10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
Moses’s mother kept her end of the bargain. Though Moses was really her own child, to save his life she gave him to the princess to live as if he were hers. There is something very symbolic in this passing of the child to another, and also in the phrase “drew him out of the water.” This is clearly a baptism. Moses’s infant life was surrendered to the water, then he was drawn out as someone new. The destiny to live merely as a slave was drowned, and the destiny to live as a ruler was raised. And in conjunction with this rebirth, this baptism, there even comes a new name: Moses.
Much has been speculated about the name of Moses. The word “mose” is an Egyptian suffix that means “son of.” Much like how in English “Robertson” means “son of Robert,” in Egypt there were names such as Ramose which meant “son of Ra.” At the same time, the word “moses” was a Hebrew verb meaning “draw out.” Thus, it might be that Moses’s name was bilingual, having appropriate meanings in both his Egyptian and Israelite homes, a name that was very befitting to his dual identity.
Moses has special parallels to two other men in the scriptures. Like the patriarch Joseph, he was both a man of Egypt and Israel. This foreshadows his destiny to save the Israelites in their time of need, just as Joseph did. Joseph was a man of dual identity who saved the Israelites by bringing them into Egypt, and Moses was a man of dual identity who saved the Israelites by bringing them back out of Egypt. And, of course, both Joseph and Moses are archetypes for Jesus, another man of dual identity (son of God and son of woman) who would again save the Israelites, and also the entire world. In fact, the way Moses came into his Egyptian home is further reminiscent of the birth of Christ. Moses was presented to the daughter of Pharaoh as a gift from God, brought to her outside of the usual procreative act. Like Jesus, Moses came to the Egyptians, seemingly as a virgin birth.