§ The Gemara returns to the discussion of the bondage in Egypt. “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying: Every son that is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive” (Exodus 1:22). Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: The use of the phrase “every son that is born” indicates that he decreed even on his own nation that all their male babies must be killed. And Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says further: He decreed three decrees. Initially, he commanded the midwives only with regard to Jewish infants: “You shall look upon the stones. If it be a son, then you shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live” (Exodus 1:16). And afterward, he decreed with regard to the Jewish infants: “Every son that is born you shall cast into the river” (Exodus 1:22). And ultimately, he decreed even on his own nation that Egyptian infant boys should be cast into the river as well. The verse states: “And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took for a wife a daughter of Levi” (Exodus 2:1). The Gemara asks: To where did he go? Rav Yehuda bar Zevina says: He went according to the advice of his daughter Miriam, as the Gemara will proceed to explain. A Sage teaches: Amram, the father of Moses, was the great man of his generation. Once he saw that the wicked Pharaoh said: “Every son that is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive” (Exodus 1:22), he said: We are laboring for nothing by bringing children into the world to be killed. Therefore, he arose and divorced his wife. All others who saw this followed his example and arose and divorced their wives. His daughter, Miriam, said to him:
Father, your decree is more harsh for the Jewish people than that of Pharaoh, as Pharaoh decreed only with regard to the males, but you decreed both on the males and on the females. And now no children will be born.
Additionally, Pharaoh decreed to kill them only in this world, but you decreed in this world and in the World-to-Come, as those not born will not enter the World-to-Come. Miriam continued:
Additionally, concerning Pharaoh the wicked, it is uncertain whether his decree will be fulfilled, and it is uncertain if his decree will not be fulfilled. You are a righteous person, and as such, your decrees will certainly be fulfilled, as it is stated with regard to the righteous: “You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto you” (Job 22:28). Amram accepted his daughter’s words and arose and brought back, i.e., remarried, his wife, and all others who saw this followed his example and arose and brought back their wives.