The following passage talks about the woman caught in adultery. However, my emphasis will not be on the woman, it will be on Jesus and why He wrote on the ground in this particular situation. I’ll start with the following Scriptures.

JOHN 8:3-8

3) And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4) They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5) Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

COMMENT: You would be surprised how many times Jesus used the phrase “I say unto you” in the New Testament. If my figures are correct, Jesus said it 52 times in the book of Matthew; 16 times in the book of Mark; 30 times in the book of Luke, and 21 times in the book of John for a total of 119 recorded times. Therefore it was natural for the Pharisees to say, “but what sayest thou.”

6) This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard them not]

7) So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8)…And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

COMMENT: The people didn’t start leaving until after Jesus wrote on the ground the second time. What was the purpose of Jesus writing on the ground twice? What message was He trying to convey to the scribes and Pharisees? The Bible doesn’t tell us what He wrote. Apparently that was not what was important else we would have been told by the author. Perhaps the following verses from the Old Testament will give us a clue.

EXODUS 31:18

18) And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

EXODUS 32:15-16

15) And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony [were] in his hand: the tables [were] written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other [were] they written.

16) And the tables [were] the work of God, and the writing [was] the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

COMMENT: While Moses was busy getting the first tables of testimony from God, the Israelites made them a new god to worship and then, they had a free-for-all. In other words, they sinned grievously. When Moses came down from the mountain and saw what they were doing, he threw the two tables of the testimony down and broke them. (It has been jokingly said that Moses broke all Ten Commandments.) God brought judgment upon Israel and about 3,000 people died. The following verse tells us what happened next.


1) And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon [these] tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.

COMMENT: One can see from this that God wrote the tables of testimony with His finger, two times. The scribes and Pharisees would know this. Therefore, I believe Jesus was conveying to the scribes and Pharisees that it was His finger that wrote the two tables of testimony those two times. Put simply, He was telling them that He was God. He didn’t need them to instruct Him in the Law. He’s the one who gave the Law.

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