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Moses, hear what I say. I have been a slave all my life and God has never answered my prayers until now. God saved you from the river, he saved you in all your wanderings, and even now he saved you from the wrath of Pharaoh. God will not abandon you. So don't you abandon us.
~ Miriam

Miriam is the tritagonist of the 1998 film The Prince of Egypt.

She is the daughter and oldest child of Yocheved and the older sister of Aaron and Moses. When Moses was a baby, their mother Yocheved set Moses adrift in a basket. A young Miriam followed the basket where it ended up at the palace. Moses was found by the Queen and raised as her own son. When Miriam became an adult she met her brother and revealed he was a Hebrew. In the end Miriam leaves Egypt with her brothers and sings. Miriam was the only one to help her brother when every one was mean to him when he was trying to help.

Miriam is voiced by Sandra Bullock (Sally Dworsky (who was also the singing voice for Adult Nala in The Lion King) singing).

Personality

Miriam is a kind, beautiful, and brave young woman who, like her brother Moses, tries to help her fellow slaves and escape the cruelty from the Egyptians. She is also very hopeful and determined, putting her faith completely in God and her brother Moses. Her kind words and her forgiving nature often lift Moses out of his despair and inspire him to keep his mission going; in "When You Believe" it is implied that she fills a similar role for the Hebrews in general.

Film Role

Miriam is the older sister of Moses and Aaron. In the prologue, she, Aaron and Yocheved send Moses down the river in a basket to prevent him from being killed by Pharoh Seti I's soldiers. She witnesses the basket's near-destruction and Moses being adopted by the Queen of Egypt Tuya. She sends up a prayer he will be safe and eventually come back to deliver the rest of Hebrews out of slavery.

Later, after growing up, she and Aaron are getting water when Tzipporah appears and begs for water for her long journey. Miriam gives her water saying "may God protect you" and watches her go. When Moses appears, she blocks his view of Tzipporah and hides nothing about his past, though Aaron tries to excuse her as sick and mentally ill. Moses having no clue what she's talking about, flings her to the ground stating that she'll "regret this night." Miriam then sings Yocheved's lullaby, a song that Moses remembers but can't place. Miriam gives a horrified Moses a tearful smile as he recognizes the lullaby, and he runs away in shock and confusion.

When gathering straw, Miriam sees an Egyptian overseer beating an older Hebrew and tries to help, but Aaron (not wanting to get into trouble) restrains her. Because she is unable to do anything, Miriam cries out for somebody to intervene; Moses overhears it and, in trying to stop the Egyptian overseer, accidentally knocks him off the scaffold to his death. Miriam is shocked at this and tries to speak to Moses, possibly to calm him down, but Moses runs away into self-exile.

A few years later when Moses returns to Egypt, Miriam interrupts Aaron's rant at Moses and welcomes Moses back, forgiving her brother for his previous cruelty. She tells him that she still believes he will set them free, and this speech is what gives Moses the courage to keep confronting Ramses II (Moses' adoptive brother and the new Pharoah) on behalf of his people. Miriam watches the ensuing plagues in devastation and keeps Moses in her house when the last plague comes. She is the main comforter to Moses as he is devastated with the death of his nephew. It is in trying to console Moses that Miriam initiates "When You Believe," the redemption song that eventually is taken up by the entire nation of freed Israelites (and it is also the film's most memorable song).

During that song, Miriam leaves Egypt with the Hebrews, appearing to have become close friends with Tzipporah. The Egyptians arrive to kill them, but Moses splits the Red Sea so the Hebrews can walk across; Ramses' pursing soldiers are drowned when God merges the divided waters. On the far side of the sea, Moses pulls Miriam aside and embraces her, thanking her for the unshakeable faith that she has had in him and his mission. And it is Miriam alone who notices Moses mourning Rameses, who is presumed to have died in the closing of the sea. Miriam is last seen leading her people in song with her signature tambourine.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In the original story, it is not Miriam but Aaron who is supportive of Moses in his mission to free the Hebrews.

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