Is there any rabbinic commentary that explains why God commanded Moshe to write all the words of the Torah on stones instead of on animal parchment?

Devorim 27 (8). Moshe is commanded:

“You shall write upon the stones all the words of this Torah, very clearly.”

  • 1
    See the Abravanel 27:1 which says ולכן צוה שכאשר יעברו את הירדן יכתבו את התורה על האבנים שזה כדמות מזוזה בשער שנכנסין בו.
    – sam
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 2:54
  • @sam I think you should post that as an answer.
    – DanF
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 23:50
  • Does anyone address what happened to these stones with the Torah written on them and how such a large number of stones were transported? Even if this was just Chumash this would be quite the haul.
    – Dude
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 1:10
  • 1
    @Dude See book of Joshua chapter 8, where this passage was fulfilled.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 1:11

2 Answers 2


This view is not sourced from Rabbinic commentary, as far as I know, however one possible reason why G-d would have Moshe write the commandments on stone as opposed to parchment is that stone lasts forever, whereas parchment eventually wears out or decays. Consider the condition of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

With the commandments written on stone, this ensures that we will always have the stone tablets with the writing of G-d on them. And, when we find the Ark eventually, those tablets will still be in there, safe and sound, with no decay.


As noted by Sam last year, the Abarbanel says that the stones serve as a form of Mezuzah placed at the "entrance" to Israel, but parchment would not.

  • What and where is an entrance to Israel? Why don't we have this now?
    – Dude
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 1:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .