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You gave me this staff to rule over scorpions and serpents, but God made it a rod to rule over kings. Hear His word, Rameses, and obey.
~ Moses after his staff defeated the Egyptians staffs

Moses was the protagonist of the 1956 biblical epic film The Ten Commandments.

He was portrayed by Charlton Heston, who later portrayed Judah Ben-Hur in Ben-Hur and George Taylor in Planet of the Apes. He was portrayed as an infant by Heston's son Fraser Heston.

Biography

Moses was born to Yoshebel. By the time Moses was born the Hebrews had been in slavery for 400 years. When the paranoid Pharaoh Rameses I learned of a prophecy of a Hebrew that would deliver the Hebrews from slavery being born, he ordered the murder of all the male Hebrew infant slaves in Egypt. Determined to keep her son from being killed, Yoshebel had him put in a reed basket, which was set adrift on the Nile.

Moses was discovered by the Pharaoh's daughter Bithia, who adopted Moses as her son. Rameses I eventually died and Bithia's brother Ceti became Pharaoh Ceti I. Moses grew up in the royal court, raised as a brother to Ceti's son Rameses. Moses became a successful leader and military general. Ordered to oversee the building of a city for Ceti, Moses eased the conditions of the Hebrew slaves, leading to increased productivity from the slaves. Moses fell in love with the throne princess Nefretiri, who was bound to marry the next Pharaoh. Ceti decided to make Moses his heir, and intended Moses to take over at his death.

Rameses resented Moses not only for his successes, but for garnering the affections of Nefretiri as well. Learning that Moses was in fact a Hebrew, he had Moses arrested. Moses by now had learned of his true heritage and told Ceti that he was not the deliverer but that he would free the slaves if he could. Ceti declared Moses name be stricken throughout the kingdom and that it be forbidden to speak Moses name out loud. Ceti then named Rameses as his heir.

Knowing that simply killing Moses would turn him into a martyr, Rameses exiled Moses into the desert. With assistance from God, Moses made it across the desert into Midian. He would become friends with the Shiek Jethro and married the Shiek's eldest daughter Sephora, with whom he would have a son named Gershom.

In the meantime Ceti I's health took a turn for the worst. Ceti's last words as pharaoh were to break his own law, and whisper the name of Moses, whom he missed very much. Ceti then died. Rameses became Pharaoh Rameses II and took Nefretiri as his wife. Over the next several years Rameses built Egypt into a successful kingdom, with his young son growing and getting ready to follow in his father's footsteps.

One day the Hebrew slave Joshua, who Moses had earlier saved the life of, escaped and made his way to Midian. Meeting Joshua at the foot of Mount Sinai Moses spotted a bush on fire in the distance, but not burning. Climbing the mountain Moses met God, and was charged with the mission to bring the Hebrews out of slavery.

Returning to Egypt Moses went to the royal palce, where he presented God's demand to Rameses, to let the Hebrew people go free.

Rameses refused to let the Hebrew people go, and retaliated against them in the hopes that they would kill Moses themselves. God went to work on the stubborn Pharaoh, unleashing a whole series of plagues on Rameses and his people. Becoming angry Rameses told Moses to leave before he had him killed. Moses departed with the warning that the next plague would be by Rameses own hand.

Having had enough, Rameses decided to kill every firstborn Hebrew that he could. In response God sent the Angel of Death to pay Egypt a visit, and killed every firstborn Egyptian, including the Pharaoh's young son. Horrified over the loss of his son and the firstborn of his people, Rameses finally had enough and told Moses to take his people, their property, and whatever spoils they wanted and to leave.

The next morning Moses led the Hebrews as they began their long journey towards the promised land. Rameses had a change of heart then, deciding to kill the Hebrews in revenge for the death of his son. Cornering the Hebrews at the Red Sea he saw God divide the sea in two so that the Hebrews could safely pass. Ordering his men to follow into the rather obvious trap, Rameses could only watch as God let go of the water, causing it to crash down and drown his men. Rameses returned to the palace, where he confessed to his wife that the Hebrew god was in fact God.

Meanwhile Moses and the Hebrews arrived at Mount Sinai. Going on to the mountain God gave Moses the ten commandments in the form of two stone tablets for the Hebrews to follow. But the Hebrews had started partying in the absence of Moses. Angered at what he saw when he came down from Sinai, Moses hurled the tablets at the golden calf the Hebrews had created, destroying the calf while God set to work killing off the Hebrew leaders who had created the calf.

God forced the Hebrews to wander in the desert for the next 40 years until the Hebrews who had sinned against Him at Sinai were all gone. Moses survived the entire time, becoming a very old man. He watched as the Hebrew people went in to the promised land. As a result of an earlier disagreement with God, Moses was forbidden from going into the promised land himself, but charged Joshua with leading the people into the promised land. His last words to his family and friends were to go and proclaim freedom throughout the land.

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