The Shepherd Makes a Prophet

By Stan Peal


God commands Moses to lead his people out of Egypt, but Moses is afraid he might fail. (A paraphrase of Exodus three and four with modern language and a touch of comedy.)


MOSES - A shepherd, played like an old comic Jewish character a la Billy Crystal or Jackie Mason.
VOICE - An offstage voice, the voice of God.


(Moses enters with a bucket of water, begins yelling at the sheep, out toward the congregation.)

MOSES. Hey you! Sheep number thirty-six! Get away from there. Yeah, you! We came out here to graze, not monkey around, now knock it off. Stifle yourself. Eat some grass. And you, number twelve, I told you no smoking! Youíre gonnaÖ wait a minute, thatís a bush. Hey! You sheep. Get away from there. Thereís a fire in the bushes! I got some water! Donít worry! Fire in the bushes! Fire in the bushes!

VOICE. Donít throw that!

MOSES. Ahh! Who said that!?

VOICE. I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.

MOSES. Youíre gonna be the God of Third Degree Burns if you donít get out of there. Youíre in the fire.

VOICE. I am the fire.

MOSES. You are the fire.

VOICE. Take of your shoes.

MOSES. Howís that?

VOICE. Take off your shoes, Moses. Youíre standing on holy ground.

MOSES. Uh, with all due respect, I got a little fungus. And let me tell you, the smell, Zippora wonít even let me take off my shoes in theÖ

VOICE. Take off your shoes!

MOSES. Right. Taking off the shoes.

VOICE. Moses, the Israelites are miserable in Egypt. They suffer greatly under their oppressors. I want to free them from Egypt and take them to a land of milk and honey where they will prosper.

MOSES. That is a great idea. That is brilliant. Now thatís why youíre God and Iím just a shepherd. Thatís why you make the big decisions and I just take care of the sheep and make sure they donítÖ Hey! Hey you! What did I tell you before? Get away from there! Ö yes sir, bringing the slaves out of Egypt, brilliant idea.

VOICE. Iím glad you think so. I want you to go get them.

MOSES. Öhuh?

VOICE. Go talk to the Pharoah and tell him to free the slaves. Tell the Israelites they are to follow you out of Egypt.



MOSES. Um, excuse me, butÖ who am I?

VOICE. You speak for me. For the God of Israel. They will listen. Then you must convince the Pharoah.

MOSES. Oh, thatíll be easy.

VOICE. No it wonít. But Iíll be there with you.

MOSES. You got the wrong guy! Iím just a shepherd. I donít have the right background.. or the right, you knowÖ education. I got no credibility, no status, no what do you call, charisma. I donít have a plan, I donít haveÖ I donít haveÖ look. You got the wrong guy, I canít do it. I just canít do it.

VOICE. You can. You just wonít. Because youíre afraid.

MOSES. AfrÖ you think Iím afraid? I ainít afraid of nothing! You know why I live out here? I used to be in Egypt. But I killed one of them sons ofÖ I ainít afraid of nobody. Iím just, look, Iím not good in front of people, you know? I mean, I donít talk so good, I donít say the right stuff. Okay maybe Iím a littleÖ alright, Iím afraid to talk in front of people ... okay, Iím afraid. Theyíre not going to listen to me, who am I? Iím just a shepherd. Who ever heard of Moses? Iím afraid. Iím just a shepherd.

VOICE. Moses. Iíll be with you. I promise. You can take your brother with you. Do this for me. Do this for my people.

MOSES. Ö okay... okayÖ

VOICE. Ö and Moses?

MOSES. Yeah?

VOICE. Please put your shoes back on.

MOSES. You got it!

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