I would like to give a quick intro for the question I have:

Shemot 31:18 and 32:15 are about the Shnei Luchot Even (Ha’Avanim), two stone tablets, Luchot Ha’edut (serving as a witness).

In Devarim 9:9 and 9:15 we read about those Luchot again but this time they are being called the Luchot HaBrit, tablets of covenant, named after the fact that Moshe wrote upon them the covenantal words (Shemot 34:28).

We call those words the Aseret HaDevarim or Aseret HaDibrot because of the fact that these covenantal words are described as such in Shemot 34:28, Devarim 4:13 and 10:4.

In Devarim 5:2 Moshe refers to the making of the covenant, then we read about the commands which are also present in Shemot 20, followed by the words: “Et Ha’Devarim Ha’eleh..” and a note that Moshe didn’t add to those ‘Devarim’.

So now the build up to my question: Looking at Shemot 32:15 one could teanslate it as that the Luchot were written across from each other; first on one and then on the other were they written. Which would fit the view of two tablets with upon them the famous ‘ten commandments’.

But it could also be translated as that the Luchot were written on both their surfaces/sides; inscribed on the one side and the other. Adding Devarim 9:10 to the mix we see that they had upon them all the words HaShem spoke.

I learned that Devarim and Dibrot shouldn’t be understood only as words, but also as statements, declarations, sayings etc. While Aseret shows a subtle difference with the word eser (ten). Aseret can refer to a group of ten or tens, and functions somewhat like the English term ‘dozen’, which can mean 12 or a lot of something (I bought a dozen eggs, and I need dozens of eggs for Pesach). Aseret likewise could refer to lot’s of something like deceptions, fighters or fields (Bereshit 31:7, 31:41, Shoftim 1:4, 4:10 and Yeshayahu 5:10 respectively).

Looking at Shemot 20 and also Devarim 5 we see more as 10 words, more as 10 divine directives are articulated, more then 10 mitzvot (commandments and prohibitions) are given.

It seems to be possible that the tablets contained lot more words as are often presented to us. Words could literally have been written all over them!

So could the phrase “Et HaDevarim Ha’Eleh..” refer to something else as (just) the contexts of Shemot 20 and Devarim 5 seems to imply? Could these for example refer to “all the words spoken and handed to Moshe?”.

  • 1
    The question is extremely long, can you summarize it, please. Also quote the sources - Dvorim 5, Shmos 20... I would really love to help but I got lost. – Al Berko Jan 26 at 20:25
  • Some verses seem to teach that Moshe wrote te ten commandments (I tried to give effidence for that from the scriptures), but then other verses seem to give the possibility that there was much more written on the tablets (which again I tried to show), so my question is: what was exactly written on them ? And what do the words “Et HaDevarim Ha’Eleh” refer to. – Levi Jan 27 at 5:35

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