EXT. WILDERNESS – DAY
Moses staggers in the heat of the desert with his outer garments stripped. He swats at a mirage of beautiful women dancing around a well with sheep and a group of shepherds gargling its water to spite his thirst. Dumbfounded, he looks again. Seven servant girls and their sheep are denied the well by a circus of disgruntled shepherds. Meanwhile, Moses comes to the well's waters to drench himself. The shepherds turn to waddle at him with intense mouth flapping and finger wagging. Moses rebuttals with imitative dialect and wins the finger fight. He shoos them away just before collapsing beside the well. All eyes are on him. Feeling awkward, he gives a point-and-grin to the now distant shepherds. Nothing. He tries their local language.
You need water? For your lambs?
You know, sheep? Bah, bah, b-, sheep-
He gives up. Rejuvenated, the happy prince helps the silent women fill their containers and water the troughs in the fields. He watches the women enter a certain house. After a short moment, hands push them back out and they stare their invitation at him. Moses can’t help but think they like him, so he struts onward toward their welcome.
EXT. ARABIA – VARIES
The priest of Midian hosts a great wedding for his daughter Zipporah. Moses joins hands with her in ceremony. The exile starts a new life there with the nomadic people.
EXT. MIDIANITE CAMP – DAWN
The land is riddled with tents and mobilized merchants, shepherds and coppersmiths. A handsome silver-haired man is leading his sheep through the mountainous wilderness to Mt. Horeb. There he finds a single stray lamb.
Hah! Don’t move. Don’t move. Stay-
He gently grabs the lamb and chastises it with an ironic cheerful intonation. He trails off when he looks up at a stream of light up on the highest peak. Squinty eyes cause him to go nearer.
What is that, some friend of yours just as lost in the head?
Shh! No more out of you. I will turn aside now for a closer look. You wait here.
EXT. MT. HOREB - MORNING
A figure of white within the fire makes him squint harder through the swimming strands of surrounding light. Then an urgent voice startles him.
Here I am.
Stay your feet. Remove your sandals, for the ground you stand upon is hollowed!
Forgive me. I have wandered too far. I meant no intrusion.
Mosa, one born of water.
How do you know that name? How do you know that name? Egyptian!
I am the God of your father, Amram, the God of your people; the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.
Moses recalls the vanity of Egyptian royalty, of which he was a member, and when he was worshiped as a god. Moses' knees give way from under him and he hides his face from before the true God.
EXT - BASE OF MOUNTAIN
Moses leads his sheep down with a shaken look as his brother Aaron runs up to him. He greets Moses with a kiss on the cheek.
Halal! God be praised! Mosheh! Come into the wilderness, says the Lord, so here I came, so here you are! Brother. -You’re shaking. You must have just spoken with him.
The Lord spoke to you?
Wasn’t it amazing? Not many times may a man say such a thing in truth. What was it like for you?
There was- a light- eh, and a bush.
A bush? Really?
A bush, um, on... fire?
And a lot more speaking there is to come, I wager. Oh it's good to see you, brother! Well, let’s come on. A couple of fogies like us have some shaping up to do if we’re going to take on the greatest army in the world, eh? Come on. Let’s get our people back!
Our people- Brother- Forgive me for what I am.
No, no, no. You are a shepherd of your father's flock and a son of a priest. God has made you what you are up unto this day for this very reason: to find lost lambs, and mend broken spirits. Mosheh, you are exactly what you need to be. Come on. Let’s find those lambs!
Moses lifts his head to these words, and loves him with his eyes.
INT. TEMPLE COURTYARD – DAY
The priest of Midian, an old man and strong, sits in meditation.
The silence has many voices, Mosheh. A man may well drown his years in prattle forgetting how to listen and to learn.
I have met with the God of Abraham, our father.
Some silences squeal of tormented haunting, others croon the inner man’s belonging.
In Horeb on heaven’s highest peak, on the mount of God, from a fiery bush strangely untarnished came the mighty Lord’s voice to my presence unvarnished.
Should a fool be so inclined to humor silent speaking, he may a wise fool be once he found his soul’s belonging.
My prince, I must go to Egypt.
I wandered when the day should come for you to return and see your kinsmen.
Let me go, I pray, with your rich blessing. Let me return to Egypt to find by soul’s belonging.
God be with you. Go in peace.
Moses eases out after giving a kiss on the cheek.
EXT. OUTSIDE BEDROOM WINDOW – DAWN
Moses sits under the stars on his knees toward the Mount of God, listening to the silence. He starts thinking of all that has happened and will happen. It freezes him. A silhouette stands outlined by the mountain. His voice carries to Moses as if right beside him.
Where is my stray lamb lost within these mountains? Has he fallen in the sea of regret and fear?
More regret than fear, perhaps, else I hide my due penalty. If this is the will of God, let the pharaoh deal justly with this serpent.
You’re all out of excuses then? Is this your made-up mind’s counsel?
If it be the Lord is with me, he the future can obscure. Can he blur the past as well, for a broken spirit’s cure?
This he can, and more. You need not fear the men who sought your life to take. Be at ease, they seek it no more, for they are dead.
Go back to Egypt, and when you go, see that you do unto Pharaoh all my wonders, which I will put in your hand. His heart will be hardened so you shall say this to him: Thus says the I AM, the Existing One, Israel is my son, yea my firstborn. Let my son go that he may serve me, or I shall kill your firstborn. Go, Mosheh. Go. Go.
EXT. MIDIAN - EVENING
Moses gathers his wife and sons and says goodbye to Jethro, priest of Midian. They and Aaron load up on camels and make westward across the Sinai Peninsula, in the cool night air. Moses uses his acquired knowledge of nomadic travel. The stars guide them. Far behind the lead of Aaron, an argument continues between Moses and his wife.
We should pull aside here! Daylight is approaching!
What do you want from me? You want me to ignore the command of the Lord?
At the least leave them as they are, and let me keep my peace!
To restrain her grumbling, Moses yields to her. They pull aside just before dawn to stay at an inn.
INT. INN - DAWN
The family lies down to sleep but can’t rest. There is a commotion with the others in the inn. A great sand storm is making its way to them. Zipporah meets eyes with the black angel of death creeping behind her family. Zipporah cries out as she snatches a sharp stone and quickly circumcises their son. Throwing the foreskin at Moses' feet.
You are a bridegroom of blood to me!
She sees the angel fade into shadow. Moses stands in his son's blood and looks at his wife. The outside noise comes to a miraculous halt. The storm is no more.
EXT. INN - SUNSET
Moses sends his wife and sons back home. His own determined face turns west.
Screenplay by: Tim Seaton