daughter of Ramesses I and sister of the Egyptian pharaoh, Seti I, who raised Moses as her own son as her husband had died before they could have children. When Moses leads the Hebrews out of Egypt, she joins the Exodus.

In the 1956 film, Bithiah is shown as a compassionate and heroic woman, who deeply loved Moses as a mother and wanted him to inherit the throne so he could do good. When Moses is found out to be a Hebrew, the heartbroken Seti forbids her from seeing him again. During the first Passover when the Destroyer is killing the first born of Egypt, she is freed, apparently from a form of fairly luxurious house arrest, and takes part in the very first Passover Seder. She grieves over the suffering of her people, but casts her lot with the people of Israel and joins the Exodus. She willingly and gladly gives up her place on her rich litter to help the weaker Israelites. When the Egyptian chariots attack, she tries to interpose herself between the charging army and the people. Her future husband Mered (see I Chronicles 4:18) dissuades her from this noble but suicidal action. When the Egyptian army drowns, it is her grieving reaction that the film shows (rather than the singing and dancing of the people, led by Miriam, that the book of Exodus tells about). Mered comforts her in her sorrow.


Chicago Manual Style (CMS): Bithia is one of the last daughters of the pharaohs. In the temple of Akmenra, to this day there are still hyroglyphics speaking of Bithiah.

Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972, Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem, Israel. Jewish

Bithiah. (n.d.). Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from website:

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