The sons of Amram (1 Chr 6:3-6:3)

“The children of Amram were Aaron, Moses, and Miriam.”

Based on Exodus, chapter 6, Amram, the son of Kohath and grandson of Levi, married Jochebed, his father’s sister and thus his aunt. He lived 137 years. He had two important sons Aaron, whose name appears in biblical literature over 340 times, and Moses, whose name appears over 9,000 times in the biblical literature, as well as a daughter named Miriam, whose name only appears 13 times. The most interesting character is Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, who married Amram, her nephew, whose name only appears 2 times. Jochebed is an odd character since she is the mother of Moses and Aaron, as well as the daughter of Levi, who was born in Egypt, which means very little time passed between Joseph and Moses. However, the earlier passages in Exodus seem to indicate a long lag time because no one in Egypt remembered Joseph. Surely Jochebed would have remembered her uncle Joseph. In the passage about the birth of Moses her name never comes up, just the descriptive ‘mother of the child.’   The same is true of Moses’ sister Miriam, who is also nameless in the Exodus, chapter 2 passage, where the parents are simply called Levites. Many rabbis have tried to interpret Jochebed as a cousin of Kohath, rather than his sister, but the translation texts, both English and French, speak of her as a sister of Kohath and therefore the aunt of Amram. Not too many people marry their aunts so that Moses and Aaron’s mom was also their great aunt.

 

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