The Ten Commandments (miniseries)

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The Ten Commandments
Written by Ron Hutchinson
Directed by Robert Dornhelm
Starring Dougray Scott
Naveen Andrews
Omar Sharif
Linus Roache
Paul Rhys
Theme music composer Randy Edelman
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Bernard Dudek
Robert Halmi Sr.
Paul Lowin
Running time 167 minutes
Distributor ABC Television
Original release September 5, 2006

The Ten Commandments is a 2006 miniseries that dramatizes the biblical story of Moses. It ran on the ABC TV network.


Moses's mother, Jochebed, saves her baby from the edict of the Pharaoh that all newborn male Hebrew children must die by placing him in a basket on the Nile River. He is found by the Pharaoh's daughter Bithia and adopted into the royal house.

Some time later, Bithia gives birth to a son Menerith, and they are raised as brothers. Moses grows up knowing that he is not the blood brother of Menerith, but is shown his true heritage (something he knows nothing about) at about the age of 10: he is re-introduced to Jochebed, his father Amram, his brother Aaron, and his sister Miriam.

Some years later, Moses saves the honor of a Hebrew woman by killing an Egyptian. When the body is discovered, Pharaoh orders Moses' arrest, but he is able to escape with the aid of Menerith.

After traveling days through the desert, he saves the seven daughters of Jethro from attackers. In gratitude, Moses is given the choice of one of them to take for his wife. After refusing, he is convinced by Zipporah to marry her.

Moses, wanting to know why he allows the Hebrews to be enslaved, climbs Mount Horeb and is confronted by God in the form of a bush that burns but is not consumed. God tells Moses that "I am who I am" and endows Moses with the knowledge to free the Hebrews.

Because Pharaoh Ramesses refuses to free the slaves, Egypt is struck with ten plagues. Only after the final one, during which his beloved son dies, are the slaves freed. However, Pharaoh decides to try to re-capture them.

The former slaves are guided to the Red Sea by a cloud. When the Egyptians' chariots get near, God blocks their path and Moses parts the Red Sea, providing the Hebrews an escape route. When the Hebrews make it to the other side, Moses closes the separated waters, drowning the pursuing Egyptians — including Menerith.

Moses climbs the mountain to receive God's commandments in the form of two stone tablets. However, when he climbs down, he finds that many of the Hebrews have made a golden calf to worship. Moses destroys them and orders the deaths of the lawbreakers. The survivors plead to receive God's commandments and Moses climbs up the mountain again. After Moses reads the commandments, the tablets are placed in an ark.

The film ends with Moses looking at the promised land, but he is not allowed to enter because he disobeyed God.


Barry Garron of The Hollywood Reporter gave the mini-series a generally positive review, praising the performances as well as "the stunning cinematography and eye-catching special effects" but also noted that it "fails to take full advantage of the source material".[1] David Bianculli of the New York Daily News reviewed it as "Thou shalt not watch."[2] while Matt Roush of TV Guide wrote the film "violates the primary commandment of epic filmmaking, biblical or otherwise: Thou shalt not bore."[3] and Matthew Gilbert of the Boston Globe called it "an empty inane remake."[4] and The Washington Post's Tom Shales calls it a "dreadful, doleful remake of Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 classic The Ten Commandments."[5]


  1. ^ Garron, Barry (2006). "The Ten Commandments". The Hollywood Reporter (online ed.). 
  2. ^ "'Ten' Inspires A Quick Exodus". Daily News (New York). April 10, 2006. 
  3. ^ The Ten Commandments: Season 1,
  4. ^ The Ten Commandments: Season 1,
  5. ^ Shales, Tom (April 10, 2006). "'The Ten Commandments': Exodus Comes to ABC". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 

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