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Why did God command the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments to be placed 'inside' the Ark of the Covenant, but the Law of Moses 'beside' the Ark?

Deuteronomy 10:2  God instructed Moses to put the ten commandments inside the Ark of the Covenant.  

Deuteronomy 31:26  "Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee."

Clarify Share Report Asked May 11 2015 Open uri20131210 31869 1ujcffl John Smith

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Mini Al Swilling Sola Scriptura
The stone tablets (Ten Commandments) were written by the Creator Himself with His own finger. The Ten Commandments represent God's character. Also, the first 4 commandments reveal our obligation to God the Creator ("Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and mind"); and the last 6 commandments reveal our obligation to our fellow man ("Love your neighbor as yourself"), as outlined by Jesus Christ. The Ten Commandments, being a revelation of God's character, are unchanging and permanent. To demonstrate our love for God and His Son, Jesus Christ, is to conduct our lives in harmony with the Ten Commandments.

The stone tablets were placed inside the ark, because the ark represented the living presence of God among the people, and the Ten Commandments are His character.

The book of ordinances that was written on parchment by Moses were the laws and ceremonies connected with the blood sacrifices, which were offered as atonement for sin. The sacrifices, and the ceremonies and laws connected with them were symbolic of--pointed forward to--the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who was the Lamb of God--the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. The entire temple and its divisions represented the coming Messiah. The altar of sacrifice represented His death; the laver represented the Water of Life (Christ) and the washing away of sins; the shewbread represented Christ, who is the Bread of Life; the seven candlesticks represented Christ, who is the Light of the World; and the Most Holy Place represented the presence of God the Father, who was reflected by Christ ("If you have seen me, you have seen the Father").

When Christ began His ministry, resisted Satan's temptations in the wilderness immediately after His baptism, was crucified on Friday, rose from the dead on Sunday morning, and shortly thereafter ascended to His Father with the promise to return and redeem His faithful followers, He fulfilled all of the symbolism contained in the ordinances, special sabbaths, and sacrificial laws contained in the book that Moses wrote on parchment and placed beside the Ark of the Covenant. Just as the parchment was perishable--would eventually disintegrate--so it was with the laws of sacrifice. Upon Christ's death on the cross, the curtain in the temple, between the Holy Place and Most Holy Place, was torn in two, from top to bottom, by God's own hands, indicating that the real sacrifice of the Lamb of God, which the daily temple sacrifice symbolized, had paid the ultimate sacrifice to atone for our sins. There was no more need for sacrifice. We have been redeemed by Jesus' mercy and grace, not by the "shadows of things to come". All the symbols of the sacrificial laws had been fulfilled, therefore, in symbolic terms, the sacrificial laws were "nailed to the cross". The cross WAS the altar upon which Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was sacrificed for our sake. 

The entire Old Testament tells of our fall and of God's plan of redemption. The entire New Testament tells of Christ's sacrifice for our sins and His plan to return, gather His faithful ones, put an end to sin, and recreate the earth as it was before sin entered. Sin, death, illness, and dying will be no more.

To recap: 

The stone tablets containing the 10 Commandments are the immutable, permanent, unchanging will and character of God. 

The sacrificial laws written by Moses' hand pointed forward to Christ's sacrifice as atonement for our sins. The laws and sacrifice were completed--fulfilled--in Christ's ministry, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. We are no longer to keep the sacrificial laws, because they have been fulfilled.

"I am the way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me..." -- John 14:6

"(14) If you love me, keep my commandments...
(21) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." - John 14:15,16,

July 11 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Janet Lee
The ten commandments were written by the hand of God, while a human scribed the law of moses, although by divine instruction.

December 06 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini A F
Because the Ten Commandments were God's laws, and the laws of Moses were man's laws and are the laws that God abolished. 

When Jesus said, "Love God above all and love thy neighbor as thyself", He was saying, "Keep my commandments and show loving kindness, mercy, and forgiveness to men on earth." In this way we would be loving as God loves. 

And Jesus would cover our sins against God's commandments if we loved each other as He showed us to do, and we are not to be arrogant in keeping God's commands because it is His Spirit that allows us to do so. 

But when we are not keeping His Commandments, we are no different than the world, we are not set apart, and we have lost our salt and are of no use to Him.

February 16 2017 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Nicole Morales
It occured to me, that the reason why the tablets were placed in the Ark of the Covenant, is because... People might worship the tablet instead of worshiping Jehovah. Like how other religions are with their images. We tend to forget where the true God is, and treat images or relics as if they live there, or they are those images. We might forget that those tablets may lay as reminder of God's commandments, and instead worship it by mistake.

December 16 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
The law of Moses was put outside, in a little chest, for nothing but the tables of stone were contained in the ark, 1 Kings 8:9. Here it was kept for greater security and reverence. MP (Matthew Poole's Commentary)

August 09 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini John Appelt
The Ten Commandments and the Book of the Law are two different things.

The two tablets of Ten Commandments were placed inside the ark of the covenant, Deuteronomy 10:2, Exodus 25:16, I Kings 8:9, Hebrews 9:4.

But something different was placed beside the ark of the covenant, Deuteronomy 31:26. It was called the ‘Book of the Law.’ It was not the Torah or Pentateuch which was called ‘the Law.’ The term ‘Book of the Law’ is found only in Deuteronomy 28:61, 29:21, 30:10, and 31:26, and nowhere else in the first five books of the Bible. The designation suggests a special portion of Scripture. 

In Deuteronomy 27, a new section begins with Moses giving the elders of Israel instructions to keep the commandments given them. They were to write them on the stones that day, Deuteronomy 27:8. Then what followed was the blessing and cursing passage. The section ends at the end of chapter 30. Note the final words of Deuteronomy 30:15-20. Then in Deuteronomy 31:24, 25, Moses instructed the Levites to place this book by the ark of the covenant, which means something preceding this. So, chapters 27-30 may be the book.

The exact phrase ‘The Book of the Law’ can be traced through the Scriptures. When Joshua succeeded Moses as leader, God reminded him to keep these words, Joshua 1:8. In Joshua 8:31-34, Joshua built the altar, wrote the words of the Book of the Law and read it aloud. Then just before Joshua died, he gathered the people once more to encourage them to do all that was written in it, Joshua 23:6. In Joshua 24:26, Joshua noted down in it the renewal of the covenant. The closing charge of Joshua, Joshua 24:14-15, is very much like the closing charge of Moses, Deuteronomy 30:15-20. There may have been a renewal of the covenant every 40 years.

In II Chronicles 34:14, Hilkiah found this book and when it was read to King Josiah, he rent his garments, II Chronicles 34:19. He realized that “great is the wrath of the Lord” because they had not kept the word of the Lord,” II Chronicles 34:21. Huldah the prophetess also passed on the message from the Lord, “...I will bring...all the curses written in the book...” II Chronicles 34:24. This same book was called the Book of the Covenant, II Chronicles 34:30, Deuteronomy 29:1.

This Book of the Law was read and explained by Ezra in Nehemiah 8:1, 3, 18, and 9:3 during the feast of tabernacles. 

Paul likely refers to the same ‘book of the law’ in Galatians 3:10, which quotes Deuteronomy 27:26, a verse from within the passage. 

This book was put beside the ark of the covenant as “a witness against” them. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 reminded them they had a choice. Sadly, the people forgot their covenant with the Lord, Deuteronomy 31:27-29, failing to serve Him. The Book of the Law stood by the Ark of the Covenant, symbolizing the Lord’s presence, as a witness against them.

April 12 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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