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Written in stone

Posted by Smokey Stover on September 29, 2005

In Reply to: Written in stone posted by ESC on September 28, 2005

: : What's the meaning of written in stone by the hand of God?

: Here's what I think it means. (From a previous discussion.)

: I checked my 'Oxford Study Bible' and found:

: 'Decalogue: See "Ten Commandments."'

: 'Ten Commandments: Exod. 20.1 - 17; 34.28; Lev. 19.1-4; Deut. 5.6 - 21, 10.4'

: Exodus 20.1 - 17 relates how the Ten Commandments were written in stone by the God who confered with Moses.

A far more common expression is just "written in stone." The emphasis is on permanence. Inscriptions carved in stone (such as stele) have been found all over the ancient world, and once carved they were deucedly hard to edit. So "written in stone" is used humorously and mostly in the negative, as in, "Nowhere is it written in stone that you can't have red wine with chicken." Of course, it IS written in stone that you shouldn't steal, so you have to be a little careful in using the phrase. SS