101 Bible Secrets
Bible Secret Number 1 

The Ten Commandments Were Pocket Size

When Cecil B. DeMille produced the movie "The Ten Commandments," Charlton Heston who played Moses brought down from the mountain two huge stones that surely must have weighed a good hundred pounds each (I saw these "stones" years ago when I toured one of the movie studios and they were actually made of foam rubber). But is this an accurate depiction of the stones on which the Ten Commandments were written?
 
The truth is, the Bible shows that Moses was able to carry both stones in one hand (Exodus 32:15). No, not in one arm. He carried both stones in one hand. The stones were actually quite small about pocket-size in dimension. They were small slate-like stones that could be carried in the palm of one hand, though to keep them from rubbing together he often carried them in both hands (Deuteronomy 9:15).

And another point that is usually not understood. Each stone had the Ten Commandments written on both its sides, not on one side alone (Exodus 32:15). And something else, many scholars now believe that the two stones were actually duplicates of one another. The second stone was an exact copy of the first. In other words, Moses was given one stone with the full Ten Commandments written on it (front and back) and he was given a second stone which was an exact copy of the first. The reason for this? These two duplicate stones were designed by God to be a double witness to the Israelites (to meet the requirement that at least two witnesses had to be in evidence in life and death matters see Deuteronomy 17:6,7). For legal purposes, it looks like God gave Israel two identical sets of the Ten Commandments as a dual testimony to their seriousness.

This shows how far off Hollywood can be when it comes to depicting biblical events. But why should we blame Hollywood? The movie industry has only been showing what Christian painters and sculptors (under the influence of past theologians, priests and church leaders) have erroneously concocted as biblical teachings over the centuries.

 

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