Why did Moses smash the tablets that the original commandments were written on? Why smash the one physical piece of “law” that was handed directly to him straight from YHWH?

Here’s my take on the tablet smashing–it’s probably been espoused by many others. Exodus has a second version of the commandments (ch 34), attributed by Friedman to J. They are completely different, but that’s kind of glossed over. I think that the authors editing the sources together had to find a way to explain two sets of commandments. The second has much more to do with rules for diet and sacrifice, which to me suggests it is a second-temple text, not an ancient one at all. I don’t really know. But no matter how often I assign this topic, I can’t get any students interested in the fact that there are two hugely different sets of 10 commandments. Still, I would like those who think the commandments should be published in front of courthouses to tell me which set they mean–the first set, which is the one we generally refer to, or the second set, which the bible says is the second draft?

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