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Answering The Atheist
November 14, 2004 / Volume 4, Issue 46

THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Who wrote the second set of the ten commandments? Exodus 34:1 says that God did, while Exodus 34:27-28 says that Moses did. Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
Who wrote the second set of the ten commandments? The Lord did, as both Exodus 34:1 and Exodus 34:28 say. In verse 1, the Lord makes the clear statement, "...I will wrote on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke." The confusion comes when the questioner looks at verse 27-28.

Note, in verse 27, the Lord commands Moses, "Write these words, for according to the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." What words? How about the words from verse 6 through verse 26? It is an assumption on the questioner's part that the ten commandments are meant, and not the words just spoken by God. Should "write these words", not refer to that which was immediately spoken?

It is likewise an assumption by the questioner that the "he" who wrote in verse 28 is Moses. According to verse 1, it was the Lord. According to Deuteronomy 10:2, 4, it was the Lord who wrote the Ten Commandments on the tablets.

God's covenant with Israel was more than the Ten Commandments. The Lord wrote these on the tablets of stone, Moses penned the rest, according to the commandment of God.

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible