And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at
Her name, in Josephus F7, is called Thermuthis, and by Artapanus F8, an Heathen writer, Merrhis, perhaps from Miriam, and frequently by the Jewish writers F9, Bithia, which is the name of a daughter of another Pharaoh, ( 1 Chronicles 4:18 ) from whence they seem to have taken it: she came down from the palace of her father, the gardens of which might lead to the Nile; for Zoan or Tanis, near to which, the Arabiac writers say, as before observed, the ark was laid, was situated on the banks of the river Nile, and was the royal seat of the kings of Egypt; though perhaps the royal seat at this time was either Heliopolis, as Apion testifies F11, that it was a tradition of the Egyptians that Moses was an Heliopolitan, or else Memphis, which was not far from it; for Artapanus, another Heathen writer, says F12, that when he fled, after he had killed the Egyptian, from Memphis, he passed over the Nile to go into Arabia: however, no doubt a bath was there provided for the use of the royal family; for it can hardly be thought that she should go down and wash herself in the open river: here she came to wash either on a religious account, or for pleasure: the Jews
maidens walked along by the river's side;
while she washed herself; though it is highly probable she was not left alone: these seem to be the maids of honour, there might be others that might attend her of a meaner rank, and more fit to do for her what was necessary; yet these saw not the ark, it lying lower among the flags, and being nearer the bath where Pharaoh's daughter was, she spied it from thence as follows:
and when she
saw the ark among the flags,
she sent her maid to fetch it; the maid that waited on her while the rest were taking their walks; her she sent from the bath among the flags to take up the ark: the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, and R. Eliezer F15, render it,
``she stretched out her arm and hand, and took it;''the same word, being differently pointed, so signifying; but this is disapproved of, by the Jewish commentators.
F7 Antiqu. l. 2. c. 9. sect. 5.
F8 Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 27. p. 432.
F9 T. Bab. Megillah, fol. 13. 1. Derech Eretz, fol. 19. 1. Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 2.
F11 Apud Joseph. Contr. Apion, l. 2. sect. 2.
F12 Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 27. p. 433.
F13 Chronicon Mosis, fol. 3. 2. Ed. Gaulmin.
F14 Targum Jon. in loc. Pirke Eliezer, ut supra. (c.48. fol. 57.2.)
F15 Ibid. Vid. T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 12. 1.