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December 26, 2014 12:39 pm

Egypt Bans ‘Exodus’ Movie Claiming ‘Jews Didn’t Build Pyramids’

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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The official movie poster for 'Exodus: Gods and Kings.' Photo: IMDb.

Egypt has banned the Hollywood film Exodus: Gods & Kings citing “historical inaccuracies,” one of which being that according to the government, Jewish slaves did not build the pyramids, the BBC reported on Friday.

The head of the country’s censorship board claimed that other historical fallacies include the film’s depiction that an earthquake, not a godly miracle, caused the Red Sea to split as the Hebrew slaves fled.

According to the biblical tale Moses led the Hebrew slaves to freedom after God inflicted ten plagues on Egypt. The bible also describes how the Red Sea was parted by a miracle performed by God through Moses. The splitting of the sea allowed the Israelites to escape from the Egyptian army that chased them down.

Earlier reports said that the film has also been banned in Morocco, according to BBC. The state-run Moroccan Cinema Centre (CCM) had initially allowed the film, but Moroccan business website reported that officials decided to ban screenings of the movie the day before its premiere.

Exodus: Gods and Kings reportedly cost $140 million to make and it pulled in $24.5 million in the box office during its opening weekend. The film stars Christian Bale as Moses.

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  • gina kerr

    Was so looking forward to the Red Sea parting, a miracle of freedom…. disappointed to see it just like a low tide! Most of all it was hugely anti sematic. Whatever work the Jewish people did, they were slaves. and the film does not engage on any meaningful level with their situation… the main flow of the story is from the Egyptian Pharaoh, including his son’s death. A tragedy that brings tears to the eyes and subliminally blamed on the God of the Jews. @you sleep so deeply because you are loved. yes, but what about all the children he wanted killed.. not emphasised… don’t think the Egyptian government have the insight to see how it actually represents their side quite well!

  • Joseph Constant

    In addition to the dates of the construction of the pyramids which definitely predates the alleged arrival of the Jews in Egypt, if in fact they actually did go to Egypt, the fact that Jews don’t build pyramids, since supposedly leaving Egypt, clearly suggest that the Jews have no knowledge of pyramid building, and most certainly , could not have built the pyramids in Africa.

  • PHil

    Wow, you guys don’t watch enough Egypt documentaries.

    Latest archeological evidence suggests the pyramids were not built by slaves at all. The work force most likely comprised farmers earning a bit of extra dosh in the off season.

    I found the opening statement on the movie to be in poor taste – such a blatant lie in favour of the Jews in an industry where many already claim they have an over reaching influence. It was almost like someone wanted to rub it in our gentile faces “Haha, yes we do control everything here, and haha, we can say whatever we like”

  • Anon.

    Lies on all fronts. First, doesn’t matter what the Egyptians say; obviously, no matter what the subject matter, it would be against the Jews any which way. Secondly, many commenters here are either G-Dless athiests or anti-semites, and believe nothing that’s written in the Torah (the personification of all truths)but are just spewing their ignorance; hard to believe the nonsense written by these posters. Thirdly, this latest Exodus movie outdoes the unbelievable fantasy of even the latest Noah movie. Why would they even call them ‘biblical’, when it is so far removed from the Torah (Bible). No more believable than Harry Potter movies. It’s really about erasing truth of religion so the next generation will be G-Dless.

  • Ron

    Any historical film made by film directors are highly unlikely to hold much historical fact. The further back in time the subject of the film is, the less information and corroboration of people and events there is. For a good box office return all that counts is a good story – these days enhanced with loads of CGI – that Joe Public, with his low level of historical general knowledge, will happily accept as “gospel”. Truth only gets in the way.

    The 300 Spartans were not alone: in fact, according to various sources, the force defending the pass of Thermopylae numbered about 6,000-7,000 Greeks – Spartans, Thespians and Thebans. The Spartans had 300 helots (slaves) fighting with them as light troops.

    William Wallace in Braveheart never wore or fought in a kilt. The earliest illustration of “highland dress” was in the late 17th century. The wearing of woad was 2,000 years too late. The Scots were known for their “shiltrons” – groups of men armed with 11 foot spears, with which they practised as a unit. They were camped out on the Bannockburn battle ground for a month or two before Edward’s army arrived,so they were able to practice on the very ground they were to fight on. Turning up with a load of long poles 5 minutes before a battle and expecting several thousand men to learn to handle them and grasp the tactics involved on the spot is ludicrous.

    Time and again the film industry distorts and misrepresents historical events for it’s own tawdry financial ends.

    The other side of the coin is that anything depicting Jews in a good light, or confirming their history pre-dating islam is automatically going to be an anathema to an islamic controlled state. Therefore the ban on screening Exodus in an islamic controlled country is pretty much to be expected. But it is well to remember that what is commonly spoken of as “the islamic world” in the Middle East, was predominantly Christian – Egypt was Coptic Christian for 600 years – and was conquered by invading Arab armies after bitter resistance. At the time those being invaded, and the invaders themselves did not refer to these invaders as “muslims”, only as Hagarenes, Ishmaelites, Saracens, and Muhijirun (immigrants). The “muslim” claim only surfaced at least 60 years after Muhammad’s supposed death.

  • Otto Schiff

    It is a lot of fun to read all the comments even though
    most of it is wild speculation.
    The pyramids where probably built by Tom, Dick and Harry
    regardless of Religion or nationality.
    Most likely by the cheapest available labor.

    • your reply

      Boy are you dumb?

  • A.Franklin

    So it’s the “Bible” according to Hollywood. The pyramids were effective “new Deal” make-work projects to keep excess male population at paid work.

  • lanre

    A hell of misinformation and first class world ‘cheating’. A shameful act.

  • gearge smitte

    first thing of Couse Muslims would say no Jew built the pyramids, more to do with politics than anything else . one thing is a fact Jews where around a long time before 1 muslim stepped foot on this world and ps ,
    Egypt is not Muslim by choice , the arabs killed the true eyptions.

  • Julian Mannino

    Were the Egyptians who built the Pyramids Arabs? The Arabs came much later.

  • The part where Moses speaks to God is all wrong. He argues with God, are you serious? I mean good grief, he would be wetting himself not screaming at God. And God is a child and he sees him face to face, no way! Also the miracles were ALL wrong and where was Moses’s staff and God’s decrees to Pharaoh, and Aaron? Where was it ever said alligators or tidal waves caused miracles? I was so disappointed by this sacrilegious sanctimonious piece of excrement that was supposed to be Biblical. I became ill, why can’t they stick to the Bible?

    • DéLise a Torah observer

      My sentiments exactly.I just saw this abomination of a story.It seems to me Mr. Scott purposely wants to diminish the power of G-d and ridicule the whole account.It being a Hollywood film I didn’t expect total accuracy,the days of Cecil B.De Mille are gone.He and his staff really researched the story of Moses and the Exodus. His list of reference material was long. Besides sticking as close as possible to the Bible he consulted the Midrash, the Prince of Egypt and many other historical and biblical sources. Mr. Scott on the other hand tried to do his best to confuse the story. One who might not have clear biblical knowledge could possibly believe this extremely weak interpretation of a G-d who needed aligators to kick off the plagues, a G-d represented by a squeaky voice kid and an almost absentee, self doubting Moshe.
      Here it’s obvious that Ridley Scott simply wanted to practice some new special effects.Some very important characters were left out of this account. Joshua , who went on to be the general of the Israelites who took over after Moshe’s Death. Aharon the older Brother of Moshe,both Levites and Aharon carried on the priestly line in Israel of which people to this day carry the names related to this tribe and are still recognizable through these names . He made a brief appearance in this so called story. To anyone who really desires to know this wonderful story and appreciate how truly important it is please read the story in the book of Exodus in the Torah (Bible). I belive in artistic freedom but if you want to tell a biblical story do it right. If not create a fairytail. This film is not only an insult to believers it insults peoples intelligence in general. Mr.Scott maybe your god can’t work with out the help of aligators and a low tide but mine can. He’s called the G-d Avraham,Yitz’chak and Ya’akov. Maybe you should get to know Him and learn some respect.

  • Ira Altman

    Most of the comments here are inaccurate due to an adherence to the historians/archeologists SPECULATIONS that the Exodus took place on about 1200 B.C., the time of Ramses. There is considerable evidence that it took place much earlier circa 1400 B.C. So the Hebrews could have built at least some of the pyramids. In any case, what does building the “store cities” of Pithom and Ramses signify – just the cities and not the pyramids?

  • I would LOVE to see Biblical movies that ARE Biblical. Noah was so wrong it was comedic and this one is horrible too. Why can’t they stick with the biblical content or Torah or Quran and not just go off making stuff up. I think they are trying to lead believers astray or the young into darkness. We need the Truth and we crave The Truth. If movie makers would use the a Truth they would have a hit movie like The Passion but no they want to make up stuff. Please make a good movie!

    • Ignorance, or they think fiction sells more. The solution? Do not go to fictional Bible Movies. Then, for their pocket book’s sake, they will be more honest.

  • BonniePrinceCharlie

    Hooray for Hollywood!!! Forget historical inaccuracy. Let’s make a movie. I’m not absolutely sure but I think that the idea of the Hebrew slaves building the pyramids was first promoted in the Cecil B de Mille move ‘The Ten Commandments’.

  • Iris

    its just a movie. They’re filled with inaccuracies all the time. Egypt should get a grip. This is silly.

  • Guy

    HaShem built the pyramid – it was his mark on the center of the World – The Capstone will be used to crush all enemies of God

    Mathew 21:44
    Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed. (Including Monkeys)

  • Yeshayahu Goldfeld

    Egypt does not show a film about Jews because of Anti-Semitism .However Jews did not build the pyramids , nor was there partition of the sea and the Hollywood film is very stupid .

  • Waiting for confirmation that, added to al the other great islamic achievements, it was HAMAS=IS and assorted Allah-u-Akbarists who built the Pyramids.

  • steven L

    This pyramids claim is contested by some.
    However the Israelites were used to build numerous large monuments, buildings, temples etc.
    This is NOT contested.

  • Julian Clovelley

    There is not a shred of historical evidence to suggest that the Exodus story, and that which precedes it in the Bible, and that which follows it, are anything other than pure legend. Historically there can be little doubt that they are oral creations that were transmitted and enhanced by the same kind of creation and embellishment that brought the epics of Homer into being. The form we read them in is the rather confused form in which they were written down, in an accepted form, many centuries after the imagined events. They contain within those forms the political and ideological agendas of the time of writing, and not before.

    Historically there are many defects already in the legends, including the reality that Caanan appears to have been an Egyptian province at the time of the supposed Exodus. So the Hebrews would not have left Egypt on their supposed travels

    In fact the ancient “Hebrews” quite likely included many who actually did work on the pyramids, because what we are dealing with is a clan history that was devised over a thousand years later as the foundation story of a particular group, that came out of the same people as in the rest of the region. The separatism is entirely imaginery. It always was and it always will be

    Within that foundation history is a land claim that is given D-vine Authority, first under Abraham and later under Moses. That land claim is the core of the stories themselves. On a world scale it is far from unique. The gods donated land to different peoples all over the place, and even in more recent centuries Imperial Authority and territory was regulated by Catholic Popes. Later the principle underlying the “Terra Nullius” doctrine was that unless a territory had developed a European style administrative structure, and Title structure for land ownership, it could be viewed as “empty” and treated as the territory of the “discovering” Christian nation

    Herein lies the problem with films such as “The Ten Commandments” and “Exodus”. There is nothing wrong with filming legends. There have been many dramas based on the legends of King Arthur for example – and most of Shakespeare is almost pure legend. But the Biblical epics are not counterbalanced with more accurate representations of how Judaism and the Bible came about. This is a fault within Christian Epics too. In these the Jews still scream for the head of a man who may well never have even existed, and was certainly nothing like his Biblical portrayal. Christianity is based on a historically defective legend too

    Zionism relies on these legends to create a false history of separation and conquest, based on an entirely imaginery right of return. The real justification for the State of Israel lies in modern International resolutions dating from the nineteen twenties and nineteen forties, the rest is religious fable and concocted Geneaology that even conflicts with Genetics. In the real history the territory currently Occupied and Settled in the West Bank is territory that lies outside the real foundation Resolutions. That is the problem with them. They are imperialist conquests, retained against international agreement and international law.

    So what does an Arab nation do with these clearly factional films – screen them or not screen them? I think my choice would be to demand they be released on DVD first, allow piracy of them, by not prosecuting it, and allow them to be screened in cinemas in two or three years time, when the fuss has died down

    I hope one day these legends will be allowed their proper place as masterpieces of theological fiction that have been preserved since their assembly about two thousand five hundred to two thousand eight hundred years ago. I hope they will be recognised as fiction that became divisive and created wounds that have still to be healed. I hope that the moral teachings will become separated from their false legendary base in the Bible – and I hope that this separation and realisation not only permates those groups who call themselves or are labelled Jewish, but my birth religion of Christianity and the religions(sic) of Islam.

    I fear peace will not fully arrive until they are thus recognised. The process could be accelerated by abandoning the folly of “Jewish History” and “Zionist History” and the “Jewish State” – and returning to the concept of regional and world history – abandoning the attempts to create relics of a Davidic Kingdom and assertions that the Torah itself, and so much else, is based on fact. It isn’t and it wasn’t. There is neither Gentile nor Jew. We are one family – we always were and our real task is to become reconciled to each other, to share wealth and land, to create social structures of compassion and welfare. We will need much of the principles that our legends were created to carry. We need to work together

    But to do this we must get over the legends themselves and recognise they are fiction…

  • Donald Krausz

    Nu, so we did not build the Pyramids.

    Wait till someone makes a film about the building of the Suez Canal. The financing was arranged by the Jewish-born English Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli with the Jewish finance bankers Rothschild.

    And for this film they could only find someone called Christian Bale to act the part of Moses? What was wrong with Netanyahu? Not politically correct perhaps?

  • Rafael Manory

    I have not seen the movie, and I am not sure I am going to see it. This movie tries to ‘rationalize’ Bible stories, and in doing so it diminishes the value of the stories. The attempt is ridiculous in my eyes. “The 10 Commandments” was a great movie because it didn’t try to do that. “The Prince of Egypt” was also good in this respect. There are today theories that Mount Sinai is actually in Saudi Arabia. If the movie adopted that theory it would have made more sense than trying to explain the Bible miracles. Regarding the pyramids, the Jews indeed did not build them, so what’s the fuss? If movies were banned any time they depict something that’s historically untrue we would have very few movies left…

    • Otto Schiff

      A very good comment.

  • Fred

    Why make such claim ??? The original Egyptians do not exist anymore they have been eradicated a long time ago, what you have now are the Arab squatters who make false claims of being Egyptians. Pretence is the game same as with the Philistines.

  • RobiMac

    The Jews did not build the pyramids. They were enslaved circa 4000 to 5000 years ago. Those pyramids are not that old. If they were, they wouldn’t look as good as they do today due to element erosion. Besides, the stones used to build them were enormous, there’s no way a mere man could lift them, not even thousands of men.

    Further, Exodus is a Hollywood, USA film…..filled with hype. The Word of G-d is not specific on everything. That said, man tends to make up areas to fill in the ‘blanks.’ so to speak. I have seen all the Biblical films ever made and the only one that comes closest to Biblical accuracy is Mel Gibson’s Passion Of The Christ.

  • Curious

    I agree with your synopsis of the biblical tale of Moses, EXCEPT that the Israelites built the pyramids. Which verse from Exodus are you referring to exactly? A bit of research will show you that the time the Israelites were in Egypt is a completely different dynasty from the one in which the pyramids were built. Thank you in advance for your response.

    • Edna

      Excavations of the burial areas near the pyramids, where the slaves were interred, were checked, and DNA samples were taken from the bones discovered there. According to the then Egyptian Head of Digs, the DNA proved that all the slaves were Egyptians.

      No other non-Egyptian archaeologist was allowed to do DNA research, or testing.

      As the majority of slaves were usually members of foreign communities that had been taken prisoner, as depicted in tomb paintings, and papyri, it is interesting to note that Egyptians too were held in slavery.

  • Louis Grace

    This is silly. The Haggadah, quoting Exodus 1:11, states that the Jews built the storehouses of Pithom and Ramses — not the Pyramids.

  • aharon

    Any Egyptophile will tell you that the pyramids were already 1000 years old when Joseph went to Egypt. And the Red Sea is actually the reed sea where the reeds formed into woven ‘mats’ when the wind blew.

  • Mickey Oberman

    Muslims are truly a sad, pathetic and sorry lot.

    They have nothing to offer mankind but lies, horror, degradation terror, enslavement and death. And lies, lies, lies.

    They steal and mutate and falsify bits and pieces and excerpts from other religions to try to justify the existence of their savage barbarian cult.

    They themselves have yet to evolve out of their stone age state of tribal savagery.

  • Arthur Taub MD PhD

    There is neither biblical statement, nor archeological evidence, that Israelites specifically built “pyramids.” There is neither biblical statement, nor archeological evidence, for a tsunami in Egypt.

    The film is hyperbolic, and both biblically and “historically” flawed. It is not a “bible story,” and cannot be taken as such.

  • Miriam

    it’s pretty sad that ARAB’s/ countries are constantly trying to rewrite history! Like me saying the world is flat! Don’t believe it’s round.
    Not only attempting to rewrite history but to ban the screening…. Pretty pathetic… So happy I am in a free democratic to make my own choices of what I want to watch and not a government making that determination for me.
    MUSLIM belief’s are so archaic….you either believe what they believe or they kill you. Not sure how anyone can be swept away believing in their cause!!!

  • JSintheStates

    Did these “enlightened” Islamic radicals happen to say which slaves build the pharaohs’ pyramids?

    • Ron Blower

      No, they didn’t, as you well know… 8-] …

      But its a worthy question.

  • RiverKing

    Another example of how have-not nations, like individuals, fail to understand and then emulate the freedoms that have elevated us throughout history.

  • Messing up biblical facts to make money-disgusting. Glenn Beck gave it a bad review before Egypt banned it. Our ancestors built storage cities, not pyramids. Sticking to biblical facts would make this educational; now it’s just worthless.

  • Norm Lipson

    Typo: Raamses

  • Norm Lipson

    Actually, the Torah says that we built the treasure cities of Pithon and Rasmses; it never claims we built the pyramids. In fact, the pyramids were already in Egypt when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    How can there ever be real peace with Egypt when the continue to air anti-Jewish series, sell openly Hitler’s Mein Kampf” and deny that the Jews were slaves for 400 years in Egypt and yes we built the Pyramids.

    The Arabs want “their lands” back.

    We should demand payment for those years.

  • E benAbuya

    We probably didn’t build the “Pyramids”. We did build two cities Pithom and Ramases, however. Lots of other problems with the new film. Zipporah as a fair skinned green eyed beauty. What? Was Miriam color blind! Christian Bale can’t keep his accent straight sometimes British sometimes American. God as a cranky 11-year old? With all the CGI available today; you’d think they could’ve come up with something (anything) besides such a lame anthropomorphism. Something so antithetical to the entire tradition. Sheesh.

  • Milhouse

    According to the biblical tale, the pyramids were built by Hebrew slaves

    This is nonsense. The Bible says no such thing. And archaeological evidence indicates that it’s probably not true. The Egyptians happen to be right about this one, though it’s a bizarre reason to ban a movie.

    • steven L

      It allows Egypt to deny perhaps the well known mistreatment of the Israelites to the ignorant Egyptian masses!
      Therefore they could deceptively claim that only the Jews mistreat the Muslim (Palestinians)!!!

  • Evan Lowenthal

    The Bible never mentions the pyramids. The pyramids were made of stone; the Israelites made brick structures- the store-cities of Pithom and Ramses. Also, the pyramids were already standing when Joseph went to Egypt.

  • Jack

    The biblical tale states the Hebrews built treasure cities, not the pyramids. Regardless, I understand the movie is quite favorable to the Egyptians with the Hebrews being bit players to the Egyptian melodrama, the strife between two brothers, Moses and Ramses.

    So who cares that it is banned?

  • Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker

    It seems as if the Egyptian government has done more background research than your reporter. The pyramids were built at the beginning of the third millennium BCE. They were nearly a thousand years old by the time Abraham visited Egypt with Sarah. The Hebrews built the store cities of Pithom and Raamses–read Exodus 1:11, which are to be dated in the second half of the second millennium BCE, roughly 1500 years after the pyramids.
    As usual Hollywood embellishes or doesn’t bother to pay attention to details, but your reporter should do better basic research.
    Egypt: +1, Hollywood/Algemeiner: 0
    Otherwise, I like your web site!

  • David Mandel

    The Egyptians are correct, not in banning this silly film, but in refuting the claim that the Hebrews built the pyramids. The Bible only says that they built two cities Pithom and Ramses. The pyramids were built more than a thousand years before the time that Moses might have lived.

  • Bigolfascist

    Gee, it sounds almost like the US President:”You didn’t build that!”

    • Tebzangwana

      Could it be that the contemporary Arab Egyptians were also not there and the pyramids were built during the time of the Nubians? The arrogation of history of Egypt by the Arsb Egyptians is a contested area.

    • debra

      nah, not hardly B o f

  • G

    The Bible does not say that the Hebrew slaves built the pyramids.

    • Mickey Oberman

      “The Bible does not say that the Hebrew slaves built the pyramids.”


      But who did build them?

      It certainly could not possibly have been the ancestors of present day Egyptians.

  • art

    Our Christian friends best be ware. If Judaism is delegitimized then Christianity will be delegitimized and Christians will no longer be view as children of the book and will be treated as infidels or pagans by islamists. which has important effects. Christians should also pay heed to islamist stated goals to impose sharia law on Christians, Europe and the west

  • Yale

    I don’t support banning the film, but the Egyptians are right, Israelites didn’t build the pyramids. The great pyramids were constructed in the period 2600-2400 BCE, and the earliest the Israelites could have arrived in Egypt is about 1000 years later — the War of the Kings in Gen 14 is datable to c.1700.

  • charlie johnson

    If the youth depends upon Hollywood for accurate depictions of historical events we are going to be isolated from the entire world of nations in a few short years. When you try to mix facts with entertainment to obtain wealth you get stupid,Eventually the stupid run out of funds to pay for entertainment.

  • John Robertson

    Actually, the Bible has nothing whatsoever to say about “Hebrew slaves building the pyramids” – and Menachem Begin’s claim to that effect while visiting Egypt was complete nonsense. The Giza pyramids date to ca. 2600 BCE. The earliest datable reference to a people called “Israel” occurs ca. 1210 BCE.

  • ari

    i don’t recall anything in the biblical tale about pyramids. It says they built Pitom and Raamses, but never explicitly mentions pyramids.