Moses and the Ten Commandments
Everyone knows that Moses was the leader of his people and that the Lord had instructed him to climb Mount Sinai where he received the ten commandments. Most people believe that the commandments that Moses recited to his people and which are listed in Exodus Chapter 20 are the ten commandments that were written on the stone tablets that Moses broke. The commandments in Exodus chapter 20 were never written by the Lord or inscribed on stone tablets as is commonly thought.
The Lord actually wrote the commandments listed in Exodus Chapter 34:1 on the original stone tablets and gave them to Moses. Moses broke the tablets and for some inexplicable reason recited the commandments listed in Exodus chapter 20 to his people.
It was at a later time when he had ascended Mount Sinai that the Lord gave Moses two tablets of stone on which the Lord had written the ten commandments by hand (Exodus 31:18). Even though the Lord had told him before descending the mountain that his people were worshiping a golden calf (Exodus 32:7-8), when he actually saw them he destroyed the most sacred and precious things ever given to mankind before anyone else had a chance to see them. We know exactly what was written on the first set of tablets because in Exodus 34:1 the Lord said to Moses; Cut two tables of stone like the first; and I will write upon the tables the words that were on the first tables, which you broke.
So that the second set of tablets contained exactly the same words as the first set of tablets. These tablets were then placed in the Ark of the Covenant for safe keeping. Since Moses did not recite the commandments that were written on the first or second set of tablets, the people continued to believe that the commandments that he had recited originally were the ten commandments. To this day, most people do not realize that the commandments in Exodus Chapter 20 were never written on the stone tablets but were only recited by Moses. The Lord's ten commandments, as written on both the first and second sets of tablets, can be found in Exodus Chapter 34.
To see both sets of commandments - -