Question:

I have been reading the Old Testament and I am confused as to Exodus 20 and Exodus 34 where there are two sets of the ten commandments God gave Moses.The second set is different from the first set. In Exodus 34 God said to use the same words given to Moses as it was in the first set of commandments, yet they are different. Could you clarify this for me please?


Answer:

"And the LORD said to Moses, "Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke"" (Exodus 34:1).

While Moses chiseled out the tablets, it was God who wrote the commandments onto the stones. What follows is a discussion God has with Moses concerning the covenant He is making with Israel and some of the consequences of that covenant. Nothing is said that this is what was written down on the stone by God. Moses was to record the discussion because it helped to explain the covenant God wrote on the tablets. "Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write these words, for according to the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel"" (Exodus 34:27). Moses then remained on the mountain while God wrote the commandments on stone. "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 34:28).

Not to argue but it clearly states in Exodus 34:1 that God will write on the second tablet the words -- the Ten Commandments -- from the first set that Moses broke, yet they are not the same commandments. Please give me clarification. It is very confusing. I have reread over and over.

Let's try again. God wrote out a copy of the Ten Commandments on two tablets of stones that He had Moses supply. While that work was going on, God discussed the Ten Commandments, the implications, and some other laws. This discussion God told Moses to record. It does not say that the discussion in Exodus 34 was recorded on the tablets.