32:16 Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
34:28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; 2 he did not eat bread, and he did not drink water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. 3
4:13 And he revealed to you the covenant 4 he has commanded you to keep, the ten commandments, 5 writing them on two stone tablets.
9:10 The Lord gave me the two stone tablets, written by the very finger 6 of God, and on them was everything 7 he 8 said to you at the mountain from the midst of the fire at the time of that assembly.
1 sn The expression “the finger of God” has come up before in the book, in the plagues (Exod 8:15) to express that it was a demonstration of the power and authority of God. So here too the commandments given to Moses on stone tablets came from God. It too is a bold anthropomorphism; to attribute such a material action to Yahweh would have been thought provoking to say the least. But by using “God” and by stating it in an obviously figurative way, balance is maintained. Since no one writes with one finger, the expression simply says that the Law came directly from God.
2 tn These too are adverbial in relation to the main clause, telling how long Moses was with Yahweh on the mountain.
3 tn Heb “the ten words,” though “commandments” is traditional.
4 sn This is the first occurrence of the word בְּרִית (bÿrit, “covenant”) in the Book of Deuteronomy but it appears commonly hereafter (4:23, 31; 5:2, 3; 7:9, 12; 8:18; 9:9, 10, 11, 15; 10:2, 4, 5, 8; 17:2; 29:1, 9, 12, 14, 15, 18, 21, 25; 31:9, 16, 20, 25, 26; 33:9). Etymologically, it derives from the notion of linking or yoking together. See M. Weinfeld, TDOT 2:255.
5 tn Heb “the ten words.”
6 sn The very finger of God. This is a double figure of speech (1) in which God is ascribed human features (anthropomorphism) and (2) in which a part stands for the whole (synecdoche). That is, God, as Spirit, has no literal finger nor, if he had, would he write with his finger. Rather, the sense is that God himself – not Moses in any way – was responsible for the composition of the Ten Commandments (cf. Exod 31:18; 32:16; 34:1).
7 tn Heb “according to all the words.”