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(KJV) Deutoronomy 10:1-4

1 At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. 2 And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark. 3 And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. 4 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.

(KJV) Exodus 34:27

27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.

In Exodus it seems Moses wrote the second set of tablets but in Deutoronomy it was the finger of God that did it.

How can we understand the seemingly contradictory texts above?

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4 Answers 4

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Since it is a covenant between two parties, I take it that Moses wrote, in confirmation - in his own handwriting - the same ten commandments as the Lord had written with his own finger.

In Exodus 24:7 the Lord says specifically that after the tenor of these words He has made a covenant with Moses, and with the children of Israel. He states the fact of the covenant and the two parties write down - each in their own handwriting - the agreed terms of the covenant.

Then the two copies - I assume the two tables are two copies - are kept in storage, archived, as a record of the agreement. One copy for each party to the agreement, I assume.

In Deuteronomy, the incident is being viewed from a different aspect and I take it that the matter of Moses' participation is not, therefore, mentioned.

Thus I do not, personally, see any contradiction in the two accounts, which deal with different aspects of the same transaction. Both accounts state that the Lord wrote with his finger (Deut 10:2 and Exodus 34:1) but only one mentions the writing by Moses (Exodus 34:28).

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Currently, you've given only a conjecture that Moses was the one who wrote upon the tablets in Exodus 34:28. If you were however to compare the imperfect tenses of the verbs in verses 27-28, you might find that because the latter tense('And he wrote') matches the former tense(i.e. God speaking to Moses), that they therefore imply the same subject in both. As for what he commanded Moses to write in verse 27, I am of the opinion that it were the verses that preceded it, namely, verses 10-26.

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One possible reconciliation of the Ex.34 account of the writing of the 2nd tablets and the Duet 10 account is that as God the Father created the heavens and the earth by the Son's agency and God wrote the Bible through the apostles and prophets and other holy men of God, so in this case God wrote the 2nd set of 10 commandments, as it says in Duet. 10, but He did it through Moses as it states in Ex. 34. There may be no definitive answer that satisfies everyone but this seems to make sense at least to me. thanks, Rob J./ Maine USA

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Answer

Both the first and the second sets of tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments were written by the Almighty God Himself.

Moses has no role in the writing.

Not only in the first Covenant, even in the second and better Covenant, the Ten Commandments are written by God Himself – this time on the tablets of hearts and minds of believers.

Apostles have no role in the writing.

Explanation

The holy Scripture is very plain and clear. Let us not twist it.

The First Set of Tablets by God

In the first set which Moses threw down and broke, God both a) prepared the tablets of stone and b) wrote the 10C.

“And when He finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave to Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God” (Exo 31:18).

Clearly Moses has no role in the creation of tablets and the writing of the 10C.

“And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God; it was engraved on the tablets” (Exo 32:16).

Notice it!

The Scripture is very clear; in the first set, Moses had no role even in the making of the tablets of stone, let alone in the writing! See Deut 9:9: he simply “received” them. Verse 11 also says the same thing.

“And He declared His covenant to you which He has commanded you to do, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone” (Deut 4:13).

Who wrote the 10C?

God wrote them; not Moses.

“Jehovah spoke these Words to all your assembly on the Mount, out of the midst of the fire of the cloud and out of the thick darkness with a great voice. And He added no more; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone, and gave them to me” (Deut 5:22).

Who wrote? God wrote; not Moses. The Scripture is consistent so far.

“and Jehovah gave to me the two tablets of stone written with the finger of God” (Deut 9:10).

Moses didn’t write the 10C.

The Second Set of Tablets by God

In the second set, Moses prepared the tablets of stone but God Himself wrote the 10C.

“And Jehovah said to Moses, Cut out for yourself two tablets of stone, like the former. And I will write on the tablets the words which were on the former tablet, which you broke” (Exo 34:1).

Moses prepared the tablets of stone this time (see verse 4), but God Himself wrote the 10C.

“At that time Jehovah said to me, Cut out for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, ………. and I shall write on the tablets the words which were on the first tablets, which you have broken, ………….. And He wrote on the tablets according to the writing, the Ten Commandments which Jehovah had spoken to you in the mountain, out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. And Jehovah gave them to me” (Deut 10: 1-4).

Moses prepared the tablets of stone but it is God who wrote the 10C.

Exodus 34:27

Then what about Exo 34:27?

Does it say Moses wrote the 10C?

The answer is No.

“And Jehovah said to Moses, Write these words for yourself, for on the mouth of these words I will cut a covenant (i.e., the Ten Commandments) with you and with Israel”.

What are “these words” upon the witness of which God is going to make the 10C binding on Israel?

“These words” are given from verse 11 to 26 which talks about several statutes and laws like the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, rules of first-borns and first fruits etc.

These, Moses wrote in the “Book of the Law” but God Himself wrote the 10C.

“And He (Jehovah) wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments” (verse 28).

What about the New Covenant?

Not only in the first Covenant, but even in the second and better Covenant, it is God Himself who writes the Ten Commandments on the minds and hearts of the believers.

“But this shall be the covenant that I will cut with the house of Israel: After those days, declares Jehovah, I will put My Law (the same law written on the tablets of stone) in their inward parts, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jer 31:33).

See, even in the second new Covenant, it is again God Himself who is writing the 10C through the Holy Spirit; that task is not given to any apostles, not even to the inner circle of the Twelve who received the keys of the Kingdom of God!

Apostle Paul says the same thing:

“it having been made plain that you are Christ's letter, served by us, not having been inscribed by ink, but by the Spirit of the living God, not in tablets of stone, but in fleshly tablets of the heart” (2 Cor 3:3).

Undoubtedly, since the “tablets of stone” and “fleshly tablets” are mentioned together side by side, it is very clear that even in the second and new Covenant, God Himself is writing the same Ten Commandments in the fleshly tablets of heart and mind. It is not engraved with any ink but by the Holy Spirit.

No apostles can write that.

Conclusion

The Scripture is consistent; God wrote the Ten Commandments on the tablets of stone in the first contract. The same God writes the same Ten Commandments on the tablets of hearts and minds through the Holy Spirit in the second contract.

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