The Stone Tablets Of The Law


The picture shows a model of the Ark, where the lid has been removed so you can see the contents that fit inside the Ark:

1. The two stone tablets of the Law.

2. Aaron’s rod that budded.

3. The golden pot of ‘hidden’ manna.

Together these three items form the Testimony,

Exodus 25:21 ‘Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you.’

hence the Ark is called the Ark of the Testimony.

1. The Stone Tablets of the Law The Ten Commandments were written on these two pieces of stone, by the finger of God on Mount Sinai, Exodus 31:18 and Exodus 32:16+19 and Exodus 34:1. The tablets of stone are also called the tables of testimony, Exodus 31:18, because they show us what God is like, jealous, caring, faithful and true. He is holy and righteous. Here are the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:1-17.


‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourselves any carved image; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold guiltless anyone who misuses His name. Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.’

The Ten Commandments on the two stone tablets are the basis for God’s covenant with the children of Israel,

Exodus 19:5-7 ‘Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.’ So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the LORD had commanded him to speak.’

They stipulate what the righteous requirements of the law are, but there is no supply to help the children of Israel to obey the commandments. Because the children of Israel did not continue in their side of the covenant, it was impossible, Romans 8:3, God promised to make a new covenant,

‘not like the covenant I made with their fathers, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them’ says the Lord.’ Jeremiah 31:32

‘This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law into their minds and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbour saying ‘Know the Lord’, for they all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest among them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will remember no more’. Jeremiah 31:33-34.

This is the New Covenant which Jesus has ratified by His blood, Luke 22:20. Psalm 40:8 is a prophecy of the Messiah:

‘Behold, I come; in the scroll of the Book it is written of me: ‘I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart’.

In fulfilment

‘When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, so that He might redeem those who were under the law’. Galatians 4:4

Jesus Christ has kept the law of God, loving the Lord His God with all His heart, and His neighbour as Himself. This is obvious from reading the four Gospels.

Delighting to do God’s will John 4:34 and John 5:30 and John 6:38, Jesus had the law of God, the Ten ‘Words’ of God, in His heart, just as the Ark of the Covenant kept the stone tablets of the Testimony. The Word of God had become flesh and tabernacled among us, full of grace and truth, ‘reality’, John 1:14. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, as a perfect offering, we are forgiven our offences under the law and redeemed from slavery to it.

God undertakes to write His laws into our hearts and inscribe them on our minds, by sending forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts.

Galatians 4:6 ‘Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’

Hebrews 8:10-12 ‘This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’

Thereafter, an inner working of life takes place,

‘Christ who is our life’, Colossians 3:4

‘Christ being formed in you’, Galatians 4:19

that will result in at least the same testimony of God as the Ten Commandments. The children of Israel broke the old covenant, and we still do, because of trying to keep it by self-effort in our flesh. In the New Covenant, God undertakes to write His laws into our minds by His Spirit, providing we walk by the Spirit.

Romans 8:4 ‘For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.’

Ezekiel 36:25-28 ‘I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.’

John is very economical in his writing, using one or two words to describe vast realities. But his focus is not on understanding so much as truly knowing, experiencing, for example the Bread of Life, John 6:35. John refers to Jesus as: The ‘Word’ in his Gospel John 1:1. The ‘Word of Life’ in his first epistle, 1 John 1:1.

The ‘Word of God’ in Revelation 19:6. In each case, John’s underlying thought seems to be the Ark of the Testimony.



"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 3:16