EXT. GOSHEN - DAY
The land is well developed now with statues, monuments and fortified walls. Houses are being built with mud bricks and the labor of the Hebrews is more strenuous than before. Miriam greets her brother Aaron with a kiss. As if Moses isn’t there.
For a second she is stunned, but then she turns and kisses Moses before running off upset. Moses is saddened. Many people turn and whisper as Moses and Aaron walk through the streets. A grungy old shepherd is hardly the looks of a great general.
She hates me.
Ah, excitement works strange wonders on people, and since women are a wonder anyway... why bother?
Such excitement! She could hardly look at me. Oh, I’ve all but surrendered already and we’ve not yet begun. We’re surrounded. Even the hills are staring at us. What are they saying?
God knows. We’ve a one in two chance guess for better or worse than our suspicions tell. Why not entertain the one less nauseating?
It’ll be no better for my bowels, either way. I have got to find a toilet.
Yes you do.
Aaron can’t help but cackle, and Moses can’t help but smile.
EXT. STREETS OF GOSHEN - EVENING
Moses walks the streets he walked long ago. He looks down familiar roads and huts, but no familiar faces. Then he stops when he comes to a moderate looking hut where an old one used to be. He approaches when he sees familiar things inside the unfamiliar hut.
INT. HOUSE OF MIRIAM – CONTINUOUS
Miriam sits in a corner of the house looking down. She was expecting him, but now that he has come, she doesn’t stir.
I see your sons have built you a strong home, or do I speak out of season with shoddy ignorance?
No husband. No sons. My nephews built this place.
Ah, what are their names?
Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
Where are they now? –Miriam?
Where are they now? Where are we? Where are we, my prince, thou great General? Not under the vine nor fig tree’s shade. We perish here under the sun! We are smitten in stagnant waters where there is no current to take us away. Oh, to be lost in ivory palaces! There is no change, no laughter in the streets, just the mourning of a stupid girl who was a fool to hope.
I do know- I don't know how-
Where were you, Mosheh? What have been doing?
Please, do not ask me to mock your misery with forty-year excuses, little sis.
I think I deserve to know why God has allowed my misery.
I was hunted down so I left, our plans were thwarted so I could not return! No one was ready, not one! Those I would rescue smacked my hand away, and those I would lead condemned my authority... How do you save something that doesn’t want to be saved?
There was a man of God that I met in my travels, and he gave me this. It is the record of his father. The man Job was counted the wealthiest of all men in the east, most righteous, and beloved of God. Then, suddenly, in one day, his livestock was taken, his servants were slain, his children had died, and his wife had lost all faith in God. Curse God and die, she uttered, but he replied, Shall we reap only blessings from God, and not endure evil? So the man Job held fast his integrity. When his three friends came to mourn with him, they did not know him for his flesh was clothed with worms, clods of dust, burst boils, and hideous to look upon. When words of comfort slipped their tongues, they rather found him with blame. After all, how could God punish the righteous? One by one, Job convinced them of his innocence, leaving them with nothing more to say to the measure of things that had befallen him. Is God unjust to allow such misery?
Then what is there to do, Miriam, but curse God and die?
Can you do it?
What words of comfort slip your tongue! Leave me alone. Leave us alone!
Consult the pyramids whether death keeps a king more joyous than a peasant. Strip the pharaohs’ tomb, you’ll find no jingling jewels – no, naught but settling dust.
Moses gets up into the doorway. Before leaving, he turns.
Does it make you a fool to live for something, rather than die for nothing? You are no fool. You are my little sis. I love you, little sis.
EXT. ASSEMBLY - EVENING
Moses and Aaron present themselves before the audience of mumbling elders. A few people stand eavesdropping in the background. Among them is Miriam the brother of Moses and Aaron. Even in the shadows, she cannot look at Moses.
Why have we come together in this place? What is it that you want?
Moses nods to Aaron who begins. It grows quiet.
I am Aaron son of Amram the levite. This is my brother Mosheh. What I have to say is on his behalf and that of the God of our fathers.
Which god? Who has sent you?
The people seek an answer from Moses directly. Aaron intercedes as if speaking Moses' words in the foreground. Moses startles. He doesn’t know what to do, so he parades himself with his staff high in the air. The timid Moses waves his staff, half expecting it to zap the people gawking at him.
There can be only One God, I AM is my name! This is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
Moses throws his staff on the ground and there is a disturbance in the elders. Everyone backs up with heads down at a hissing creature. Moses alone steps forward and picks it up. He arises with a rigid staff. The unbelieving half of elders chasten the believing lot.
Why should we listen to this sorcerer? The Egyptians raised him up to know their crafty arts.
This is a news break Moses does not expect. He works hard to suppress his fears. As Aaron goes on, Moses approaches the unbelievers. He tilts his staff to the hand in his bosom and holds out a rotted white hand in disgust. The elders hide and cry out.
I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. I know of your afflictions; I have come to heal them...
Moses' hand is restored before their squinted eyes.
...And to bring you into the land which I swore to your fathers that you may serve me, a land with vineyards you did not plant, cities you did not build, and wells you did not dig; a lush land flowing with milk and honey.
Only a couple of elders now protest.
He plays us for fools! The God of our fathers has forsaken us. Look at our stripes and remember our toil at the hands of our taskmasters.
It was not always so. You know this. Egypt was an oasis in a time of famine until our oppressors forgot Joseph, and grew hostile. So sluggards armed with lashes met the strong ox unmatched. Do you fear the lash? You, boy!
Show us your scars.
You’ve some leathery hide! There, see? The stripes overlap, clearly meshed, he’s more solid leather than striped skin. Does that hurt?
Does what hurt?
Ha! Take your shirt to the waters and dip it. Lend me your shirt.
What think ye, boy? Does it hurt?
Methinks a mosquito bit me.
Ha! Well said, boy. Well said. To the whips! To the whips, they cry! What’s that but a peck of rain? Seek your shelter, masters, you might get wet!
Are we indeed forsaken because we have enemies? Yes, there is hate! There is envy! They will steal our daughters and slay our sons. They will try and try to divide us from each other and from our God. But God is come to ransom his firstborn and judge the captor! And we who have wept, have we not wept together? We who have labored, have we not labored together? Then stand together in this. We have come now on an errand for the great I AM. Thus says the Existing One, you will be delivered from your bonds, even to spoil your oppressors, and be led into your homeland, where you will be a nation unto yourselves.
All listen as one. They begin to show a united force as they all nod their heads in unison. Moses gathers a skin of water from the Nile in the sight of all. He returns and stands on dry land.
You asked me why we gathered in this place. Behold, the third wonder of the One true God: the blood of the children of Israel has come back to haunt this land.
Moses pours from his skin a fountain of rancid blood upon the earth before their feet – more than could have been contained.
The children of Israel bow in worship to God.
Screenplay by: Tim Seaton