To the editors:
Although one well might quarrel with Jonathan Rosenbaum's analysis of The Ten Commandments [April 6] on various levels, factually speaking he has made at least one error. First, and foremost, Edward G. Robinson's character's name was Dathan not Nathan as the opening credits clearly attest.
Secondly, in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 16, and in Psalm 105:18, we read that "the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan and covered over the congregation of Abiron." Now the Scriptures record this event as occurring after leaving Mt. Sinai in the wilderness. Is it not possible that De Mille took this episode of disobedience by Dathan and his party against Moses and moved it to the foot of Mt. Sinai?
Jonathan Rosenbaum replies:
Vaseili Doukas seems to be right on both counts. I originally took Edward G. Robinson's character's name to be Dathan, but when I saw that the film's pressbook identified him as Nathan, I wrongly assumed that my notes were in error. Thanks for clearing this matter up.