And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty
These were other forty days and nights, besides those he had been with the Lord, when he came down and broke the two tables in his hand, on sight of the idolatry of the people; yea, not only the Jewish writers think that he was on the mount three times forty days and forty nights, but also several learned Christian writers, as Dr. Lightfoot F16 and others; and it seems plain that he went up to the mountain three times, ( Exodus 24:15 ) ( 32:30 ) ( 34:4 ) and it is not improbable that he was each time so long there; about the first and third times there can be no doubt, see ( Exodus 24:18 ) and the text before us; and at the second time, when he went up to make reconciliation for the people, ( Exodus 32:30 ) he says, that he fell down before the Lord, as at the first forty days and forty nights, ( Deuteronomy 9:18 ) and from the seventh day of the month Sivan, the day after the giving of the law, to the tenth of Tisri, on which day he now descended, are just so many days:
he did neither eat bread nor drink water:
and it is very likely slept not, he being supported without either of these by the power of God; and having such nearness of communion with God, and his mind taken up with what he heard and saw, he had no thoughts of, nor desires and cravings after such things, as well as he stood in no need of them; all which must be ascribed to the miraculous interposition of God in the support of him, (See Gill on Exodus 24:18)
and he wrote on the tables the words of the covenant, the ten
not Moses, for these were tables of stone, which he could not write or engrave upon without proper instruments, which it does not appear he had with him on the mount; but it was God that wrote them, who, in ( Exodus 34:1 ) says he would write them, and from ( Deuteronomy 10:2 Deuteronomy 10:4 ) we are assured he did.
F16 Works, vol. 1. p. 715, 716.