The Ten Commandments is an American mini-series written by Ron Hutchinson and produced by Actuality Productions that dramatises the biblical story of Moses, from his rescue as a baby from the Nile river to leading the Hebrews acros the Red Sea to the Promised Land of Caanan.
The mini-series originally aired in the USA in two parts on ABC on 14 and 15 April, 2006. It is 176 minutes in length.
The Ten Commandments premiered in South Africa on DStv's Hallmark channel on Saturday 26 July 2008, at 21h00. There are two 105-minute episodes.
As a baby, Moses' mother - Jochebed - saves him 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 honour 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 Sinai 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 10 plagues. Only after the final one, during which his 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 as he disobeyed God.