Concordia Theological Monthly

Publication Date


Document Type



decalog, two tables, covenant, commandments, moses, israel, goethe

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


In the year 1773 Goethe published a small pamphlet entitled Was stund auf den T.feln, des Bundes? After referring briefly to the establishment of the covenant narrated Ex. 24:1 ff., he continues: ''Then the Lord said unto Moses, Come up unto Me into the mount and be there; and I will give thee tables of stone and a law and commandments which I have written. Moses ascends to the Lord and is given the specifications for the Tabernacle. Finally we are told, And when the Lord had made an end of communing with him, He gave him the tables. What was written on them no one finds out. The disorder with the calf occurs, and Moses breaks the tables before we can even surmise their contents." From Ex. 34:12-26 Goethe then draws the conclusion that the Ten Commandments, the Mosaic Decalog, was transmitted in a twofold tradition, the contents of the Decalog varying essentially in the two forms.


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Exodus 34:12-26; Exodus 24:1 ff; Exodus 23:14-19; Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 4:11-13, 33; Deuteronomy 5:4-5, 22-26; 1 Samuel 17:40; Exodus 24:12; Exodus 19:5-9;

Submission Cost


Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars