World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
Moses Makes New Tablets
The Lord said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets, which you broke.
1. And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone Although the renewal of the broken covenant was ratified by this pledge or visible symbol, still, lest His readiness to pardon should produce indifference, God would have some trace of their punishment remain, like a scar that continues after the wound is healed. In the first tables there had been no intervention of man’s workmanship; for God had delivered them to Moses engraven by His own secret power. A part of this great dignity is now withdrawn, when Moses is commanded to bring tables polished by the hand of man, on which God might write the Ten Commandments. Thus the ignominy of their crime was not altogether effaced, whilst nothing was withheld which might be necessary or profitable for their salvation. For nothing was wanting which might be a testimony of God’s grace, or a recommendation of the Law, so that they should receive it with reverence; they were only humbled by this mark, that the stones to which God entrusted His covenant were not fashioned by His hand, nor the produce of the sacred mount. The conceit by which some expound it, — that the Jews were instructed by this sign that the Law was of no effect, unless they should offer their stony hearts to God for Him to inscribe it upon them, — is frivolous; for the authority of Paul rather leads us the other way, where he fitly and faithfully interprets this passage, and compares the Law to a dead and deadly letter, because it was only engraven on tables of stone, whereas the doctrine of salvation requires “the fleshy tables of the heart.” (2 Corinthians 3:3.)