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 PRINCE OF EGYPT 

Theme:
The prince who became a shepherd; The shepherd who became a deliverer; The deliverer who defied a pharaoh. (Note: Similar theme to the movie Gladiator.)

Bondage vs. freedom
Hierarchical system of the world vs. Tribal system of God
Deliverance and the Kingdom of God

Historical
The movie, Prince of Egypt, is a fairly accurate account of the Biblical story of Moses found in Chapters 1-15 of the Book of Exodus. The brother relationship of Rameses and Moses was fabricated for the movie and is not recorded in the Bible.

It is possible, however, that the pharaoh Moses contended with for the deliverance of his people was Rameses II. If this is so, Thomas Cahill in his book, The Gift of the Jews, points to something very interesting about their names. Moses means "he who pulls out". Ra'a means "evil" in Hebrew, while Ra was the chief god of the Egyptians. Therefore, Rameses, a combination of Ra, and Moses would have sounded like "he who brings forth evil"; in other words, an evil counterpart to Moses. Their earthly contest would have been merely representative of the contest that took place in the heavens between the God of the Hebrews and the god of the Egyptians. 

Prophetical 
For Christians the story of Moses, the institution of the first Passover, and the deliverance from Egyptian bondage were not only actual events that took place but were "types" that foreshadowed the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ was the Prophet that God promised in Deuteronomy 18:18. His sacrificial death made Him the Passover Lamb (John 1: 19-29). All those who are sanctified by His blood are delivered from the domain of darkness (representing Egypt) and are transferred to the Kingdom of the Beloved Son (representing the Promised Land - Colossians 1:13).

 

This prophetic aspect is also depicted in the movie, Prince of Egypt. Many movie critics reported how much the figure of Moses reminded them of Jesus Christ. The multi-ethnic group leaving Egypt in the movie is certainly representative of the "every tribe, tongue, people, and nation" (Revelation 5:9) who will respond to the Gospel. In the last scene when Moses stands before his people with the Ten Commandments, he looks surprisingly like Jesus on the Mount of Beatitudes preparing to deliver His famous Sermon on the Mount.

 

There is one additional prophetic aspect, and it is the most compelling one done in pictorial form. As Moses leaves Egypt (the world), he runs out to the desert and there is stripped of everything. Falling to his knees in brokenness, he is swallowed by a huge desert sandstorm. This is a very powerful scene in the movie. The sandstorm looks like fire, and it was as if Moses was being purified by fire (Hebrews 12:29). Moses is buried (dies to his old life and self), and is raised (humorously by the camel). The first thing he experiences is thirst (a desire for God - John 7:37). He falls into the well (baptism - Romans 6:4) and is raised to a new life in an entirely different system. A transformation of character is immediately evident. The one who did not see the slaves' plight is now ready to rescue three young girls. The one who was so proud and arrogant before with Miriam and Aaron is now humble and meek before Jethro. These scenes capture in purest form the truth of the New Birth as told by Jesus in the third chapter of the Gospel of John. 


Contrast of Two Systems
Two very different systems are contrasted in the Price of Egypt: 1) The hierarchical system of this world, and 2) The tribal system of God.

 

The pyramid, a symbol of Egypt, is an outline form for worldly structures or systems of authority. In the first layer of the pyramid, there is a prince, king, Caesar, or tsar. His vassals are underneath in the second layer, with the masses who support them at the very bottom. This is vividly depicted in the movie in the early scenes where the Hebrews are building the Egyptian temples, etc. This is a system of great inequality with the poverty of the masses providing great wealth to relatively few people at the top. It is a system of "take over"; where in order to rise, one must knock someone else out of the way. It is a system of competition. (Competition comes from the word ?petition', which means "to attack, to fall on".)

 

At the beginning of the movie, Moses is a part of this system; and while in it, he is blind to the slaves at the bottom. He says, "I did not see because I did not want to see." He and Rameses have the privilege of wealth, leisure, and entertainment, often at the expense of those at the bottom (Zipporah).

 

God's system is different. In both the Old and New Testaments (James 1:l), God's people are referred to as being part of a tribal system. The diagram for a tribe would be a circular one with God at the center surrounded by His people (a theocracy). He is the source and supply of all of their needs. Tribes have leaders like Moses, but that is simply their job description. It is not a position to lord over others; rather it is one of service to the tribe. Everyone is included in the tribe; no one is insignificant or left out. Every person, whether old or young, is vital in making contributions to the common good; and therefore, insuring the success of the tribe.

 

Moses went from the pyramid of Egypt to the tribal system of Midian. As Jethro sings the very powerful song, "Look at your Life Through Heaven's Eyes", the tribal system is beautifully portrayed in picture and song lyrics. In this scene all of the people are gathered in a circle around the campfire. The fire represents God, ever present in their midst (Hebrews 12:29). Jethro then leads them in the grand celebration of the Dance of Life (the Kingdom of God).

Note: Jethro was the High Priest of Midian. Although he was not a Hebrew, he was part of nomadic tribal people, the Midianites, who were descendents of Abraham. God chose for Moses to live with Jethro and learn from him as well as marry his daughter. (Exodus 18:17-27)

Scriptures: Exodus 1-15
John 1-3

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