Good morning, It is Monday, August 2, 2021.
I have not talked to you since last month. ;0)
On Friday I wrote about the wall around the Holy City New Jerusalem. But do you have a clear visual of what those stones look like? The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with jasper, sapphire, agate, emerald, onyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst.
I had never looked up the gems that I was unfamiliar with. I know amethyst is purple as that is my birth stone. I know agate can come in many colors. I was familiar with topaz and sapphire, but the others…not so much.
There are also 12 stones mentioned in the story of Moses and his brother Aaron. Aaron eventually became a high priest.
Exodus 28:17-21 tells us that Aaron’s ceremonial breastplate held four rows of three stones each. “You shall set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle shall be the first row; and the second row an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold filigree. There shall be twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They shall be like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes.”
But the stone I want to focus on is the tablets of stone that God, using His own finger, wrote the 10 Commandments on.
If you have seen the movie The Ten Commandments, or any piece of artwork depicting Moses holding the tablets of stone, you might have a preconceived idea of what the tablets were made of. I did. In my mind’s eye they were dark, brown stone. Stone chiseled out of the top of Mount Sinai. But in fact, I believe, they were much more beautiful than that.
Exodus 24:10 reads “and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.” ESV
I remember the day I heard a preacher talking about this. It changed my thinking entirely. He presumed to tell us that the Ten Commandments were cut from the clear blue sapphire that Exodus 24:10 is talking about.
He said when Moses came down from the mountain he was holding tablets made of sapphire stone.
Ezekiel 1:26 “And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance.” ESV
Ezekiel 10:1 “Then I looked, and behold, on the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim there appeared above them something like a sapphire, in appearance like a throne.” ESV
It seems the very throne of God is made from sapphire. How beautiful it must be.
I could find no specific text that says the 10 Commandments were carved on sapphire, but one could easily come to that conclusion by reading the above texts.
I also found this bit of history at appleeye.org
“…rabbinical Judaism as found in the Talmud and Mishnah teaches that the tablets of the law were made of sapphire. This was done to point to God’s creation in the heavens and to His throne…The sapphire is the only type of stone mentioned in the context. It would be a leap to conclude that the tablets were made from any type of stone other than that which was recorded. Unfortunately, many do not even consider the sapphire tablets an option because they have been unconsciously influenced by western images of the Ten Commandments… The figure upon this throne was the likeness of the glory of YHWH (Ezek. 1:28). Like the appearance of God to the elders of Israel, this too was God in the person of the Son. These two accounts of God appearing are of such a similarity that it is reasonable to conclude that the sapphire foundation and the sapphire throne are one in the same. Not only were the tablets written on by God, but they were themselves a work of God (Ex. 32:16). They were then of supernatural origin. The tablets coming from God’s throne is consistent with both the narrative and the foundational importance of God’s law. “
Well, no matter the medium, what is written on the stones is of more importance.
In short: Exodus 20:3-17
1. I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
10. Thou shalt not covet.
Good rules to live by!