By L. Sharp
Free-lance researcher and reporter
The Interspiritual Moses: New Age Jihadist
The movie begins by introducing Moses (played by Christian Bale) as a trained army general, part of the current Pharaoh’s ruling family, preparing to attack a Hittite army with his “brother” (Pharaoh-in-waiting Ramses). This is an early indicator that this movie is going to stray from accurate biblical accounts, as there is no historical nor biblical support for Moses having an Egyptian brother, nor that Moses ever served in the Egyptian army or trained as a warrior/soldier during his formative years in Egypt.
The current Pharaoh dies, and “brother” Ramses becomes the new Pharaoh. In the scene where the current Pharaoh is near-death, the movie makes clear that Ramses is jealous towards Moses and desperate for his father’s (the current Pharaoh’s) love. Ramses begins to diverge from his previous solidarity with Moses, “creating” his own path by the choices he makes.
Then, Pharaoh Ramses discovers Moses’ true identity, and after Moses is forced to admit he is a Hebrew, Ramses gets very angry (clearly harboring unforgiveness towards Moses’ deceiving him about his true Hebrew identity), and exiles Moses into the wilderness. Moses eventually ends up in Midian, where he meets his future wife Zipporah. Later on in the movie, Pharaoh Ramses eventually orders Moses killed.
The movie next reimagines the biblical burning bush narrative into a “conversation” between Moses and a boy, who is portrayed as his “god.” After falling down a mountain and being knocked unconscious, Moses awakens and “sees” the image of a burning bush and “god” appearing in front of it. Moses has a “conversation” with “god” where they go back and forth in short dialogue:
Moses: Who are you?
“god”: Who are you?
Moses: I’m a shepherd.
“god”: I thought you were a general. I need a general.
“god”: To fight. Why else?
Moses: Fight who? For what?
“god”: I think you know. I think you should go and see what’s happening to your people now. You won’t be at peace until you do. Or are they not people in your opinion?
Moses: Who are you?
“god”: I am.
This dialogue leaves the audience in the dark about what or for whom Moses is fighting for. Moses apparently already knows within himself what his “quest” is. After all, New Agers say that all must discover the “god” within who knows everything.
And, yes, this boy image “god” is the imagined “I AM” of the New Age. Not the biblical God of Israel, the God of the bible in Exodus 3:14 (KJV) who said: ‘ ‘I Am That I Am:’ and He (the LORD) said, ‘Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.’”
After Moses’ burning bush dialogue with “god,” he is “transformed” as he decides to pursue his “quest,” his “call” as liberator of the Hebrews. So, he leaves his wife Zipporah and son Gershom (in an emotionally painful scene where Moses deals with their clear opposition), and by leaving his shepherd’s staff with his son, never to pick it up again. He picks up his Egyptian sword once again, to go back to Egypt. The Bible makes it clear that Moses’ staff was his only source of authority from the LORD. In contrast, the movie portrays Moses as leaving his staff behind to pursue his “call” and taking his sword up again, representing his former identity as an Egyptian general (this identity is not biblical as earlier mentioned earlier). Moses was able to reconcile his conflicting identities, to find his “true identity,” his “true self,” to become “one” (one with himself, and one with “god” within). He was embracing his new Hebrew identity as Hebrew slave liberator, yet was also able to embrace his former Egyptian General identity. He had reconciled his two identities by merging them into one new “whole” identity (that did not cause conflict within himself).
This same concept of embracing one’s old identity and reconciling with one’s new identity was taught at Bethel Church’s 2012 “Piercing the Darkness” prophetic conference in Redding, CA (Pastor Bill Johnson’s church), guest speaker Mark Chironna spoke, on Fri. March 2, 2012, at the AM session. The talk was titled: “Energizing Memories and Radical Hopes.” Chironna, during this session, spends much of it talking about Moses being the “paradigm prophet” and “liberator.” In the PM session on that same day (titled: “If It Wants to Happen, It Needs To Be Spoken”), Chironna, having supposedly established Moses as the “paradigm prophet” who failed earlier, tried to convince believers that they could be liberated to shift to the “Jesus age,” or “New Age,” by their choices to embrace and reconcile their seemingly conflicting identities (former identities with their current Christian identities). Chironna said that Moses could have changed his destiny. But, because of his anger (having struck the rock instead of speaking to it for the water to come out), God banned him from entering Canaan. Moses never discovered that he never had to let go of Egypt. Moses’ biggest problem was that he didn’t realize that God wanted him to embrace his Egyptian side as well as his Hebrew side. This sounds like the concepts of “Yin and Yang,” the “light” and the “dark” side, etc. of the New Age and the occult. Chironna then challenged his listeners to be “liberated” from the guilt and shame of their former identities and to embrace these former identities, so they could be brought into the paradigm shift where they finally could be at peace with their “true selves” (to reconcile their identities into their true selves). And, unlike Moses, who according to Chironna was an example of a failure, they didn’t have to make the same mistake Moses did.
Chironna’s interpretation was obviously unscriptural and was an encouragement for people to go back to their former sinful lifestyles or “identities” that God required for them to repent from when they turned to Christ and trusted Him for salvation (Please refer to Colossians 3:9-10; Rom.6:6-7; 1 Pet.1:13-17; KJV).
Likewise in the movie, Moses is portrayed as having two “identities,” his Hebrew one and his Egyptian one. His Egyptian one is represented by his sword, and his Hebrew identity is represented by him finally responding to his “call” to go on the “quest” to liberate his people, the Hebrews. Moses is portrayed as reconciling his two ‘conflicting’ identities into ‘one’ hero. He is “liberated” from fear and doubt so that he can “liberate” others (this is the New Age interpretation).
Moses then goes back to Egypt (his former life), and reunites with Nun and Joshua, and meets his brother Aaron for the first time. Aaron is in very few scenes and is portrayed only as a passive observer during the plague scenes.
After Moses leaves his staff behind with his son Gershom in the wilderness and heads back to Egypt (fully embracing his Egyptian General side and also embracing his Hebrew liberator side), Moses starts to raise up his jihadist army. Using his military skills, he trains the slaves to be killing machines using arrows, swords, etc. These scenes were not only unbiblical, but hearkened back to Islamic “prophet” Muhammad when he trained up his Islamic armies to terrorize and kill people, in the name of “Allah,”
After the military training, the Hebrews start their attacks upon the Egyptians. Pharaoh Ramses continues his obsessive rage to kill Moses and get back his Hebrew slaves. Then, the boy image “god” appears to Moses and explains how the plagues will affect Egypt. The most disturbing part of this “conversation” or “dialogue” is that the boy image “god” tells Moses to “watch”… Just to “watch.” Exodus Chapters 8-12 (10 Plague and Passover accounts) makes it very clear that God was causing the plagues and that God used Moses and Aaron not as passive bystanders but as obedient instruments (in word and actions), obeying whatever the LORD commanded them to do with regards to the plagues.
In contrast, prior to the plagues, the movie has the boy image ‘god” say to “watch.” In reality, who “watched” helplessly as God brought the 10 plagues on the Egyptian gods to free the Israelites? Satan. Satan watched helplessly, not God. God instigated the whole thing. Very telling . . . So, is this boy image “god” Satan? Is Moses having “conversations” with Satan, thinking he is “god”?
The Bible describes 10 separate plagues, with God telling Moses and/or Aaron exactly what will happen, and tells them what to do or say throughout the 10 plagues. The movie portrays several plagues, but as continuous events so they all blend together.
Other reviewers have already gone into great detail about how these plagues were portrayed unbiblically, and as having naturalistic explanations. The only observation to be made in this review about the plagues is how the first plague (Nile turning to blood) is portrayed as being caused by violent crocodiles attacking innocent Egyptian fisherman, creating a blood bath in the Nile, which escalates ecologically and causes the whole Nile to be filled with the blood of marine life and human life. By portraying “god” as using this first plague to murder innocent humans, without any explanation of why “god” causes it, the movie portrays the LORD as a cruel murderer. In contrast, the Bible makes it clear why God sent the plagues. The LORD judged the Egyptian gods through the plagues. The LORD used the plagues one by one, through all 10 plagues, as Pharaoh kept refusing to let the Israelites go and worship the LORD in the wilderness after each plague. The only plague in the Bible that directly killed humans was the 10th plague: the plague of the first-born.
In the movie, prior to the 10th plague, Moses learns (from another vague dialogue with the boy image “god”), that this plague will result in the death of children. It is never made clear that only the firstborn will die. Again, this portrays “god” as an unpredictable tyrant murderer who seems to kill indiscriminately. The Hebrews protect themselves by covering their doors with the blood of lambs, as instructed to them by Moses. The Bible describes this as the “Passover” because God “passed over” the houses with the blood of the lamb (see Exodus 12). In the biblical account, the LORD killed all the firstborn, but the firstborn Hebrew sons were protected if their parents placed the “blood of the lamb” on their doorposts.
When the Hebrews ask Moses what all this means (the command to put lamb’s blood on the doorposts), Moses answers: “If I’m wrong, have pity on the lambs. If I’m right, you will thank the lambs for eternity.” Thank the lambs for eternity? Thank animals for eternity? Wasn’t that the problem when the Israelites later on created the golden calf and worshipped it while Moses was away? (This was conveniently left out of the movie).
The movie portrays the Hebrews placing blood on the doorposts as some “magical,” “superstitious” attempt to ward off the impending killing of the children that Moses had warned everyone about. (See Exodus 12:29-32 for the accurate 10th plague account).
A shadow is seen sweeping throughout Egypt, causing Egyptian children to stop breathing. Then, there are wails from various homes (meant to evoke anger from the audience towards this horrible “god” of Moses). Pharaoh Ramses’ infant firstborn son also dies. He then angrily tells Moses and the Hebrews to leave Egypt.
Then the movie transitions to the exodus from Egypt, with the Hebrews following Moses’ original path through the desert and towards the Red Sea. Pharaoh Ramses and his army pursue the Hebrews down into the middle of the Red Sea, but Moses stays behind to confront them. The Red Sea reverts to its normal state, drowning the majority of the Egyptians. But before that, Pharaoh Ramses charges ahead of all the Egyptians on his chariot with the intention to kill Moses. Right before a big tsunami wave engulfs him, he looks at Moses, and stretches his hands up to the sky with a look of surrender and resignation (a look on his face not seen throughout the movie). Perhaps he has “surrendered” to the “god” of Moses…
Next, in an unidentified cave, Moses is seen chiseling into stone what we are supposed to think are the Ten Commandments. This scene includes the boy image “god” once again having a “conversation” with Moses about whatever Moses is etching in the stones. Here is the conversation:
“god”: I’ve noticed that from you.
“god”: You’re not always in agreement with me.
Moses: Nor you with me. I’ve noticed.
Moses (approximate quote): Well then, that’s how it’s always been. So, we are mutually agreed.
There is never a close-up of the words or symbols Moses is chiseling. Through this scene, the movie makes it clear that whatever is being chiseled into those stones has been mutually agreed upon by the boy image “god” and Moses. Obviously, this cannot be the Ten Commandments of the bible, because God himself articulated clearly those commandments to Moses, and there was no “conversation” or negotiation about what would ultimately be written on the stone tablets (See Exodus 34:1-29).
So, it’s obvious that whatever Moses is etching on those stone(s) is not the Ten Commandments. So, what is he etching? The movie gives us clues as the boy “god” tells Moses that he won’t be needed once those stone(s) are done. The boy image “god” tells Moses “flesh decays but stone endures” and that what is written on that stone “would endure and guide the people in his (Moses’) stead.”
So, if what was written on those stones was not the Ten Commandments, what was written? What was formed in the “co-creative” process between Moses and “god”, that “would endure and guide the people in his (Moses’) stead”? Could it be New Age principles and instructions about how to evolve into godhood and reconcile one’s inner identities and discover one’s unified “god within”? Certainly the entire movie has led up to that conclusion, especially with a human Moses “co-creating” with “god” the stone etchings.
In the very last scene of the movie, Moses is in his wagon with the “New Age” stones stored in a wooden box, traveling along with the Hebrews in the wilderness. The boy image “god” is shown walking beside the wagon, but then slowly falls behind, and disappears completely. Moses looks back again wistfully as the boy image “god” disappears.
With these final scenes, the movie communicates to the audience watching the movie: 1) People don’t need the prophet Moses anymore; 2) People don’t even need Moses’ conception of “god” anymore, who disappears in the final scene; 3) All people need is those “New Age” stones of mysterious etchings that will endure forever (which non-discerning viewers will assume were meant to be the actual 10 commandments in the Bible).