Another Smith Slap In the Face? A Ten Commandments’ Tale

not to be outdone by her husband, jada pinkett smith’s upcoming netflix series decidedly slaps the entire country of egypt on its face. the docu-series controversy surrounds the depiction of cleopatra being african. apparently, the motivation was not to tell the truth, but rather that ms. pinkett “wanted to be involved in the project because she “really wanted to represent black women.”” in contrast to one’s wishes, there is egyptologist zahi hawass, egypt’s former antiquities minister, who opined that the series is a ” “completely fake” portrayal of the famous queen, who he claims was wholly greek — and “not black.”” mr. hawass accuses ” netflix of “trying to provoke confusion by spreading false and deceptive facts that the origin of the egyptian civilization is black.””

with respect to this controversy, it is interesting to use the torah for perspective. prior to cleopatra, moses is documented as taking on a second wife, a cushite woman. numbers 12:1. the european commentator, rashi, medieval french rabbi, noted that “scripture teaches that everyone acknowledged her beauty just as everyone acknowledges a cushite’s blackness.” the commentator noted that she was depicted as being both beautiful and pleasant. even further, it was noted that “she was called “the cushite” [the ethiopian] on account of her beauty, as a man would call his handsome son “cushite”…”

thus, from the torah’s perspective, and into other parts of the bible, one’s nationality or origin was noted over skin color. further, into medieval times, biblical scholar’s depective black skin color in terms of beauty or handsomeness.

can an argument be made that individuals in antiquity would have perhaps made it a point to discuss cleopatra’s african origins as a reflection of her beauty?

in sum, one must wonder if netflix will place a disclaimer as to the historicity of the series’ assertions? one must acknowledge that actual history, can actually be beautiful.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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