Exodus 34:10-27 and the 10 Commandments

Status
Not open for further replies.

Quickened

Puritan Board Senior
Hi PBers! Long time no see!

Anyways I am at work and I don't have access to my notes/library/bibles/etc.

Someone brought up Exodus 34:10 as a contradiction to the original 10 commandments that Moses received.

They see

And the LORD said to Moses, “Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

(Exodus 34:27-28 ESV)

and note that the wording and language of the commands has changed leading up to this. How Can i address this? Just want to grease the gears before I get home and jump into some books. (also working)

Thanks and excuse the poor formatting.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Seems rather weak as an objection. Why does the questioner think that the previous (how many?) 16vv contains ten commandments (seems like rather more than that), or even an "new" Ten Commandments?

Claiming that this is a whole new "set" is a contention that should be proven, rather than simply asserted.

vv10-25 is much more than a new-Ten commandments. For one thing, the Ten Commandments (Ex.20) are only the cornerstone of a whole raft of laws based on the Ten, that follow them from Ex.20:22-23:33. Nor is the whole legislation received at Sinai in only those chapters.

So, in fact what is given in 34:10-25 are restatement and condensation of some four previous chapters (20-23), to say nothing of the particulars of the Tabernacle that come in between.

Thus, v27, "...according to the tenor of these words..." (NKJ) or as you quote above, "...in accordance with these words I have made my covenant with you and Israel." In other words, the covenant-essence remains unchanged, despite Israel's wicked betrayal in ch.32.

And the end of v28 is a kind of underlining of that unchanged-status, because He (God) rewrites the moral cornerstone of the Law in the Ten Words, a replacement for the shattered tablets from the first go-round. There is no "new" set, no alternate list. And suggesting it is so is frankly an obtuse and ignorant read of a lengthy and complex text. It is a kind of a-contextual cherry-picking of the material, and reveals an apriori attitude of indifference to reading the text as received.
 
Last edited:

Quickened

Puritan Board Senior
Hi Bruce,

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I do appreciate it. Since I have a bit of time before I must start working I can elaborate. The person is an ex believer and made mention that they just noticed that what is listed in Exodus 20 differs from what is listed in Exodus 34. The mentality or line of thinking goes like:

Read Exodus 20:1-17

I am Yahweh your god; you shall not have other gods before my face!
You shall not make for yourself a statue or an image.
You shall not swear falsely by the name Yahweh, your god
Remember the Sabbath day.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet you neighbor’s house.

and then Exodus 34:14-26

You shall not bow down to another god; for Yahweh is a jealous god!

You shall not make molten gods for yourself.

You shall observe the festival of Unleavened bread.

You shall redeem every first born of your sons!

You shall observe the Sabbath.

You shall make a festival of Weeks.

Three times a year every male shall appear before Yahweh, god of Israel.

You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice on leavened bread.

You shall bring the firstfruits of your land to the house of Yahweh your god.

You shall not cook a kid in its mother’s milk.

The individual in question sees this as an apparent contradiction. They read Exodus 34 as Moses needing to get those stone tablets out and create them again. When they read the text they would see Moses putting different words as shown above on the tablets. They see "Write down these words" in verse 27 as instruction to write down the words that God just spoke with Moses in verses 10 through 26.

Now that I am thinking about it I am seeing something different here. The first verse reads

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

To me this indicates that God's plan at this point is to make a replica of what we saw in Exodus 20. What I am seeing is that Moses chiseled out two tablets just like the first ones in verse 4. If memory serves correct God wrote the commandments Himself. This changes the next go around which we see here. The dialogue seems to indicate merely more expectations on top of the basic 10 commandments. To me verse 27 is a command to write down additional laws for the people of Israel just like what you said here

vv10-25 is much more than a new-Ten commandments. For one thing, the Ten Commandments (Ex.20) are only the cornerstone of a whole raft of laws based on the Ten, that follow them from Ex.20:22-23:33

Am I right to say we would see the recreation of the tablets to Exo 20 standards summarized here in verse 4?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Brian,
In short, yes.

You don't get the first 40 days mentioned until Ex.24:18. The original two tablets aren't mentioned until 24:12 and 31:18. So, one cannot read the first Ten Commandment announcement (Ex.20:1-17) in isolation from the following chapters. And in those chapters, you have various references like:

Ex.23:19 The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.

Ex.34:26 The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.​

How much more evidence would be necessary to convince a fair-minded person that he has to read Ex.34 in light of Ex.20-31, and especially in light of Ex.32-33, in which the people break the original covenant, and then because of Moses' mediation and Jehovah's grace, he reestablishes his covenant.

Note that God does not insist that the people all come near again, go through all that ch.19 rigmarole, and be forced to LISTEN to God's thundering, terrifying announcements a second time. He only has Moses re-receive the restored (from being broken, literally and figuratively) tablets.

Finally, what about Dt.5, 6-21? 40yrs later Moses rehearses the law for the people at the end of their wilderness experience. What does he repeat? Ex.20:1-17.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top