The Only Intact Stone Copy of Ten Commandments Could Be Yours

But you'll have to fork over at least $322K
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2016 5:01 PM CST

(Newser) – Not content with your Bible? For $322,000, you could perhaps own a marble slab bearing the only complete stone inscription of the Ten Commandments. Heritage Auctions is now auctioning the 2-foot-long, 200-pound slab engraved in a Samaritan script, though the commandments aren't exactly as you know them today. Rather than "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain," the slab—believed to be up to 1,700 years old—includes a commandment to worship on Mount Gerizim, viewed as sacred in the Samaritan sect of Judaism, reports Live Science. Not much is known about the history of the slab before it was discovered near Yavne, Israel, in 1913 and given to a man who placed it in his courtyard, where it was trampled by decades of guests walking on it, per the Washington Post.

However, Heritage Auctions says it likely stood at the entrance to a synagogue—possibly later destroyed by Romans, Byzantines, or Crusaders—before the 12th century. It was eventually sold to an archaeologist in 1943 and is now owned by Rabbi Saul Deutsch of the Living Torah Museum in New York, reports CNN. "Its surface is worn, battered and encrusted in places, but running a gloved finger over it does produce, in some people, a particular thrill of touching a piece of Bible history," an auction rep says. Should you wish to take ownership of the Israeli "national treasure," per a release, take note: The Israel Antiquities Authority has stipulated that the slab must be displayed in a public place. The auction ends Wednesday and at the time of posting, $322,000 was the minimum bid. (This is the oldest copy of the Ten Commandments.)

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