10453. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. That this signifies that the external and the internal sense of the Word were from the Divine, and are Divine truth, is evident from the signification of "the tables," as being the Word in the whole complex (of which just above, n. 10452), but here the external of the Word (of which in what follows); from the signification of "the work of God," as being that it was from the Divine; from the signification of "the writing," as being the internal of the Word (of which also below), consequently "the writing of God," denotes the internal of the Word from the Divine; and from the signification of "graven upon the tables," as being the internal above the external, thus within it.
 That "the tables" here signify the external of the Word, is because they are here distinguished from the writing, which denotes its internal. But when they are not distinguished from the writing, then by "the tables" is signified the internal and the external of the Word together, thus the Word in the whole complex (as above, n. 10452). The reason why they are here distinguished, is that the tables were broken, and yet the same words were afterward written by Jehovah upon other tables which were hewn out by Moses. The external of the Word is the sense of its letter. This sense of the letter is signified by "the tables" because this sense is like a table, or a plane, upon which the internal sense has been written.
 That the tables which were the work of God were broken by Moses when he saw the calf and the dances, and that by command of Jehovah other tables were hewn out by Moses, and on these were afterward written the same words, and thus that the tables were no longer the work of God, but the work of Moses, whereas the writing was still the writing of God, involves a secret as yet unknown. The secret is that the sense of the letter of the Word would have been different if the Word had been written among a different people, or if that people had not been such as it was. For the sense of the letter of the Word treats of that people, because the Word was written among them, as is plain from both the historic and the prophetic parts of the Word, and that people was in evil, because at heart it was idolatrous; and yet in order that the internal and the external sense might agree together, that people had to be lauded, and to be called the people of God, a holy nation, a peculiar possession; consequently the simple, who were to be instructed by the external sense of the Word, had to believe that that nation was such as it is called; as also that nation itself believes, and as also believe very many of the Christian world at this day. Moreover, also many things are present in the external sense of the Word, and make it, that were permitted them on account of the hardness of their hearts, such as those mentioned in Matthew 19:8, and other things also which are here passed by.
 As therefore the sense of the letter of the Word was made such for the sake of that people, therefore those tables which were the work of God were broken, and at the command of Jehovah others were hewn out by Moses. But whereas the same Divine holiness was still within, therefore the same words which had been written upon the former tables were written by Jehovah on the latter, as is plain from these words in Moses:
Jehovah said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, that I may write upon the tables the words that were on the first tables, which thou broke. And Jehovah wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten words (Exod. 34:1, 4, 28).
At that time Jehovah said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which thou broke. And Jehovah wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten words, and Jehovah gave them unto me (Deut. 10:1-4).
 That Jehovah did not acknowledge that people as His own people (although it was so said for the sake of the agreement of the internal sense with the external), but as the people of Moses, is evident in these passages:
Thy people have corrupted themselves, which thou madest to come up out of the land of Egypt. Go, lead the people unto the place I told thee (Exod. 32:7, 34).
Jehovah spoke unto Moses, Go up, thou and the people which thou hast made to come up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land of which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And I will send an angel before thee; for I will not go up in the midst of thee, for thou art a stiff-necked people (Exod. 33:1-3).
 The like is signified by Moses being put in a cleft of the rock, and not being allowed to see the faces of Jehovah, but only the back parts (Exod. 33:22, 23); and in like manner by Moses, when the skin of his face shone, putting a veil over his face when he spoke to the sons of Israel (Exod. 34:30-35). What the quality of that people was to be, is foretold by Jehovah to Abraham, when it was His will that his seed should inherit the land of Canaan, and it is said:
After Abraham had divided a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, in the midst, which were for entering into a covenant, a deep sleep fell upon Abraham, and behold a terror of great darkness falling upon him. And when the sun was set, there was thick darkness; and behold a furnace of smoke, and a torch of fire that passed between those pieces (Gen. 15:9, 10, 12, 17).