The tablets are the covenants — God's promise to save and bless humans on condition of
obedience as outlined.
In making such a covenant, God was solemnly invoked as a witness, Gen 31:50, and an oath was sworn.
Gen 21:31. A sign or witness of the covenant was sometimes made of a pillar or heap of stones
being erected, Gen 31:52, in this case stone tablets that testify against God's
Exodus 24:12 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me
into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a
law, and commandments which I have written; that you may teach them."
Exodus 25:16 "And you shall put into the ark the testimony which
I shall give thee."
Exodus 31:18 "And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of
communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of
stone, written with the finger of God."
Exodus 32:15-16 "And Moses turned, and went down from the mount,
and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were
written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they
written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the
writing of God, graven upon the tables."
Exodus 32:19 "And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto
the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot,
and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the
Deuteronomy 5:7-22 "Thou shalt have
none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any
likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth
beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down
thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and
fourth generation of them that hate me, And shewing mercy unto thousands of
them that love me and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of
the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that
taketh his name in vain. Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD
thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy
work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou
shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy
manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy
cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and
thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a
servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out
thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD
thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day. Honour thy father and thy
mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be
prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy
God giveth thee. Thou shalt not murder. Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
Neither shalt thou steal. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy
neighbour. Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt
thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his
maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's. These
words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of
the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and
he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered
them unto me."
There was a second set of tablets made after Moses destroyed the first set.
Exodus 34:1-4 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables
of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words
that were in the first tables, which you broke...And he hewed two tables of
stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went
up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the
two tables of stone."
Exodus 34:28-29 "And he was there with the LORD forty days and
forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon
the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. And it came to
pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony
in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that
the skin of his face shone while he talked with him."
Deuteronomy 4:13 "And he declared unto you his covenant, which
he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon
two tables of stone."
Deuteronomy 10:1-2 "At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou
brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.
1 Kings 8:9 "There was nothing in the
ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the
LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the
land of Egypt."