Q. 9.  How often were the commandments written on tables of stone?

A.  The first being broken by Moses on occasion of the idolatry of Israel (Exodus 32.19), the Lord condescended to write on two other tables the very same words that were on the former ones (Exodus 34.1).

Q. 10.  Was there any difference between the first two tables and the second?

A.  The first two, which were entirely the work of God (the polishing as well as the engraving) were broken beneath the mount (Exodus 32.16, 19) but the second, which were hewed by Moses, the typical mediator, were put into the ark (Deuteronomy 10.3, 5).

Q. 11.  What spiritual mystery was represented by this?

A.  That though the covenant of works, made with the first Adam, was broken and violated by him, yet it was fulfilled, in every respect, by Christ, the true Mediator, who “restored that which He took not away” (Psalm 69.4).

From: Fisher’s Catechism by Ebenezer Erskine, Ralph Erskine, and James Fisher; reprint (East Stroudsburg: Dovetale Books, 2015), p. 290.  This reprint volume reproduces the third edition of 1765 (originally published in 1753.)  Comment on Question 40 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

This catechism is known as Fisher’s Catechism because he survived the Erskine brothers, both of whom (presumably) had worked on it, and because Fisher did most of the writing necessary to finish it.


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