There’s no such thing as a “good Biblical epic” coming from Hollywood these days and you could almost make a case for there having never been one.
The Apostle Paul calls Satan “the god of this world” (some translations render II Corinthians 4:4 “the god of this age” which has interesting implications). Truly, wherever there is power in an Earthly sense, our Adversary wields it. Nowhere is this more true than Hollywood.
But in order to be effective, lies and propaganda must be sown with Truth.
What’s more, there are unhappy servants in Hollywood…people who know what’s going on, who have sold themselves to be a part of it, but long for freedom from it (even if it hurts or costs them in the end).
Is that what this movie was really all about?
In my days before taking the “Red Pill” that showed me who really controls world affairs and who our real enemies are, I saw and reviewed Kingdom of Heaven, a movie by Ridley Scott.
In my Rush Limbaugh era, I was furious with Scott for painting all “Christians” as brutish animals and all muslims as civilized and chivalrous.
But was that really what he was saying?
Today, I know that Islam in general and Wahabist jihad in specific are controlled and guided by Rome—the same “Christian” force that gave us both the Crusades and the Inquisition.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving Scott a free pass. Kingdom of Heaven was still obnoxious in a politically correct sense and I’ll be in desperate need of entertainment before I see it again, despite my awakening having given me new perspective.
Yet, we need to examine this movie objectively, and not with the eyes of a knee-jerk, immature Christian faith.
It was that same knee-jerk reaction that threw the baby out with the bathwater on Darren Aronofsky’s gnostic Noah.
On the one hand, I think Christian leaders or pastors who endorsed the movie were in dereliction of their responsibility to their flocks.
On the other hand, there were parts of the movie I liked strongly. I liked the idea that Noah was a “hard bastard” chosen because he could finish a seemingly insurmountable task (although I wouldn’t quite call him cold for watching the world drown).
I liked the idea that Noah was a conservationist in contrast and conflict with all the rest of humanity (and I am anything but an “environmentalist”).
Lastly, I liked that, despite his inaccuracy and “artistic license”, Aronofsky still had loyalty to the idea that the event actually happened.
For my complete review of Noah, go here.
The same can be said of Ridely Scott’s rendition of the Exodus though I dare say he was even more “loose” with the Biblical narrative.
The idea for the movie came from the top man at 20th Century Fox, Peter Chernin, former operations officer at Rupert Knight of Malta, Order of St. Gregory, “I Like ‘Em Blonde” Murdoch’s News Corp. He also loves Barack Obama so much he’s given him several fundraisers.
It was an offer Ridley couldn’t refuse.
Right off the bat is the issue of casting.
I do think it’s quite humorous that Scott and Fox were immediately embroiled in “controversy” because all of the lead roles were given to caucasians while soldiers and slaves were played by non-whites. The Leftists were all up in arms and vociferously pushed for a boycott that went ignored by the general public.
In reality, the cast wasn’t quite so monochrome in its breakdown. Scott told Yahoo;
Yahoo: What was in your mind when you set about creating this international cast?
Scott: Egypt was – as it is now – a confluence of cultures, as a result of being a crossroads geographically between Africa, the Middle East and Europe. We cast major actors from different ethnicities to reflect this diversity of culture, from Iranians to Spaniards to Arabs. There are many different theories about the ethnicity of the Egyptian people, and we had a lot of discussions about how to best represent the culture.
María Valverde, who played Moses’ wife Zipporah is from Spain.
Ben Kingsley, although having been born and raised in England, is of Gujarati Indian descent on his father’s side.
Hiam Abbass, who played Moses’ adoptive Egyptian mother Bithia is an Israeli.
Indira Varma, who played the Egyptian pagan High Priestess, has an East Indian father just as Kingsley does (but, like Kingsley, she’s English…do they really count as “international”?).
Golshifteh Farahani, who played Nefertari—the wife of Ramses II—is Iranian.
Kevork Malikyan, who played Moses’ father-in-law Jethro, is of Armenian descent.
Of course none of this matters, apparently, given that the two starring roles were given to white guys.
In spite of this, Joel Edgerton was excellent as Ramesses II—petulant, arrogant, aggressive; you really did feel that he was a man who’s whims were to be instantly obeyed (which is actually creepy and makes you wonder if Joel is really that good an actor or was he channeling his inner @ssh*le).
Perhaps the most enigmatic choice in casting was Christian Bale as Moses (“Moshe”).
If you close your eyes and think of Moses, Christian Bale is probably on the other side of Tahiti (which his livelihood can easily afford). What could possibly have gone into choosing him for the title role?
Although Bale has a long filmography that includes starring roles in American Psycho, and The Machinist (my personal favorite was his rendition of survivor POW Dieter Dengler in Rescue Dawn) the roles that, to date, define Bale’s work are as Christopher Nolan’s semi-psychotic super hero, Batman.
Was that the vein we were to accept Bale’s Moses in? The other peculiarities of this movie make that abundantly clear.
The movie opens with the customary Ridley Scott prose but a pro-Jew, anti-Christian slant is betrayed with the use of the ridiculous dating white-wash convention of renaming “AD” Ano Domini (In the Year of our Lord) “Common Era” and “BC” (Before Christ) “Before Common Era”. We’re told the date is “1300 BCE”.
The movie begins in the court of Pharaoh Seti. Seti is played by John Turturro, which was an interesting choice. It worked but I still wanted to snicker, especially after Turturro’s tongue-in-cheek performances in the Transformers movies.
The High Priestess of Sekhmet the war goddess is examining the entrails of a slaughtered goose to predict the victor of a coming battle against the Hittites. Although she states that she is unable to discern who will triumph (always a safe way to go), she gave a prophecy of a separate event that would occur during the fighting; “one leader will be saved, and his savior will one day lead.”
This was an interesting way to build the idea that General Moses, raised next to future Pharaoh Ramses, would soon lead an insurgency on behalf of the Hebrews.
Such a view comes far more from Josephus than from Scripture. According to the Roman historian, the Egyptians had been plagued by an invasion from Ethiopia. Every city through to Memphis was over-run. In desperation, they turned to Moses (whom they knew from the beginning was a Hebrew) and made him general of the counter-attacking army.
It’s quite a fascinating narrative—
So Moses, at the persuasion both of Thermuthis and the king himself, cheerfully undertook the business: and the sacred scribes of both nations were glad; those of the Egyptians, that they should at once overcome their enemies by his valor, and that by the same piece of management Moses would be slain; but those of the Hebrews, that they should escape from the Egyptians, because Moses was to be their general. But Moses prevented the enemies, and took and led his army before those enemies were apprized of his attacking them; for he did not march by the river, but by land, where he gave a wonderful demonstration of his sagacity; for when the ground was difficult to be passed over, because of the multitude of serpents, (which it produces in vast numbers, and, indeed, is singular in some of those productions, which other countries do not breed, and yet such as are worse than others in power and mischief, and an unusual fierceness of sight, some of which ascend out of the ground unseen, and also fly in the air, and so come upon men at unawares, and do them a mischief,) Moses invented a wonderful stratagem to preserve the army safe, and without hurt; for he made baskets, like unto arks, of sedge, and filled them with ibes, and carried them along with them; which animal is the greatest enemy to serpents imaginable, for they fly from them when they come near them; and as they fly they are caught and devoured by them, as if it were done by the harts; but the ibes are tame creatures, and only enemies to the serpentine kind…
Scripture implies what Josephus says openly—that the Egyptians knew from the beginning Moses was a Hebrew, and a dangerous one at that. But the two sources part ways when it comes to why Moses was forced to leave Egypt.
According to Josephus, envy and fear amongst the Egyptians prompted an attempt to kill Moses. As the returning general, fresh from his victory against the Ethiopians, he could easily lead a rebellion and overturn the ruling establishment.
Although the Bible agrees Moses had a desire to free his people, it gives a different account of his first attempt to do so—
Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, “Why are you striking your companion?” Then he said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”
So Moses feared and said, “Surely this thing is known!” When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian… ~ Exodus 2:11-15
But in the movies, it’s much more suspenseful to raise Moses as an Egyptian and then have him suddenly find out he’s a Hebrew. Hey, it worked for Cecil B. DeMille.
DeMille also chose Ramses II as the Pharaoh who stood opposite Moses in this battle of wills, probably because he is considered the greatest of Egyptian monarchs. In fact, there are several others who have done the same for the sake of good story-telling but there is a better candidate; Thutmose II.
Work by archeologist Dr. Joel Klenck states that Thutmose and many around him suffered from unusual lesions, that there was an uprising which caused chaos in Egypt and, despite his 18-year reign, little of his period is recorded—often a sign of bad events swept under the historical carpet.
But even DeMille didn’t stray so far from Scripture as the Chernin/Scott production when it came to the age and personality of Moses.
Acts 7:23 tells us that Moses was 40 years old when he left the lofty comforts of the king’s court to look upon the suffering of his brethren which resulted in murder and exile.
Exodus 7:7 tells us that Moses was 80 when he stood before Pharaoh and his brother, Aaron 83. Aaron was included because, according to the Bible, rather than the young, tempestuous rebel/general image the movie portrays, Moses was a broken old man—the most humble man on the Earth (Numbers 12:3). He actually argued with YHWH not to go because he wasn’t quick of speech and out of exasperation, the Lord told Moses to speak through his brother Aaron.
The movie, however, shows a young Christian Bale killing a couple Egyptian guards because they mistook him for a slave and it being of little consequence. It was the revelation that he was Hebrew that was “treason” and cause for exile!
Only 9 years later, we’re told, Moses returned to lead an insurrection that got help from God along the way. At least DeMille put a white wig and beard on Charlton Heston. It wasn’t remotely believable but special effects had their limitations in 1956.
The interaction with “God” in the movie was perhaps the most ridiculous and annoying.
Although Moses being hammered and rendered immobile by a mud slide (a broken, captive audience—as often the Lord will require!) wasn’t bad “artistic license”, the role of “God” sure was—a prepubescent boy who speaks in front of the burning bush.
I don’t know if it’s more funny or offensive when the child says the words “I AM”. I thought I’d seen the last of children saviors after George Lucas’ little Anakin Skywalker won the intergalactic NASCAR race on Tatooine. This was just as annoying and completely unfounded as well!
In the beginning of the movie, Moses is an atheistic skeptic who relies only upon himself. There is friction with his wife Zipporah over this in conflict with her faith in God. Their battle over how their son should be raised is a very real and tragic one for countless families since then and through to today.
We’re never really sure about the boy/God because after he proclaims to a buried-in-mud Moses “I AM” Moses later shouts in exasperation that he’s tired of dealing with a messenger. Which is it?
There’s no confusion about what the boy wants, however. He tells Moses he needs a general to fight.
The treatment of the miracles in Egypt is interesting. They are simultaneously mundane and miraculous (and that’s not without precedent in how YHWH has worked with a great many other faithful). But we don’t see the repeated meetings between Moses and Pharaoh, where Moses works miracles with his staff and leprous hand mentioned in Scripture. In fact, rather than Moses pouring blood-red water onto the ground before Pharaoh, crocodiles start a feeding frenzy on some poor fishermen which turns the Nile red (or is it that their thrashing pulled up the red clay, as one Egyptian adviser suggested?). They disturbed the frogs whose living and dying brought the gnats who brought the flies who brought the sores.
Not that far-fetched as an explanation of the miraculous, really. I’m actually OK with that because the Lord uses mundane events with miraculous timing far more than blatant, obvious miracles.
But it’s the depiction of Moses as the insurrectionist general being rescued in his slow war of attrition by miracles, that doesn’t match well with the Biblical narrative. This seems less an accurate account of the Exodus and more a cry for insurrection against the Luciferian world order…but the Luciferians make the movies so what’s going on here?!
One place both DeMille and Scott depart from Scripture is, oddly enough, to protect our sensibilities from the harshness of the Word—the problem is that, intertwined in that harshness is the Gospel.
In both movies, it is the arrogance and barbarism of Ramses that suggests the killing of the firstborn to the Lord but only after Ramses has already threatened to do that to the Hebrews.
The reality is that it was the plan from the beginning.
All the firstborn of Egypt were to die unless they were protected by the blood of a lamb upon their doorposts and lintels.
Moses recounting the requirements to the elders was actually a stirring moment. “Why should we do this?” they asked. “Pity the lambs if I’m wrong,” Moses replied. “If I’m right, we will bless them for eternity.”
Ramses later presents his dead son to Moses and asks him with angry anguish how the Hebrews could worship such a God. Moses’ response was the catalyst for their release—another great moment (I won’t ruin it for you).
There were actually several other great scenes, some were quite subtle.
In arguing with Viceroy Hegep, the abuser of the Hebrews at Pithom, Moses corrects him about the precise meaning of “Israelite”.
When the plagues begin, Moses is distraught before God that they have effected everyone, “Who are you trying to punish?” Scripture is clear that the first three plagues effected both Hebrew and Egyptian alike—
And the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he comes out to the water. Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. Or else, if you will not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land. I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.”’” And the Lord did so. Thick swarms of flies came into the house of Pharaoh, into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt. The land was corrupted because of the swarms of flies. ~ Exodus 8:20-24 (NKJV)
With the of the death of the firstborn, however, those who obeyed the Word were spared, regardless of their nationality—I’ll wager many a shell-shocked Egyptian eagerly mimicked the Hebrew precautions and perhaps more than a few scoffing Hebrews paid dearly for their lack of faith.
I like how the movie reinforces the idea that the beginning of the plagues effecting the Israelites made them more likely to obey Moses, but you have to read between the lines to get there.
Ramses then becomes bent on killing Moses and begins systematically executing random whole Jewish families until the whereabouts of Moses and his family are divulged. Again, this is nowhere in Scripture but it does lead to a humorous moment when Ramses also hangs his adviser and even the High Priestess when they don’t produce solutions for him.
Another grievous departure from Scripture was what happened after the Hebrews were released. Moses then attempted to lead them back through the desert wilderness trying to recall his trek from his family to Memphis. He thinks he can remember but he’s deeply distraught. He wants to bring them to a safe and tactically-secure location as soon as possible but not only does God ignore his pleas for help, Moses ineptly leads them to the Red Sea and a dead end as Pharaoh’s army comes crashing down on them—but not before losing many chariots through a dangerous mountain pass.
Not only is this not in Scripture, it actually contradicts the Word!
Moses never had to rack his brain for a route through the wilderness, wondering desperately how to stand in leadership for his people—the Lord made it powerfully clear with a massive plume of smoke by day and a terrifying column of fire by night guiding them the entire way. When they reached the Red Sea, the column of fire switched positions and kept the Egyptians from bearing down on them before they were through crossing.
Again, what we are seeing is that it was much more important to the film-makers to encourage the rise of a future Moses than to honor the original story.
Be careful what you wish for.
There have been a spate of people’s revenge movies coming out over the last few years—
Assault on Wall Street (2013)…the original title was Bailout: The Age of Greed
After the Fall (2014) is a sort of Wall Street meets Falling Down; again, about bail-outs and the little guy getting crushed
More recently there is The Big Short
And even a remake of Point Break
But, of course, they’re all seeking revenge against the bankers. This is being allowed in theaters because “the bankers” are only at the mid-level. Above them is the literal Whore of Babylon: Rome (read my book).
So again I ask, “What’s going on here?”
The fact that the impetus for the movie came from 20th Century Fox’s top Luciferian, Peter Chernin, doesn’t convince me that the Elite secretly want a Moses to rise up against their order. It certainly would suit them all if incompetents or puppets attempted to channel the discontent of the world right where the satanists wanted them to be; towards disaster and enslaved unification under an (or the) anti-Christ.
But the God of the Exodus has a sense of humor along with a clock ticking towards His Judgment. If the Luciferians are looking for an uprising, they may get what they seek…but not quite the way they intended.