This is where I add notes and thoughts as I study the Bible. Please feel free to comment.
Take Two Tablets
“And he gave to Moses when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.”Exodus 31:18
I’ve always just accepted that it took two tablets to contain what God wrote. Of course, I was wrong.
Let’s consider American Samoa. They are an unincorporated territory of America. Unincorporated territories are not considered integral parts of America, so the Constitution only partially applies to them. American Samoa is autonomous within their territory, but they are subject to America.
Here’s where it gets interesting
When American Samoa became a territory of America, there was an official signing of documents signed by both parties. America kept one copy, and American Samoa held the other copy. This document established a permanent, official, though unequal, relationship. This relationship is why American Samoa is called a protectorate.
You guessed it! Likewise, when God made the Mosaic Covenant, they were/are the terms between Himself and Israel. Israel gained God’s protection and blessings provided Israel obeyed His laws.
Many theologians believe that God made duplicate tablets. This is consistent with the protocol for treaties between ancient Middle Eastern states. For the Mosaic Covenant, one copy belonged to God, and the other belonged to Israel. But God didn’t take His copy to heaven.
Don’t Forget the Mercy Seat
God was establishing a place for Himself on Earth. Since the ark of the Covenant was the point of contact between God and Israel, both tablets of the law were placed in the ark. As Israel travelled in the desert, they carried with them their protectorate Covenant signed by the hand of God! How amazing is that!