Does everyone remember the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors? This story takes place many, many years after Joseph - actually it happened about 200 years later!
The people who were from the family of Joseph were called Israelites or Hebrews. As it happens there were more and more Israelites than ever before. The Israelites had children, and their children had children and soon there was too many to count.
Most of the Israelites lived in Egypt where there were also a lot of people called Egyptians. Too bad they couldn't all just see each other as the same. But as you'll soon find out the Israelites and the Egyptians were treated very differently.
Anyway, a new king who was called Pharaoh came into power in Egypt. He didn't like it that there were so many Israelites and he thought they would one day take over the land. So he decided to make all the Israelites into slaves.
He made them work from early in the morning till late at night doing very hard work. Even if they were tired the Egyptians wouldn't give them a break, they would just make them work harder. It was very bad.
Pharaoh did all this and he still wasn't happy. The Israelites were still growing in number so he decided to make a law. If any boys were born to the Israelites he would have them killed.
At this time there was an Israelite couple who were expecting to have a baby. When they had a baby boy (whose name would later be Moses) they decided to hide him because they wouldn't let anyone kill this beautiful, precious baby of theirs.
They hid Moses for three months, but as he got older he didn't sleep as much and he cried louder than before. So his parents did the only thing they could do, they made a strong basket (sort of like a mini baby boat) and put blankets around the baby and placed the basket in some tall grass in the Nile river.
Baby Moses had a sister named Miriam, and she watched from a distance to see what would happen to her baby brother. While she was watching she saw somebody coming, she realized it was Pharaoh's daughter and her servants. They were dressed like they were famous, and she had seen her before and remembered what she looked like.
Pharaoh's daughter had come for a swim. While she was swimming she noticed a basket floating a little ways away in the tall grass. So she asked one of her servants to go see what it was.
The girl brought the basket over to her, and when Pharaoh's daughter opened it, the light startled Moses so he woke up and started to cry. "What a sweet, beautiful little baby. It must be one of the Israelite's," Pharaoh's daughter said to her servants.
Miriam had seen what had happened, and she hurried over and asked, "Would you like me to go find an Israelite woman to feed the baby for you?"
"Yes, go and find someone who can nurse the baby." she answered. Miriam ran as fast as she could and told her mother that Pharaoh's daughter had found him and wanted someone to come nurse him.
They went and found Moses with Pharaoh's daughter, and she asked them, "Please help me and nurse this baby, and I will pay you for helping me." (She didn't realize that this was actually Moses' mother).
Later he became the son to Pharaoh's daughter, and that's when she named him Moses, which means she got him out of the water.