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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Lawgiver bar None

The Ten Commandments (2006) on IMDb

Plot Overview

babyIn ancient Egypt Pharaoh fearing eventual conquest by their rapidly multi­plying Israeli slaves, orders the slaughter of all their new­born males. But (Heb. 11:23) “Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's com­mand­ment.” To spare him, his mother sets little Moses adrift in an ark on the Nile where his destiny is to be picked up by an Egyptian princess. He is raised in the royal courts (“You're a prince of Egypt”) but later Moses (Dougray Scott) identifies with his birth people at the cost of banish­ment, (Heb. 11:25) “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”

Wandering in the desert Moses takes up with a Kenite tribesman Jethro (Omar Sharif) raising sheep and starting a family with his eldest daughter Zipporah (Mía Maestro.)

(Jasher 78:7–10) In those days Moses, the son of Amram, in Midian, took Zipporah, the daughter of Reuel the Midianite, for a wife. And Zipporah walked in the ways of the daughters of Jacob, she was nothing short of the righteousness of Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah. And Zipporah conceived and bare a son and he called his name Gershom, for he said, I was a stranger in a foreign land; but he circumcised not his fore­skin, at the command of Reuel his father-in-law. And she conceived again and bare a son, but circumcised his fore­skin, and called his name Eliezer, for Moses said, Because the God of my fathers was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.

citizensAfter a passage of time, Moses with his brother Aaron (Linus Roache) receives a call from God to lead the slaves to freedom. (Exodus 6:12-13) “And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips? And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.”

After his initial reluctance, Moses returns to Egypt and becomes the quint­essential deliverer and eventual law­giver, performing miracles along the way in the name of God. (Numbers 12:7) “My servant Moses is ... faithful in all mine house.”


The biblical story of Moses covers four books of the Pentateuch, which told in full would take a lengthy series; a single movie just wouldn't cover it. “The Ten Commandments” necessarily does some serious editing: cutting out non­essentials, rearranging the story line to move it along, and taking various liberties with the plot. What we are left with, how­ever, seems to me the same recognizable story in a retelling with forgiv­able short­cuts. After all, I've heard it in pieces over the course of fifty+ years in church settings, requiring me to build an amalgam in my mind any­way. This movie does it better than some. There is, how­ever, one striking difference: church-Moses is more a solitary figure than movie-Moses who is teamed with his brother Aaron (and to a lesser extent with his sister Miriam (Susan Lynch).)

Curiously, this discrepancy seems to derive from the churched wishing to remove all the thee's & thou's from the Bible. Our modern English uses you in place of them. The second person pronoun stands for the person or persons being addressed. In the sacred dialect of the King James Version (KJV,) the subject of the verb is thou or ye, and the object of the verb or preposition is thee or you. Singular is thee or thou; plural is ye or you. Way too confusing. We just use you in every case. We figure we can usually tell whom is being addressed, a commandment addressed to an individual would normally apply to an unspecified group—and vice versa,—and we can live with any mistakes. Okay.

Now we come to God's call of Moses met by his reluctance on account of a speech impediment. (Exodus 4:14-15) “And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.” In the KJV sacred dialect, “I will teach you what ye shall do” is addressed in the plural you/ye applying to both Moses and Aaron, but converting it to modern speech you/you would make it seem that God is offering his teaching help to Moses alone, the man he is directly addressing. Ergo the movie has built a more scriptural picture than does the church.

One of the Ten Commandments is especially illustrated in the movie: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” It is an individual sin (She: “I have betrayed my husband.” He: “I have betrayed my wife.”) From a New Testament perspective, Paul tell us, (1Cor. 7:2-3) “Never­the­less, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and like­wise also the wife unto the husband.” Matrimony is the normative sexual outlet according to Paul, unless one has the gift of celibacy.

Paul asks the whole church as a group to accept him and his entourage, (2Cor. 6:11-13) “O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.” This is different from the sectarianism he addressed in First Corinthians where some were followers of Paul and some of other apostles. They are all of a group.

Furthermore, Saint Peter urges the acceptance of Paul, (2Pet. 3:15-16) “as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be under­stood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” Paul's accorded wisdom would cover the Wisdom Books including, (Eccl. 7:16) “Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?” Dating websites and court­ship books are quick to point out that one dare not be too selective in choosing prospective mates so as not to price him­self out of the market, to “make thyself over wise” as it were. In particular Paul does show in 1st Corinthians that even a mixed marriage can be made to work.

Then Paul goes on to enjoin the church not to mix heathen practices in with their corporate worship, (2Cor. 6:14) “Be yeplural not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: —” He argues from the basis of what the Corinthians would have observed from various mixed marriages in their midst, (2Cor. 6:15) “For what part hath hesingular that believeth [mated] with an infidel?” Observing various marital conflicts in certain individuals' mixed marriages would clue the church in to not attempt that mixture in corporate worship. The individuals were allowed to marry mixed regardless so as to avoid fornication—or what­ever they thought was in their best interest,—not destroying them­selves by being over wise. Such would not find application to corporate worship. Substituting the one pronoun you—or you under­stood—in Paul's “not unequally yoked” command blurs the distinction between individual and corporate commands and could lead to fornication when one is not generously allowed to marry. The Ten Commandments are against adultery at any rate.

If one is concerned that a movie doesn't adequately represent the word of God, he should consider that neither should a book conveying God's word be too cozy with sexual sin. See (Psalm 50:16-18) “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee. When thou … hast been partaker with adulterers.”

Production Values

” (2006) was directed by Robert Dornhelm. It was written by Ron Hutchinson based on the book of Exodus in the Bible. It stars Dougray Scott, Linus Roache, Omar Sharif, and Naveen Andrews. Padma Lakshmi was beautiful Princess Bithia, Moses's adoptive mother. Matthew Sim was one freaky sooth­sayer. Karim Saleh was a fit Joshua. Susan Lynch was a demure Miriam. Linus Roache was a sassy Aaron. And Richard O'Brien made a guest appearance as the tutor. Mía Maestro was a captivating Zipporah.

It was certified TV–14, which corresponds to PG–13, for violence. It's 2 hours 47 minutes long in two parts. It was filmed in Hungary. The special effects were impressive including a very realistic CGI parting of the Red Sea. The acting wasn't over­done but the voice of God seemed too mushy to me. It's heavy on dialog and melodrama.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

I think this is a worthy telling of the story of Moses, which doesn't stray too far from the Bible. It would be an appealing epic in its own right for non-Bible scholars. If you're picky, any movie would give you plenty of fuel. It's necessarily on the long side, which can't be helped, but it's never boring. I've seen worse on this subject matter.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

The Book of Jasher. Translated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print, WEB.