One night, Paraoh’s stargazers looked up at the constellations.
“Tell me… what do you see?” asked Paraoh.
“Bad news, Your Majesty. We have seen in the stars that a boy was born today who will grow up to lead our slaves to freedom!”
“A boy, you say? Is he a Jew?”
“We are not certain. The stars are sending us confusing signals,” replied the stargazers. “However, the stars clearly show us that this so-called “redeemer” will end up being smitten through water.”
“Smitten through water? Hmmm,” thought Paraoh. “This time we’ll take matters in our own hands.”
“Royal officers!” he exclaimed. “I order you to drown all babies – whether Jewish or Egyptian. Throw them all into the water of the great Nile!”
Why were the stargazers so confused about the identity of the redeemer?
It was because Moshe was born to a Jewish mother but raised in the Egyptian palace. Although Moshe was Jewish, he appeared to the stargazers as an Egyptian because of his upbringing.
That baby that was born, as we shall soon see, was a Jewish boy named Moshe.
Indeed, later in his life he was “smitten through water” when he did not follow HaShem’s instructions exactly. He hit the rock that was supposed to give out water instead of speaking to the rock and HaShem punished him.
This episode is mentioned in the Torah in the book of Bamidbar (Parshas Chukas) and as a result Moshe was punished and did not lead his nation into Eretz Yisrael. This was the meaning behind the stargazers’ vision: “this redeemer will end up being smitten through water.”