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Tablets Of Stone

The tablets of stone, upon which were written The Ten Commandments, were given by The Lord (see The Logos and Rock Of Ages) to Moses on Mount Sinai, early in the Wilderness Journey after the Exodus. The Bible does not record their precise dimensions, however it's unlikely that they were (are, actually) quite as large as is often portrayed in traditional Christian art - with a single cubic foot of granite weighing over 160 pounds, and limestone and sandstone nearly as much, Moses simply would not have able to lift and carry, not just one, but two, of the "tombstone" sized tablets as sometimes portrayed. They were probably somewhat smaller than shown in the illustration below.

Moses The First Set

"Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw The God of Israel. Under His feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. But God did not raise His hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank."

"The Lord said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction."

"Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. He said to the elders, "Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them."

"When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of The Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day The Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of The Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights." (Exodus 24:9-18)

"When The Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God." (Exodus 31:18)

"Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets."

"When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, "There is the sound of war in the camp."

"Moses replied: "It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear."

"When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. And he took the calf they had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it." (Exodus 32:15-20)

The Second Set

"The Lord said to Moses, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain."

"So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as The Lord had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. Then The Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed His Name, The Lord. And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The Lord, The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." (Exodus 34:1-7)

"Moses was there with The Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant - the Ten Commandments."

"When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with The Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands The Lord had given him on Mount Sinai." (Exodus 34:28-32)

Fact Finder: Where might those tablets of stone be right now?
See Temple Mount Treasures

This Week's Bible Quiz

1. What did God do on the first day of creation?

2. What did God do on the second day of creation?

3. What did God do on the third day of creation?

4. What did God do on the fourth day of creation?

5. What did God do on the fifth day of creation?

6. What did God do on the sixth day of creation?

7. What did God do on the seventh day of creation?

8. What was Cain's occupation?

9. What was Abel's occupation?

10. Who is the first recorded liar?

For the answers to this March 14 2000 2000 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page

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