Exodus 32:15

15 Moses went back down the mountain, carrying the two stone tablets with the commandments written on both sides.

Exodus 32:15 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 32:15

And Moses turned, and went down from the mount
He turned himself from God, with whom he had been conversing forty days; his back was to the ascent of the mount, and he turned himself in order to go down; or "he looked" F7, as a man considers what is to be done, as Aben Ezra observes, and he saw that he was obliged to go down in haste:

and the two tables of the testimony [were] in his hand;
or hands, as in ( Exodus 32:19 ) for they were, perhaps, as much as he could carry in both hands, being of stone, as in ( Exodus 31:18 ) on which was written the law, the "testimony" of the will of God with respect to what was to be done or not done:

the letters were written on both their sides, on the one side and
on the other were they written;
some think that the engraving of the letters was such, that it went through the stones, and in a miraculous manner the letters and lines were in a regular order, and might be read on the other sides; to which Jarchi seems to incline, saying, the letters might be read, and it was a work of wonders; others think that the letters were written both within and without, like Ezekiel's book of woes; that the same that was within side was written without, that so, when held up, they might be read by those that stood before and those that stood behind; but rather so it was that the whole was written within, some of the commands on the right, and some on the left, and so the tables might be clapped together as a book is folded.


F7 (Npyw) "et aspexit", Pagninus.

Exodus 32:15 In-Context

13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Remember the solemn promise you made to them to give them as many descendants as there are stars in the sky and to give their descendants all that land you promised would be their possession forever."
14 So the Lord changed his mind and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
15 Moses went back down the mountain, carrying the two stone tablets with the commandments written on both sides.
16 God himself had made the tablets and had engraved the commandments on them.
17 Joshua heard the people shouting and said to Moses, "I hear the sound of battle in the camp."
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.