Archive for December, 2014

Review of the movie Exodus

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Exodus. Gods and Kings Review

Debbie and I went to see Exodus, the latest Hollywood movie claiming to take its inspiration from the Bible. As a Christian, I was under no delusion that the movie would be entirely accurate from a Biblical perspective. To say the movie was “historical fiction” is somewhat true, but I would characterize it as about 5% history, and 95% fiction.

My greatest disappointment with the movie is that it completely diminishes the glory and holiness of God. There are moments where the audience gets the supernatural nature of some of the events, but without any direct mention of God having done it. From my studies and knowledge of the Exodus in the Bible, I will list a few of the “errors” in the movie.

First is the timing. The movie claims this is about 1300 BC, during the time of Ramses the Great. I don’t think this is just an oversight, I believe it was intentional. There is no archeological evidence of the Hebrews or the Exodus at that point in the archeological record. The true exodus occurred about 200 years prior to that, where there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to confirm the Biblical account. The idea that Ramses was the pharaoh at the time of Moses was widely circulated around the early 1900’s, and completely discredited in the archaeological record.

The movie Moses vehemently denied being a Hebrew, or having any knowledge of it, even after being told the story of his birth and rescue. According to the account in the New Testament given by Stephen, Moses knew all along he was Hebrew, and took it to heart in his early development.

The major flaw that kept hitting me in the face was how the movie treated God. He was cast as a small, arrogant boy who came across to me as smart-alecky and rather heartless. The Bible Moses never saw God as a man, though he did get a glimpse of his back at one point in the Biblical account. The relationship and dialogue between the Bible Moses and God is completely missing throughout the movie. In the movie, God never directed Moses to do anything, but made Moses keep guessing what he was supposed to do. The movie Moses never had dialogue with pharaoh demanding to let the Hebrews go. This is the worst error I see in the movie. As a result, the audience gets the impression that God is vengeful on a seemingly unknowing victim. The true reason for the plagues is never given in the movie. It misses the entire point of the Exodus, that God will not be mocked, and that He will lead and protect His people.

The plagues were explained with naturalistic causes, though they did come across as supernatural in their scope and resulting devastation. Other deviations from the Bible were the movie Moses breaking his leg in a mudslide before he saw the burning bush – the Bible Moses set out the next day for Egypt; the destruction of half of pharaoh’s army before they ever reached the Red Sea; the depiction that movie Moses’ sister raised him, when in the Bible, his mother raised him; the fact that the Hebrews crossed on dry ground, while in the movie, they were in ankle to knee deep water most of the way; that movie Moses left his staff in Midian, and  took his sword to be “a general” of the Hebrews; Moses never used his staff for miracles (there was no turning it into a snake, causing the Nile to turn to blood, parting the sea, etc.). I’m sure I could nit pick some more points, but you get the idea.

I would not recommend this to anyone, and especially not for children. They will get a completely skewed view of who God is, what His nature is, and it will instill doubts about the accuracy of the Bible.