Okay, I know I am little late to the game, but Teri and I finally got a chance to see the DVD release of the latest Big Screen Moses movie. While the acting, production and direction were excellent, the storyline left a lot to be desired.
I understand creative license and the desire to create something unique and different. I even understand the drive to “fill in the gaps” where the historical record is silent. What I have never understood, or appreciated for that matter, is the need of some writers to change history in an attempt to create a more compelling story.
This internal aversion on my part is not limited to Bible stories. I’m still upset with the whole Pocahontas and John Smith thing. I mean what were you thinking Disney? Was it an anti-educational conspiracy to see how many kids would fail their American History class?
Perhaps I should get back to the point. For those who may have seen “Exodus” and missed most of the more glaring errors, I thought I would take a stab at the short list. Here are some places where the writers of “Exodus: God’s and Kings” miss the mark (with just a dash of sarcasm for fun):
1. OMR (Oh my Ra) Moses is a Hebrew! Who would have thunk it?
Truth: Pharaoh’s daughter recognized that he was Hebrew the minute she saw him in the river. His name meant “drew from the river” and he was so named during a time when all the Hebrew baby boys were being slaughtered. So much for the cover-up.
2. “I’m Hebrew? AHHHHHHH!!!
Truth: The whole reason Moses killed the Egyptian was because he was abusing a fellow Hebrew. He knew from the time he was old enough to make the distinction, he was not like everyone else in the Palace.
3. “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! The mudslide has me trapped and I may be having a delusional episode due to my injuries.”
Truth: Moses was tending sheep when he noticed the burning bush. This in and of itself is not unusual in the hot desert. What was unusual was that it was not consumed, but rather kept burning. When Moses heard God’s voice, he fell on the ground in fear and respect.
4. Be careful of the Angel of The Lord because he just a spoiled little boy who is prone to temper tantrums.
Truth: Moses was never allowed to look upon God’s face. The one time Moses got to see God’s back, his hair turned white. God is awesome and not in the way meant by teenage school girls.
5. Moses was a courageous wimp.
Truth: There is no record of Moses being the greatest general and spokesman in Egypt. In reality, Moses used his lack of speaking abilities as an excuse for God to choose someone else. When the time came, however, God was more than enough to give Moses boldness and eloquence.
6. Aaron, Moses big brother, was a pain.
Truth: Although he played a very small and adversarial role in the movie, real life Aaron was the very person that God appointed to speak on Moses behalf. They had their moments for sure, but it was very different than the movie portrayal.
7. “I’m not sure God knows what he is doing.”
Truth: Moses was not the arrogant and insolent God questioner that the movie tries to sell. God himself called him the most humble man to ever live. He also said that He speaks to others through prophets, but he spoke to Moses face to face.
8. Rameses: “What kind of god kills children?”
Truth: I mean really? You just called yourself god a few minutes ago as did your daddy. And wasn’t it your daddy that systematically slaughtered tens of thousands of male Hebrew babies in an attempt to keep the slave population in check? It reminds me of the quintessential gangster in many movies. They are killing everybody they run across, but when a law enforcement officer kills their brother, they are all of a sudden like, “How dare you. Now I am going to kill you.” As if they weren’t already trying…
9. “Um, I’ll go that way and pretend God told me to.”
Truth: Moses was led to the Red Sea by God, not by his intellectual guess-work.
10. “Looky there, most of the Egyptian soldiers are falling off the side of the mountain.
Truth: They were ALL drowned in the sea. So much for the lone man standing on the shore looking at the devastation.
11. “Cool, I think the water has gone down enough while we were sleeping, so maybe it is safe enough to cross.”
Truth: The Bible says that the Hebrews walked across on dry ground. Unless I don’t understand the word “dry” correctly, then I really don’t think it was knee deep.
12. “I think I will chisel away while God makes tea.”
Truth: A visit with God is never nonchalant. Such a fantasy experience may appeal to our narcissistic human nature, but do we really need a God to have tea with? I think not. We need a God who is God.
So you may be asking, “What does it matter? It’s just a movie, isn’t it supposed to be fun.” To that I say, if you don’t like the truth, write fiction, but never ever ever turn truth into a fiction. Especially when that truth is the foundational faith for millions.