Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Which Ten?

Take a close look and read Exodus 34. Moses is writing the new tablets after he broke the first ones. God speaks to Moses and says all these things:

1. Do not serve foreign gods.
2. Do not make molten gods.
3. Observe the Festival of Matzos.
4. Redemption of the Firstborns.
5. No working on the seventh day.
6. Festival of Weeks.
7. Festival of the Harvest.
8. Do not sacrifice the offering with chametz or leave it until morning.
9. The first fruits are to be given to the House of God.
10. Do not cook a kid in its mother's milk.

Then after God finished he says, 34:27 - "...'Write these words for yourself, for according to these words have I sealed a covenant with you and Israel." And Moses, 34:28 - "wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments."

So...are these ten the real Ten Commandments since the first were broken?


Sarah said...

It's definitely interesting, although it is a slight problem with the text considering it also says at the beginning of the perek that he should write what was written on the first ones. Did you point it out just for interest's sake, or are you considering certain repercussions stemming from this "new set"?

I'd argue that it even makes sense in the context -- the last set was much more morality based overall, and then the nation sinned and served a calf in place of God, hence the new set focuses much more on their relationship with God.

Orthoprax said...


I just found it interesting. Maybe it is evidence of split texts? Maybe the Tablets were inscribed on both sides with one set of commandments on one side, the other on the other. Maybe each Tablet held one whole set.

Or maybe it's just an instance of poor grammar and poor composition of these passages giving us the wrong understanding of what the author is trying to tell us.