The Problem with the Tablets

The Cecil B. DeMille version of the revelation at Sinai, in which Moses ascends the mountain on his own and returns bearing tablets, misses key aspects of the Israelites’ experience.

February 1, 2018 | Sarah Rindner
About the author: Sarah Rindner teaches English literature at Lander College in New York and blogs at Book of Books.

Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments, 1956.

Near the end of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956), Moses climbs Mount Sinai to receive the tablets of the Decalogue from God. He then descends the mountain, only to find the ungrateful Israelites immersed in wild pagan worship of the golden calf.

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