I loved the depiction of the Exodus in Dreamworks' The Prince of Egypt with Val Kilmer as a seriously badass Moses and Patrick Stewart as the Egyptian emperor that orders the death of the Hewbrew babies. It's an epic story no doubt.
How do these character story's end in the Bible? I remember as a kid being crushed that Moses didn't get to enter the promise land. I remember feeling he deserved a mulligan for God's sake! The man was brilliant, but had a speech impediment, and thought he was a simpleton until a buring bush explained to him otherwise.
So he got cocky in his old age! Shouldn't we be allotted that after growing old to a life well spent? I guess not, according to the story. Because that's what it's starting to sound like isn't it? It is to me and I am a writer so I feel I can "spot it out" when I see it.
God's mercy, in Moses' case, was not a pardon, but a sentence replacement. We're witholding the death pentaly for past good behaviour including, but limited to: the freedom of the Hewbrew slaves and your extensive work on Mount Sinai, but we're still giving you 110 years to life.
Did someone at least sneak him some of the milk and honey? NO MILK AND HONEY FOR YOU!
From a literary perspective the narrative feels like the traditional sudden tragic ending. Moses was so close to their ultimate goal as free slaves, but at the end just "fell short." It reminds me of the end of Romeo and Juliet where if the timing were just a little differen't they would have been able to be together as Juliet was not actually dead!
For some reason some consumers of fiction want to be suddenly jolted by a twist and the end of the story, sometimes even if it's not really that logical, just so much as it makes the reader, or watcher, feel "tricked" for the majority of the story. I real "AH MAN!" moment I guess. It's never been my taste.
M Night Shyamalan's The Village is a perfect example of a product aimed at the demographic I am describing. The end becomes the reason for making the the entire story which leaves me feeling cheated afterward.
Anyway, Moses isn't the only Bible Character that does a LOAD of good and "falls short" at some point at the end of their story. If you count them on your fingers I bet you'll get to your second hand at least.
It makes me think that maybe these "epic ends" are actually just myths concocted by literary artists. The imagery used in Moses' account could easily be used to interpret as allegory or something similar.
Maybe if Moses ever got to defend himself he'd get to tell us all it didn't "go down" quite like the way it's written down. He might tell us that some stories, or aspects of them, were just embellishment put in to be part of various cultural brands. It seems logical that people would feel that sometimes the truth, that they know, just doesn't have enough "lessons" in it and they need artists to come in and sprikle their truth without losing the spirit of what actually transpired.