Prophet Joseph — episodes forty-one and forty-two


Synopsis. Joseph and Asenath pay a visit to Zuleikha and find that she is still deep in prayer. Asenath says she isn’t jealous that Joseph will be getting a second wife soon, but she says she does covet Zuleikha’s spiritual growth. Meanwhile, Joseph’s brothers split up into groups of two or three and enter Thebes by different gates, to avoid being detected — but they are spotted anyway and taken back to the palace. Joseph reveals his identity to Benjamin but tells him to keep it a secret. Joseph tells Asenath he has to find a way to keep Benjamin in Egypt so that their father, Jacob, can give up his sons and get them back the same way Abraham almost sacrificed one of his sons, only to get him back. The brothers leave Thebes and begin to make their way back to Canaan, but Joseph’s soldiers ride out and accuse the brothers of stealing a golden chalice.

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Prophet Joseph — episodes thirty-nine and forty


Synopsis. The once-bald priests of Amon, now hairy and bearded after their stint in prison, are summoned to the court of Akhenaten. Joseph speaks to the Egyptians in the building that used to be Amon’s temple, and, seeing Rudamon in the crowd, tells the officer to stay by his side from here on. Joseph’s wife Asenath discovers who Zuleikha is and confronts Joseph with the fact that the woman who once owned him has become a beggar while he ignored her. An angel appears to Joseph and tells him he must marry Zuleikha. Zuleikha is brought before the court and, after Joseph prays to God, both Zuleikha’s sight and her youth are restored to her. The chief priest of Amon, who has experience tricking people into believing that gods have acted, refuses to believe that the miracle is genuine, but at least one priest does believe. Zuleikha goes to another room with the women, and tells them that — surprise! — she doesn’t want to see Joseph right now. Instead, she wants to be alone with God for now.

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“Hollywood’s highest-ranking Evangelical Christian” — and a key figure in the Bible-movie revival — leaves Paramount


From Darren Aronofsky’s Noah to Timur Bekmambetov’s Ben-Hur, if there was any major Hollywood studio that committed itself to the recent Bible-movie revival, it was Paramount. (Fox came a close second by producing Exodus: Gods and Kings and distributing Son of God.) And Paramount owed its interest in the genre partly to the fact that its vice chairman, Rob Moore, was an evangelical Christian.

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Prophet Joseph — episodes thirty-seven and thirty-eight


Synopsis. The sons of Jacob embark on their journey to Egypt, leaving their wives, children, and their brother Benjamin behind with their father. They are also accompanied by some Canaanites. Joseph visits some of the land that has fallen into the Egyptian government’s possession and tells Malek they should divide it among farmers who don’t have any land. The brothers arrive in Egypt and try to buy grain. Joseph is alerted to their presence, and he has them ushered into the palace — much to the chagrin of Horemheb, who doesn’t like seeing these lowly shepherds there — but Joseph does not meet the brothers in person. Joseph tells his wife Asenath that his brothers deserve punishment but he forgave them long ago. Zuleikha, at home with her dilapidated idols, prays to Joseph’s God and asks if God will listen to her.

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Prophet Joseph — episodes thirty-five and thirty-six


Synopsis. The Egyptian army, led by Horemheb, returns home after years of fighting against the Amorites. The priests of Amon get into an argument with Joseph while lining up for grain and inadvertently reveal that the temple of Amon has less wealth than it used to. In Canaan, Jacob teaches his grandchildren about the prophets. Back in Egypt, Joseph says it is time to act against the priests and make monotheism the official religion of Egypt. Egyptians begin arguing in the street about Joseph’s reforms and a fight breaks out, resulting in the death of a monotheist. Joseph teaches an Egyptian crowd that they should worship a God who is superior to them, and he says gods made of stone and wood cannot be superior to humans. Padiamun, one of the priests, leads an attack against one of the granaries but it is thwarted by Joseph, who wounds Padiamun personally. The priests retreat to their temple in the city.

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Box office: Ben-Hur is one of the summer’s biggest flops


Ben-Hur turned out to be an even bigger flop than many people expected this week.

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