The Prince of Egypt

Ofra Haza
The Prince of Egypt – Deliver Us

Moses, is the Prince of Egypt. In Ancient Egypt, Yocheved (Ofra Haza), a Hebrew slave, and her children, Miriam and Aaron, see baby sons being taken away from their mothers by Egyptian soldiers, as ordered by Pharaoh Seti I (Patrick Stewart), who fears an increase in Hebrew men could lead to an uprising. Yocheved thus places her own son in a basket and sets it afloat on the Nile to be preserved by fate. Miriam, follows the basket and witnesses her baby brother being taken in by The Queen (Queen Tuya voiced by Helen Mirren) and names him Moses.

Decades later, Moses (Val Kilmer) and his foster-brother, Rameses (Ralph Fiennes), are lectured by their father after they destroy a temple during one of their youthful misadventures. Rameses is blamed for their misdeeds though Moses tries to take the blame, but Moses later remarks that Rameses wants the approval of his father, but lacks the opportunity. Later, Rameses is named Prince Regent and is given authority over all of Egypt’s Temples. In thanks, Rameses appoints Moses as Royal Chief Architect. As a tribute to Rameses, the high priests Hotep (Steve Martin) and Huy (Martin Short) offer him Tzipporah (Michelle Pfeiffer), a Midian girl they kidnapped (along with her camel), as a concubine. Rameses is initially interested, but rejects the offer after Tzipporah nearly bites him. He gives the girl to Moses, who attempts to restrain her gently despite her insults and struggling but ultimately trips her into a fountain to diffuse the tense scene. She eventually escapes, with Moses’ help, and while following her Moses is reunited with Miriam (Sandra Bullock) and Aaron (Jeff Goldblum). Miriam tells Moses the truth about his past and that both she and Aaron are his siblings. Moses at first is in denial, but a nightmare and conversations with his adoptive parents cause him to realize the truth. Upon asking Seti of the murder of the Hebrew babies, Seti tries to comfort him, but this fails. The next day, Moses accidentally kills an Egyptian guard who was abusing an old slave by pushing him off the construction tower. Ashamed, Moses decides to run away in exile. Rameses attempts to convince him not to flee, saying that he can make it look like the crime never happened. Moses refuses and, despite Rameses begging him to stay, runs anyway, having been consumed by regret and confusion.
After Moses saves Tzipporah’s sisters from bandits, he is welcomed warmly by their father Jethro (Danny Glover), the High Priest of Midian. After months of blending into his true culture, Moses becomes a shepherd and gradually earns Tzipporah’s respect and love, culminating in their marriage. One day, Moses comes into contact with God through a burning bush while chasing his lamb. God (also voiced by Val Kilmer) instructs Moses to free the slaves from Egypt and empowers Moses’ shepherding staff with the ability to do great wonders, the greatest being to shepherd his people to freedom.
Moses returns to Egypt with Tzipporah, entering the temple in the midst of a large celebration. He is happily greeted by Rameses, now Pharaoh and the father of a young boy. Moses tells Rameses to let his people go, demonstrating the power behind him by changing his shepherding staff into a snake. Hotep and Huy boastfully repeat this transformation, conjuring many of Egypt’s Gods in the process. However, Moses’ snake eats both of their snakes. Rather than being persuaded, Rameses is hardened and orders the slaves’ work to be doubled.
Later, Moses again confronts Rameses passing on his boat in the Nile. Rameses orders his guards to bring Moses to him, but they turn back when Moses turns the river into blood with his staff. The Priests turn some water to blood themselves. As the days pass, nine of the Plagues of Egypt occur. Moses feels tortured inside feeling as if he is betraying Rameses and leaving Egypt in ruins. Despite all the pain and destruction caused by the plagues, Ramses refuses to relent, and in anger, vows to finish the work his father started against the Hebrews, swearing that a great cry will fall over Egypt; Moses retorts that Rameses has brought what comes next down upon himself. Moses then instructs the Hebrews to paint lamb’s blood above their doors for the coming night of Passover. That night, the final plague (the angel of death) spills over the city, killing all the firstborn children of Egypt, including Rameses’ son. Moses once more visits the grief-stricken Rameses, who is standing over the dead body of his son, despondent, and with a mixture of sadness at the horror that has happened and fury at Moses, who he once called brother, tells him to take the Hebrews and leave Egypt, rebuffing his foster brother’s desperate attempt to console him. Moses leaves and breaks down in tears outside, his spirit broken after causing his brother and all of Egypt so much pain.

The following morning, the Hebrews happily leave their enslavement and eventually find their way to the Red Sea, but discover that Rameses has changed his mind and is pursuing them with his army to kill them all. Moses parts the sea, while behind him a pillar of fire writhes before the Egyptian army, blocking their way. The Hebrews cross on the sea bottom; when the pillar of fire disappears and the army gives chase, the water closes over the Egyptian soldiers to their watery deaths, and the Hebrews are freed. However, Rameses is spared, as he is hurled back to the shore by the collapsing waves, screaming in defeated fury over the death of his soldiers and crying out to Moses in anger, despair and heartbreak because of all that has been happened. Saddened by what both he and Rameses have lost forever, Moses bids his brother goodbye one last time and leads the Hebrew people to Mount Sinai, where he is given the Ten Commandments to deliver to them.

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