Classic Movie: The Ten Commandments-Sephora Compares Biblical/Secular Values for Moses

After being banned from Egypt, Moses barely survives a devastating trek across the desert wilderness. He is rescued by a group of shepherd girls, daughters of Jethro, a Midianite priest. Just before their marriage, one of the girls, Sephora [Yvonne De Carlo] profoundly compares traditional and secular values for Moses [Charlton Heston]. Moses has just described an Egyptian woman looking “as beautiful as a jewel.”


Sephora: “A jewel has brilliance, but gives no warmth.

  • Our hands are not so soft but they can serve.
  • Our bodies are not so white, but they are strong.
  • Our lips are not perfumed, but they speak the truth.
  • Love is not an art to us; it is life to us.
  • We are not dressed in gold and fine linen; strength and honor are our clothing.
  • Our tents are not the columned halls of Egypt, but our children play happily before them.
  • We can offer you little, but we offer all we have.”

Moses: “I have not little, Sephora; I have nothing.”

Sephora: “Nothing from some is more than gold from others.”

The conversation between Sephora (Greek form of Zipporah) and Moses just prior to their wedding is a clear contrast between:

  • traditional Biblical values, focusing on strong character and serving others (overcoming pride), and
  • secular values that recognize little significance in character and seeks to serve self (feeding pride and magnifying materialism).

Which would you marry? …the wealthy and materialistic, but shallow and self-centered Egyptian girl or the shepherd girl who understands the importance of virtue and strong character and is committed to a life of loving (serving) others.

  • Traditional Biblical values emerge from the wholeness of one’s soul as a conduit for God’s enduring love.
  • Evolution-rooted secular values, failing to recognize the reality of a spirit and limiting emotional considerations to Hedonistic highs/lows, emerge from primarily intellectual utilitarian considerations. The latter is a humanistic deification of man, based on the assumption that evolution has reached its highest current level in the human reasoning.

Which would you choose? “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

6 thoughts on “Classic Movie: The Ten Commandments-Sephora Compares Biblical/Secular Values for Moses

  1. Jamie

    Money sure is helpful, but I believe it is not the answer to all things. I believe if you marry for the money then your dependance shifts to that person rather than trusting in God for everything. Money tends to change peoples attitude. I saw this first hand at our family Christmas gathering.
    I attended a seminar in which Colin Powell spoke about how to become more successful in life, and he said remember to speak to everyone in your path including the parking attendant to the janitor and make a point to thank them for what they do. I will never forget that because it is true they make our day go smoother and they are no different than anyone else. People tend to let money define them and the truth is, it is only good while you are here. A bigger heart trumps a bigger wallet any day in my book.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting comments, Jamie. I agree with you that, “A bigger heart trumps a bigger wallet any day…” Many people on the national speaking circuit refer to success, primarily as material gain. Colin Powell may be an exception. There is nothing wrong with material success unless the drive to achieve it overshadows everything else in life. The problem with material success is that there is never enough and the excessive drive can and often does interfere with the development of interpersonal relationships, beginning with the family and working outwards.

    Perhaps a better definition of success is an overall satisfaction in life undergirded by a persistent joy. If so, an investment of time, talent, and treasure in meeting the needs of others has a far better return on the investment than does chasing material gain alone.

    Powell’s recommendation to say something positive to everyone “in your path including the parking attendant to the janitor” is a good one. The self-help motivational speakers typically talk of deliberately making yourself offer the greetings as a discipline–sort of gutting it out–until it becomes a habit. However, if you view the parking attendant, janitor, and everyone else as special creation by God, the greetings flow much more naturally and genuinely.

    A third definition of success is the achievement of clearly set goals. If so, the nonmaterial goals should clearly outnumber the material ones. The late Zig Ziglar was fond of saying, “You can have anything you want in life as long as you’re willing to help enough other people get what they want.” Notice his focus on others. Material gain simply becomes the byproduct of helping others. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This dialogue between Sephora and Moses slips by so quickly that many people miss it. The 1950s movie “The Ten Commandments” is clearly a classic. The Blu-Ray disc or a DVD played on a Blu-Ray player still displays crisp images in brilliant color. Director Cecil B. DeMille’s stated intent was to make a movie as close to the Biblical story as possible. It’s worth at least and annual view by everyone.

      Liked by 2 people

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