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Monday, April 1 2019

A Bible Journey, 163: The Tables That Burst

"As soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount"

As shown above, the King James Version uses "brake" to describe what Moses did with the first set of the tables of stone upon which the LORD wrote His Ten Commandments (see A Bible Journey, 70: The Christian Ten Commandments and the Fact Finder question below).

"Brake" was used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced shaw-bar, that means to burst. "Burst" means to "Come open suddenly and violently, as if from internal pressure" or "Force out or release suddenly and often violently something pent up" (from The WordWeb Dictionary at Princeton University). From that literal meaning, "Moses brake" also describes Moses' angry outburst as much as it does the shattering of the tables of stone themselves. Upon seeing the outrageous behavior of the people, Moses "cracked up" too.

Mount Sinai

The first written copy of The Ten Commandments existed for only about a month. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai (see A Bible Journey, 69: The Camp At Mount Sinai), he found many of the Israelites running wild in heathen idolatry (see A Bible Journey, 82: The Golden Calf Riot).

"32:15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. 32:16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

32:17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.

32:18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

32:19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount." (Exodus 32:15-19 KJV)

The Sinai

Moses later returned up on Mount Sinai where the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) gave him the second copy of The Ten Commandments.

The Word of God was the same on both sets; the LORD wrote both of them. The only difference was that the LORD carved the first set of stone tables, while Moses was required to carve second set - which makes it very likely that the craftsmanship of the first set was of much greater quality.

"10:1 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. 10:2 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.

10:3 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. 10:4 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. 10:5 And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me." (Deuteronomy 10:1-5 KJV)

The Holy Bible often has inset chapters that provide collateral information when it is most relevant.

"10:6 And the children of Israel took their journey from Beeroth of the children of Jaakan to Mosera: there Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered in the priest's office in his stead.

10:7 From thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of rivers of waters.

10:8 At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day. 10:9 Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him." (Deuteronomy 10:6-9 KJV)

The riot at Mount Sinai was not the event that caused the LORD to reject that generation from entry into the Promised Land (that would come later - see A Bible Journey, 154: How The Rebellion Changed History and A Bible Journey, 155: Their Journey Back To Egypt Today) - thanks again to Moses, who unselfishly pleaded for their forgiveness (see A Bible Journey, 162: How The Nation Of Israel Almost Became The Nation Of Moses).

"10:10 And I stayed in the mount, according to the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also, and the LORD would not destroy thee. 10:11 And the LORD said unto me, Arise, take thy journey before the people, that they may go in and possess the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give unto them." (Deuteronomy 10:10-11 KJV)

The elder generation of the Israelites nevertheless continued in their rebellion, more and more, until it culminated in their refusal to enter the Promised Land (again see A Bible Journey, 154: How The Rebellion Changed History). The offer of salvation and deliverance was then transferred to their children and grandchildren, some of whom were not even yet born at the time of the Exodus or the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai (see A Bible Journey, 158: God's Law To The Children and A Bible Journey, 159: Who Knows The Way To The Land Of Milk And Honey?).

"10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 10:13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. 10:15 Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: 10:18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. 10:19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. 10:21 He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. 10:22 Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude." (Deuteronomy 10:12-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did the tables of stone upon which The Ten Commandments were written actually look like? Why is it that if they were fastened to a wall (as they are popularly portrayed) that only half of the Commandments could be read?
See Turning The Tables


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This Day In History

This Day In History, April 1

286: The accession of Maximian, Roman emperor 286-310 AD (see The Roman Emperors: Domitian and The Roman Emperors: Julius Caesar and The Roman Republic and The Roman Empire and The Founding Of Rome: The Curious Tale Of Romulus and Remus).

Romulus and Remus

325: Jin Chengdi, at age 4, succeeded his father Jin Mingdi as emperor of China's Jin Dynasty (see also The First Chinese American War).


457: As the military "superpower" (see The Two Super Commandments to understand the origin of the word "super") Roman Empire was collapsing from its moral rot and corruption (see What Happens To A Nation When God's Law Is Forsaken?), the Roman army proclaimed Majorian as emperor. The Roman Empire was superseded by Germany (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

527: Byzantine Emperor Justin I declared his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne.

Byzantine Empire

1204: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and England, died.

1564: All Fools Day (in France) is said to have originated when King Charles IX of France changed the calendar on this date. Before the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar (see Pope Gregory's Calendar; also The Antichrist Calendar), April 1 was observed as New Year's Day by cultures as varied as the Roman and the Hindu.

1578: English physician William Harvey discovered blood circulation.

1621: The first colonial treaty with "Indians" (early explorers thought that they had landed in India - and so erroneously named the native people "Indians") in North America was signed between Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags, and English Pilgrims on behalf of James I at Strawberry Hill, Massachusetts (see also The First Chinese American War).

1665: The Great Plague hit London (see also Leviticus 13: Bacteria).

1734: Canada's first lighthouse began operating, at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.

1875: The Times of London was the first newspaper to print a daily weather chart.

1778: According to U.S. legend, Oliver Pollock, a New Orleans businessman, reportedly created the dollar "$" sign (the dollar itself originated, in Europe, long before; see The Birth Of The Dollar).

1918: During the First World War (1914-1918; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Force merged to form the Britain's Royal Air Force (see also Who Was The First To Fly?).

1920: The German Worker's Party changed its name to the National Socialist German Worker's Party - Nazi.

1924: Adolf Hitler was sentenced to 5 years in jail for high treason (a strange charge because Hitler was born in Austria, not Germany - his citizenship was settled only after he came to power and invaded Austria, declaring it part of Germany) after his failed 1923 putsch. He was released December 20 of the same year (see Why Does Satan Love Liars? and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion; see also Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?).

1924: The Royal Canadian Air Force was established.

1925: British statesman Arthur James Balfour dedicated Hebrew University on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration).

British Military Cemetery In Jerusalem

1933: The Nazi government ordered a boycott of businesses owned by Jews and seized their bank accounts (see also Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings).

1937: The new constitution providing separation of Burma from India went into effect.

1939: Francisco Franco declared the end of the Spanish Civil War.

1948: The Berlin blockade began when the Russians began checking all road and rail traffic between Berlin and the Western Zones. The Berlin Airlift began in response to the blockade. The Russian occupation of Germany at the end of the Second World War (1939-1945) was a counterattack to Germany's invasion of Russia in which millions of Russians died; see Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).

Invasion of Russia

1952: The "Big Bang" theory of creation was first published (see The Holy Spirit In History and Prophecy: The Creation Of Matter And Man).


1976: Apple Inc. was established by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne.

1979: Iran became an Islamic Republic by a 99% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah, a U.S.-backed dictator.

1997: Comet Hale-Bopp passed perihelion (the point in the orbit of a planet or comet where it is nearest to the sun).

1999: Nunavut was established as a Canadian territory, becoming a separate part of the Northwest Territories.


2001: A U.S. Navy spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet that was challenging it near the Chinese coast (imagine what would happen if a Chinese military aircraft flew the same way along the U.S. coast). The Chinese plane and pilot were lost, while the U.S. spy plane made an emergency unauthorized landing on a nearby Chinese military base where the U.S. crew was taken into custody before being released almost 2 weeks later (see also The First Chinese American War).




Copyright © Wayne Blank