The stone tables were given to Moses twice. If we read the histories of these two events, we notice some differences. If we follow the patterns in the Word of these differences, we will discover some interesting findings about their deeper meanings. And then we will also see how different Bible texts are connected to these histories and keep telling us the same thing. A message YHWH apparently finds important enough to keep repeating.
“When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water: And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly..” Deuteronomy 9:9-10
Moses received the first stone tables from YHWH. And he broke them when he found the people in idolatry as he descended from the mountain; symbol of the breaking by the people of what was written on the stone tables.
“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.” Deuteronomy 10:1
The second set of stone tables Moses had to hew and bring himself. This second time, Moses not only had to bring the stone tables, but also make an ark of wood. The ark of wood was intended to put the stone tables in, immediately after Moses descended from the mountain again (Deuteronomy 10:5). This ark of wood was of course the Ark of the Covenant.
“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.” 1 Kings 8:9
Every object in the Bible that can have content is a spiritual reference to our mind and heart. And the content is thoughts. The Ark of the Covenant is also an object that had content. So the ark spiritually refers to our mind and heart as well. The fact that Moses had to put the second set of stone tables, described with the words of YHWH, in the ark of wood, symbolizes that His words must be in our mind and heart. His thoughts must become our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). And this is an important difference with the first tables of stone.
In Jeremiah 31:33 we can read what the second set of stone tables in the ark symbolizes:
“I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts”
If He Himself writes His words in our heart, then His words are not on the outside, like the first set of stone tables. If He Himself writes His words in our heart, then they are in us, like the second set of stone tables in the ark.
The first set was not put in an ark, and the stone tables were broken. This is when His words are outside of us, and we do not act or live from His words within us. If we do not act from His words within us, we act from power of man. And then our motivation is similar to that in pagan religions, where all kinds of actions and rituals must be done to satisfy the god(s). That is a pitfall for many; then I also speak for myself. And then we fail, which symbolizes the breaking of the first set of stone tables.
The second set of stone tablets symbolizes His words deeper within us, in our inward parts, in our heart and mind. When His words are in our heart and mind, we will naturally act and live on His words. We cannot do otherwise when our heart and mind become more and more like His heart and mind (Isaiah 55:8, Ephesians 4:15-32).
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
The words of YHWH in the Ark of the Covenant were written on stone. But He wants to write His words in our heart (Jeremiah 31:33). That is the ministry of the Spirit (the spiritual), which gives live. Instead of the letter (the literal), which kills (2 Corinthians 3:6-8). And this will change our heart and mind in His image.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
And that could be the reason that Moses had to hew the second set of stone tables himself and take them ‘up’. The first set came from ‘above’ hewed by YHWH Himself. The second set came from the earth ‘beneath’, and Moses had to give them to YHWH so that He could write His words on it. This symbolizes our stony heart, with lies and delusions from the mind of man from the earth ‘beneath’, on which He wants to write His words of truth, if we offer ‘up’ our heart from ‘beneath’ to Him. In this way our stony heart becomes a heart of flesh.