Who Wrote the Second Set of the Ten Commandments? Exodus 34:27-28 and Deuteronomy 10:1-4

Who Wrote the Second Set of the Ten Commandments? Exodus 34:27-28 and Deuteronomy 10:1-4

Question

After Moses broke the first set of the Ten Commandments who wrote the second set? An atheist told me that Moses did (Ex. 34:27-28) but elsewhere it says God did (Deut. 10:1-4). So is the Bible contradictory?

Answer

Exodus 34:27-28 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant - the Ten Commandments.

Deuteronomy 10:1-4 At that time the Lord said to me, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden chest. I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the chest." So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. The Lord wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And the Lord gave them to me.

Exodus 34 and Deuteronomy 10 are not contradictory. It appears from the fuller context of Exodus 34 that Moses was instructed to write "these words." What words? The ones spoken in the preceding verses (Exodus 34:10-26 - the ceremonial and judicial injunctions, not the ten words of Exodus 20:2-17). Exodus 34:10 states, "Then the Lord said: I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people..." Exodus 34:27 completes the thought of what was instructed to be written by saying, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." So, the verses between Exodus 34:10 and Exodus 34:27 are what was commanded to be written by Moses. According to Deuteronomy 10:1-4, God himself made the second inscription of the Ten Commandments.

Related Links:

The Ten Commandments - Exodus 20:1-17

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).