|“||Moses is not Egyptian; he's Hebrew, the son of slaves.||„|
|~ Dathan informing Ramses of Moses's true heritage.|
|“||He shows you no land flowing with milk and honey! I show you a calf of gold! Come with me! Follow me!||„|
|~ Dathan attempting to sway the Israelites to his side|
Dathan is the central antagonist of the 1956 film The Ten Commandments.
He was portrayed by Edward G. Robinson.
An Israelite, Dathan began his life in slavery. He was able to ingratiate himself to the master builder Baka, and became a confidant to the builder. After discovering the true heritage of Moses, he informed Ramses in exchange for freedom and being named Governor of Goshen. He was also able to force the water girl Lilia to become his concubine.
He was exiled from Egypt after God killed all the firstborn of Egypt, and quickly set himself up as opposing Moses at just about every turn possible. When the Israelites reached Mount Sinai, Moses disappeared for quite some time. Dathan was able to convince the Israelites to build a golden calf and worship that in the place of God, and lead them into a decadent orgy.
When Moses came back down from the mountain, he confronted Dathan and the others who had turned from God. Exclaiming that those who would not live by the law would die by the law, Moses hurled the tablets containing the Commandments at the golden calf, causing it to catch on fire. The ground opened up beneath the calf, swallowing it, Dathan and his followers whole. Even with Dathan dead, God decided not to bring the people into the land he had set aside for them until 40 years had passed.