Posts Tagged ‘Mount Sinai’

Fifteen Commandments

August 8, 2011

It’s not widely known that when Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he originally had fifteen commandments.

Actually Mel Brooks and almost everyone else have gotten it wrong. The Bible describes the tablets on which the commandments.

15 Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. (Exodus 32:15-16)

10 The LORD gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. On them were all the commandments the LORD proclaimed to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly.

11 At the end of the forty days and forty nights, the LORD gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant. (Deuteronomy 9:10-11)

Most people picture the two tablets as having some of the commandments written on one and the rest on the other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But it’s more probable that the two tablets were identical copies. The custom at that time and place was that if two people made an agreement or covenant, two copies were made and each party kept a copy. The ten commandments were a covenant between the Lord and the Israelites. Both copies were kept in the Ark of the Covenant. The clip is still funny, though.

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