How old was Moses when he went to live with Pharaoh's daughter?

  • 1
    Seeing that previous comments have been removed, I can only assume that no-one has an answer to this apparently straightforward question. Perhaps if the poster asked for references to scholarly articles from a particular Christian tradition, he might get some sort of response? Just sayin'.
    – Mick
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 14:21
  • There was a French Benedictine monk at Sainte-Marie Abbey, Paris. He was a biblical exegetist and actually wrote a great book on the subject of Moses. If any book contain such plausible information as what you are seeking, it would be found there. He name was something like Dom de Moreleon? I am sure I am misspelling his last name. But that where you will find such information.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


Most likely just after being weaned from the breast.

Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” Exodus 2:8-10 NIV

Since the princess was only paying for nursing services and she wanted a son badly, once her milk dried up baby Moses goes back to the new Pharaoh's daughter mommy at the ripe old age of 6 months-ish.


The answer of 6 months is a good start as scientists say that this is the time the immunity has built up enough to have benefited the child to guard against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. However, I doubt this has been the practice historically and in a culture which prizes women for their roles as nurturers. Judaism has a usual age recommendation of 24 months but as long as 4 years of age, which makes sense as a child of that age would be on solid foods. There is a prohibition against being off breast milk for 72 hours and then resuming but the child can still drink milk from a "bottle" at that point.

source from Orthodox sect of Judaism

Egyptians had a culture that had some similarities to the Hebrews and other cultures of the region. Here is a source backing what I wrote about weaning in ancient Egypt

During the first years of life children are busy acquiring basic skills like walking and speaking and play no economic role. Their chances of survival improved when they were weaned late [13], as in a hot country like Egypt diseases of the digestive tract are widespread.
[13] The age of three years seems to have been a common age for weaning. At times older children were referred to as still suckling, apparently hyperbolically. The mortuary stela of Isenkhebe speaks of death as The dark, a child's terror, engulfed me, While the breast was in my mouth! From the Stela of Isenkhebe, 7th century BCE M. Lichtheim Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume III, p.59

Final source Fathom Archive @ University of Chicago

Data collected from modern non-industrial societies suggest that infant mortality in ancient Egypt was undoubtedly high. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy infant under the less-than-sanitary conditions that prevailed in ancient times was by breast-feeding. In addition to the transfer of antibodies through mother's milk, breast-feeding also offered protection from food-born diseases. Gastrointestinal disorders are common under poor sanitary conditions, and because infant immunity is reduced during weaning, children's susceptibility to disease increases at this time. Indirect evidence for this occurring in ancient Egypt comes from a number of cemeteries where the childhood death rate peaks at about age four, which correlates with an Egyptian child's introduction to solid foods. Prolonged lactation also offered a number of heath advantages to the mother. Primarily, it reduces the chance of conceiving another child too soon by hormonally suppressing ovulation, which allows the mother more time between pregnancies. The three-year period for suckling a child recommended in the "Instructions of Any"

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    The only problem with that would have been that he wasn't raised in Judaism. This was an Egyptian royal household, and long before Judaism began. Remember that the civil and ceremonial laws weren't put into place until AFTER the exodus, which was somewhere around 60-80 years after Moses was born. These rules wouldn't have even been thought of until after the exodus when God gave rules to help extend lifespans and help raise children as a community. Before that it was kill or be killed so most likely they would have weaned him as soon as possible to "strengthen" him, for his own good.
    – Herkfixer
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 2:20
  • I understand your logic, and it is sound, but really since Abraham the Hebrew people had many customs that continued. Judaism is a religion that is steeped in traditions that were established well before being codified in the Talmud, etc. Being a nomadic people that were closely related to other sister cultures of the same area, semitic tribes have long established oral history before things were ever written. Also, Egypt was a culture that had clerics and healers that certainly would have had medical advice mixed with superstition. I'd say it's a tossup, but I'll look a little deeper.
    – user31124
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 3:24
  • @Herkfixer thank you for helping make the answer better. I was able to add the additional resources that further backed my intuition. Glory to G-d.
    – user31124
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 3:40

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