Exodus: God and Kings Veers from Biblical Story

Written by Edwin L. Carpenter on . Posted in Local

exodus225A lot of people were disappointed with the recent release of Noah, starring Russell Crowe. It strayed from the biblical text and featured unusual plotlines, such as Noah wanting his own grandchild dead and it included a stowaway on the ark, bent on killing Noah. Well, we have Exodud, sorry, I mean Exodus: Gods and Kings, to now contend with.

The movie is huge, featuring lavish costumes, and sphinxes. When the Hebrew people begin their exodus from Egypt it looks every bit like there are six thousand of them, thanks to CGI. Both Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton are sufficient in their roles as Moses and Ramses, but they don’t fill the long shadows of Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner.

But the number of times the film veers from the biblical account is staggering. Here are just a few examples: there is no voice that comes from the burning bush. We see a young boy show up, begin talking to Moses, and he declares, “I Am.” This may be representative of God telling His people to come as a little child, but this scene is definitely not to be found in the Bible. Also, we do not see Moses kill the Egyptian that was beating a Hebrew slave. Instead, Moses kills several people in unaccounted for slayings. He does not demand, “Let my people go,” either. The plagues just start up, the first one being the water turning to blood. The way it is depicted happening? Crocodiles eat several men and their blood apparently infects the water and soon there is blood everywhere.

There is no parting of the Red Sea. Moses casts in his sword instead of raising his hand and we see the Israelites wade into the water. A few scenes later they are walking on dry ground. The waves do crash in to consume Pharaoh in their great crushing power, but he survives!

Moses is angry upon first hearing he is Hebrew, not Egyptian. Later he warms up to his mother and his sister, Miriam. He is exiled from Egypt and takes up with a shepherd’s daughter, Zipporah. He marries her but later leaves her and their young son to help free the slaves. There is no record of him leaving them behind in the book of Exodus. And there is no scene in this movie which features Moses’ snake eating Pharaoh’s snake, as in the biblical account.

The movie has its dramatic moments. There is a lot of tension between Pharaoh and Moses and it is obvious that Pharaoh loves his son, his firstborn that dies when God commands blood to be put on every door post and lintel to preserve life. His grief is palpable.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of bloodshed in the film as well as graphic hangings of families that Pharaoh uses as examples to those that disobey him. Ultimately, this movie is not a satisfying one for believers. In fact, it is slow moving in a few scenes and just does not come close to doing the biblical account justice.

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Author Information
Edwin L. Carpenter
Edwin L. Carpenter is a pastor and long-time film reviewer for Dove.org He has a bachelors degree in Writing from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was raised in Brighton, Mich., by Christian grandparents and has a twin brother, Bill, who is also an ordained minister. Ed and his wife Jackie have one child, Daniel, who is newly married to Kristen and loves sports.

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