And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Isaiah 8:17

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Commandments were on the Tablets?

Painting by Rembrandt

The King James Bible (KJV), translated from the Hebrew of the Masoretic text (MT), says that the writing on the second set of stone tablets was the SAME as God had written on the first set of tablets, which Moses broke.  

 Exodus 34: 1, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon [these] tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.

Joseph Smith added new information when he did the Inspired Translation (JST) of the Bible, both in Exodus and in Deuteronomy.  The JST changes are in italics.
JST Exodus 34:1–2
 1 And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two other tables of stone, like unto the first, and I will write upon them also, the words of the law, according as they were written at the first on the tables which thou brakest; but it shall not be according to the first, for I will take away the priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order, and the ordinances thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in their midst, lest I destroy them.
 2 But I will give unto them the law as at the first, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment; for I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my presence, into my rest, in the days of their pilgrimage. Therefore do as I have commanded thee, and be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me, in the top of the mount. 

JST Deuteronomy 10:1-4 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. 
2.  And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, save the words of the everlasting covenant of the holy priesthood, and thou shalt put them in the ark. 
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. 
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 

John A. Tvedtnes has written an excellent article about this called "The Higher and Lesser Laws"; it is available at the Neal A Maxwell Institute Website (aka FARMS).

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