The Two Tablets of the Pact
Beyond The Bible Series
“He (God) gave Moses the two tablets of the Pact, stone tablets inscribed with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18). Have you ever wondered what happened to the two “original” tablets God gave to Moses at Mount Sinai? Most of us are familiar with the adaptation of the “Ten Commandments” in which Moses (Charles Hesston) throws the two tablets against the golden calf and is all consumed by a fiery fire. The earth opens and swallows all the guilty ones. The majority of people still believe that is the way it all happened but it is not. The truth of it is that it is quite different how all turned out to be and of course, it is all in the Bible.
Prior to this fatalistic incident of the golden calf by the Hebrew people at Mount Sinai according to the Scriptures God; is very much communicating back and forth with Moses and the people. In fact, previous chapters to this incident we find that Jethro, the Chief of Midian comes and congratulates his son in-law Moses in his successful journey to Egypt. Moses relates to Jethro all of the great miracles and feats God did to Pharaoh and Egypt, these chapters of Exodus are like a gathering of friends around a campfire retelling stories back and forth over the same themes. Why does Exodus seem to go back and forth telling these themes? It was for our benefit, the future readers. It provides the various oral stories as redundancy for the future reader to have a good perspective of what took place during that time. It came from various people, those who were there, from those that survive the forty year Wilderness and of course, the writings of the Midian people.
Most people do not know that there are “two” set of tablets according to the scriptures. The first set of tablets as recorded in Exodus 31 was issued by God Himself. So let’s look at the meaning and purpose of this event. First, let’s begin with the following, “…thereupon Moses turned and went down from the mountain bearing the two tablets of the Pact, tablets inscribed on both their surfaces: they were inscribed on the one side and on the other. The tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing, incised upon the tablets.” (Exodus 32:15-16). Simply, first, the tablets God gave to Moses had writing on front and back of each tablet, second, the material from which the tablets were written “were not” from the mountain site. The stones from which God wrote the Pact where from another location and not from Mount Sinai. The quandary here is to determine from which area of the earth the stone came from to make the tablets? You can only speculate. Some indications are that the stone in which God inscribed the Pact is the same stone in which Jacob (Israel) placed underneath his head and dreamed of the “ladder to heaven” (Genesis 28:11). The stone underneath the royal throne in England as it is presented today is not Jacob’s stone, sorry!
Another version identifies it as one of the rocks in which Abraham builds an altar to place his son Isaac as a tribute or sacrifice to God at Mount Moriah. These were two stones from the altar in which the sacrificial ram was sacrificed and the future site of God’s Temple in Jerusalem (Genesis 22:2). However, there is another less acceptable version but it is worth mentioning and that is that the stone from which the first set of the tablets of the Pact were inscribed by God were not from this earth but from heaven. Now, this version has its contradictions because to accept it one must recognize that God after all was the key to it all. I am one of those that consider the possibility that it is from heaven because it represented the supremacy and sovereignty of God on his earth. It was to become the “signet” of God’s authority on earth. Most people tend to accept the notion that the two tablets of the Pact are from this earth and not from heaven.
There is no question that the first two tablets were unique in their making and contents. These are the tablets Moses brought down first at the time of the golden calf. The Hollywood version is not really the true outcome of these two tablets. In fact, the Scriptures in Exodus chapter 34 clearly tell us that is God who claims that Moses shattered the first two tablets, yet we read in previous chapters that the tablets were placed outside the camp under a Tent of Meeting (Exodus 33:7). It was placed outside as to be a place of forgiveness and confrontation. The same symbol was used by early Christianity by placing places of worship at outskirts of cities, a place where people would come to plead, pray, and pay homage to God. It was at this site where the “two tablets of the Pact” were placed. Where the first two tablets in various pieces or fragments? Maybe, but I am more inclined to believe that not both of them were shattered but the one referring to the mandates toward man, such as the last five commandments, whereas as the commandments toward God remained intact. How can I attest to this and to the place where the “divine tablets” were placed? Well, the Scriptures tells that each time Moses went to the Tent in which the shattered pieces were housed, all the people (Hebrews) would “rise and stand” at the entrance of the Tent. God then in a pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the Tent and talk to Moses. Hebrews at seeing the sight of God would “rise and bow low” not because God appeared but because the shattered fragments remained inside as a symbol of God’s greatness (Exodus 7-11). The two tablets of the Pact were more than just tablets. They were the spirit of God also, so to speak. If it was of the earth, it would have negative properties, however if it was from the realms of heaven, the tablets would have properties unimaginable such as ability to conduct energy of such magnitude that being close to it could affect an individual, and touching could cause death (1Chronicle 13:10). In addition it could control the aspect of nature itself as it did during the battle among the children of Israel and the kings of Amorites in which the sun and moon stood still (Joshua 10:13). In fact, the passages identify God being present through the battle. However, there is still one more event; worth mentioning of the uniqueness of these two tablets, and that is the event that took place in Jericho. God asked for the children to walk in silence around the city of Jericho for six days and then on the seventh day shout and blow the shofars causing for the walls of Jericho to come tumbling down flat (Joshua 6:1-20). Could this have happened because of an invisible high dense ultra-magnetic field that became agitated by vibration creating waves as ocean waves do against a sand dune? Again, through this God is present as nature acts.
According to the scriptures, crossing the Jordan River to enter into the Promised Land also revealed the power of the contents within the ark by controlling the flow of the water (Joshua 3:13-14). Is it possible that the remains of the “first tablets of the Pact” and later, the second set of tablets, “the tablets of the Covenant” are in the same ark? Imagine this; let’s suppose the first tablets contain a source of “high positive energy” and the second set of tablets; a “high negative energy” elements. Study from the various stones used to build the massive pyramids in Egypt, Mexico, and Stonehenge have produced various levels of energy waves the ancients used to controlled energy. This was a process forgotten by modern man and it is now that scientists are becoming aware of its uniqueness and characteristics. Geologists have discovered an array of different levels of energy in the makeup of certain stones such as limestone, granite, quarts, etc. It is possible that the “Ark of the Covenant” houses two high energy sources creating a massive electrical generator capable of producing a source of energy capable of manipulating the four earthly elements, water, wind, earth, and fire when joined with another source of input unknown to modern man. This would explain the concept of a cloud by day and fire by night to guide the children of Israel through the wilderness (Exodus 13:21).
Thus, it seems that the presence of these first two tablets coincide with the possession of the Promised Land. How is it that the Scriptures do not expand on the uniqueness of the first set of tablets and in return gives more credibility to the second set of tablets made from stones of Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:1-2)? It is my strong belief that in the manner given to man it was more palatable to accept and comply with its mandate than the input of the second set of tablets. The Scriptures do mention the first tablets to have been inscribed on both sides, front and back whereas the second tablets are not, only the front is mentioned as having writing on it. Is it possible that God chose this measure as sign of His displeasure of the people for what they did? That would be one reason. The other reason would be that in the back of the first tablets there was a defined explanation, in who God was, where did He come from, and why He chose the Hebrew as His chosen children, and why God dislikes so much the Canaanites, Jebusites, Hittites, Hivites and many others. Some indications are that these cultures worshiped idols of stones and wood, and made human sacrifices which God abhorred with all His passion. I guess that would be left for the coming Messiah to disclose when he arrives.
So, the question you may be asking by now is where are the tablets? Are they both still in the same ark? Better yet, where is the Ark of the Covenant? That is still an Indiana Jones quest. No, no it was not in Egypt; even there is some evidence that Judaic people settled in Egypt after the destruction of the First Temple in 587 BCE by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and possibly took the ark in haste for safe keeping. It is another story that the ark is still under the Temple Mount hidden in a secret vault King Solomon requested to be constructed to protect the ark in case of an invasion and the temple be sacked of its gold and silver ornaments, and that is what the King Nebuchadnezzar did ultimately (First King, chapter 6). Another, story is that it is buried in a secret cave along the Dead Sea region later known only to the Essenes which kept a very close eye to its location. It was believed then that its appearance will be the announcement of the coming of the Promised Messiah. It is strongly believed amidst the “mystiques” that only one person knows exactly the location not only of the original first two tablets and the second set of tablets and that person is Elijah (which means “my God is Yahu”), the Tishbite, a zealous champion for God is to believe be the one who might had an intervention in protecting the ark. Elijah had to confront all sorts of confrontations with the people of his time as to the rulership of God over Israel. The kingdom had become split with a northern kingdom and a southern one. Ahab, the northern king was Elijah’s worst enemy as well as his wife; Jezebel who manipulated the monarchy and instituted pagan priests and idols. These acts angered God and Elijah who was the solemn voice for God at that time. Things were so bad for Elijah that a death threat was placed upon his head. In his plight for his life, he ended up in the Arabian Peninsula, today’s Saudi Arabia. It is here where he hears God and is given orders to return and defend God’s principles. It also believed that during this meeting, Elijah is given sight of all that is to come over Israel and Judah, both Kingdoms, and the modern world.
It is during this encounter that Elijah discovers the danger the Arc of the Covenant may be in if it does fall into the hands of the pagan kingdoms. The power behind could easily be used for evil and destructive purposes, especially for Israel and the future of Israel, and of course, the sovereignty of God on earth and the New Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12). His plan would be to secretly find a place of refuge and protection for the ark in case Jerusalem was to fall which it did in 587 BCE. However, by then a handful of loyal Levite priests would know the final resting place as stipulated by Elijah. It is my opinion that this is one of the reasons Elijah was taken up. It is also believed in Judaism, as it was during Jeshua time that Elijah will return and he will be the one that bring the Arc of the Covenant to light. Not only, the place of repose for the second set of tablets but also the location of God’s inscribed first tablets. Both cannot be together because if they are together it is an energy source of such power that in the wrong hands it could destroy the core of humanity. Thus, it makes sense for them to be separated. Now, the New Testament gives us an idea where “possibly” a portion of the first tablets may be buried, or at least a fragment of the shattered pieces. This is found in Mathew, chapter 4. It is the passage where Jeshua takes his disciples Peter, James, and John to a mountain (Mount Hermon) away from Caesarea Philippi and is transfigured. Here the disciples see Jeshua talking to Moses and Elijah. (Mathew 16:13, 17:1-3). Is it not possible that a source of energy remains underneath this mountain? Possibly a site where Elijah may have secretly created a chamber to house either a fragment, portions of, or even all of the shattered pieces at this mountain location? According to the Scriptures, there were various caves along the mountains in which prophets hid when persecuted by King’s men, or pagan followers (First King 18:13). It is possible that in the land of Israel at this time is the resting place of the “first tablets of the Pact” and its power will be used by God during the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16-21). “The second set of tablets” will be along with the Children of Israel with the leadership of the returned Elijah. It will be his command that the devouring fire from heaven will come over the enemies of Israel as foretold in the Scriptures. The death toll would be so massive that can only be created when both energies are brought together as a grid of energy covering a large area such as the valley of Megiddo (Revelation 19:18).
However, for the time being, we can only speculate but once you begin to put the pieces of this complicated puzzle together, some familiar characteristics begin to be seen. It is not far-fetched to think that Elijah could have come with such plan; after all, he had the best prognosticator of them all, God! I do stand convinced that Elijah will return and make good what man has made wrong. I am also convinced when all of this is done, it will show that the Scriptures were right and it should have been here where mankind should have kept its faith and loyalty to avert the calamities that by then had cost many lives, resources, and sorrows. The dark side of the Nazis sought to discover all of these divine implements with the sole purpose to dominate the world. This is a vicious cycle of dominance and tyranny that can only be out-done with the arrival of Elijah. I am glad that Elijah was there to consider the ramifications of such items to be at the hands of unscrupulous leaders. It gives all of us God’s children a sense of peace but we most of all we must remain vigilant that Elijah’s secret plan remains secret until his time. Until then, peace is with us all, and may God help us throughout it all that lies ahead until such time. Shalom!