Why did Jesus twice write in the ground?

The Law failed to make the Jews into better people. Jesus pointed out that He was God Who wrote the Law.

First published on the 18th of March 2018 — Last updated on the 18th of August 2021

Secret sinners love to kill an exposed sinner

Our basic weakness as human beings. We prefer to sin in secret but express great condemnation for sinners who have been caught out.

Why did Jesus write twice with His finger on the ground when men wanted to stone a woman?

Let us try to understand this event.

Understanding is the ability to link information together -- using a theme to connect different Bible verses together.

When Jesus says or does something unusual it just means that He is giving us a deep insight into some aspect of God’s Great Plan for humanity.

The scene looks simple. The scribes and Pharisees plan to trap Him with a sinful woman.

They have not been caught when they sinned.

So to show their pretended "holiness", they had a great zeal to destroy a person who had been caught sinning.

But there was a deeper satanic motive on their minds.

If Jesus says that they can stone this sinner woman then He has obeyed the Law of Moses, but He is then no longer the Prince of Life because He has given a death sentence.

If He says that they must not stone her, then He has contradicted Moses and broken the Law. Then the Jews will feel that they can stone Him as a blasphemer.

So either way, they think that they have got Him trapped.

They feel smugly satisfied with their blood-lust. They are either going to stone her or Jesus. The brutal destruction of a human being is imminent and with a bit of luck, the victim will be Jesus. He can only escape His own death sentence by telling them to kill the woman. But that command will disqualify Him from being the Messiah who comes to save.

They present the terrified woman to Jesus. She is definitely guilty of adultery. Her awful death by stoning is written on their hard faces. They long for permission to kill.

Being hypocrites, they pretend to go through the procedure of a trial.

John 8:4     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?

God wrote the Law with His finger on tables of rock

JOHN 8:6   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.

They want to accuse Him of contradicting Moses. Moses said she must die.

He now does a fascinating but mysterious action.


He stoops right down and writes with His finger in the ground.

He completely ignores them as if He is totally alone and they are not even there.

This takes us back to Moses on Mount Sinai when Moses was totally alone on top of the mountain to get the ten commandments.

Only the prophet Moses was present when God wrote on the rock with His finger.

In the absence of any prophet, Jesus just ignored everyone as He re-enacted that great scene.

What on earth is Jesus trying to tell them, and us?

They are trying to catch Him out on a clever technical question concerning the Law of Moses. The ten commandments mention adultery. So this is the crux of the issue.

Using His finger to write in the ground refers us back to the finger of God Who wrote the ten commandments onto stone tablets when He was the Father above the Jews.


So what is Jesus actually saying?

Exodus 31:18   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   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.

Jesus is giving them an in-depth lecture on the futility of the Law to improve human behavior.

Commandments written on the outside of stone tables did not make the Jews into nicer people.

Jesus says in effect, "You guys want to trap me on a certain issue in the Law. But you fail to realize that I am the One Who originally wrote the Law.

As the Father, with My finger, I wrote the ten commandments of the Law on tables of stone.

[We cannot say "God the Father" at the time of Moses because "God the Father" is never written in the Old Testament, only in the New Testament.]

"Judging from your lust to kill this woman, the commandments have failed to make you better people.

Now as the Son I am going through a time-wasting exercise of writing the ten commandments in the ground. Wind and rain and people’s feet will erase what I have written. So it is a futile exercise.  Why on earth do I then do this?"

[We cannot say "God the Son" as this expression never appears anywhere in the Bible.]

Moses was the first man to break all 10 Commandments

Jesus was trying to show them (and us) how futile the Law of Moses was in terms of changing human behavior.

Exodus 32:19   And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.


Moses was so angry that the Jews had fallen so quickly back into sin that he threw the stone tables down with such violence that he smashed the stone tables.

So Moses, the prophet of the Law, was ironically the first man to break all ten commandments.

So much for this great prophet Moses that the religious leaders were claiming as their final authority.

This smashing of the tables of the Law showed that right from the beginning the Law was always going to be broken.

Rules and self-discipline would be unable to conquer the basic human tendency to sin.

Then, in addition, we must discern a pattern from nature.

When rock breaks and crumbles it turns into smaller and smaller pieces thanks to wind, rain, and weather until the fine rock pieces end up as ground. Ground or soil is simply weathered rock.


The sketch above illustrates how solid rock eventually crumbles into fine particles of ground.

Moses demonstrated the failure of the Law, turning the stone tablets into shattered pieces that would then crumble to form the ground.

Writing the Law onto stone was thus illustrated as being actually a wasted effort. It would not improve people’s behavior. They would merely break the ten commandments.

As the Son of God Jesus writes the Law in the ground

Jesus then in effect says that “As the Son of God I write the ten commandments in the ground where they will also do no good as the writing will not last”.

We, humans, are too sinful to obey a set of sensible and helpful laws. We even kill ourselves on the roads because of our refusal to obey sensible traffic rules like speed limits and stop signs.

John 8:7   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.

The woman had broken one commandment. They claimed authority from Moses to kill her.

Yet Moses himself had broken all the commandments. And God had not killed Moses.

Jesus then said that only a sinless person had permission to throw the first stone. But they had all sinned. As have all humans. So how could a group of sinful men be justified in killing a sinful woman? The pot was calling the kettle black.

The reason that Moses got so angry was that the Jews had persuaded their first High Priest Aaron to give them permission for a naked orgy.

Exodus 32:25   And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)

The accused woman had been naked when committing adultery. But that was exactly what the Jews had all been doing when they first received the Law.

So the Law had never changed human nature. The desire to sin burned strongly in human hearts.

John 8:8   And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.


The very strange repetition of His first action.

The men were leaving, defeated. There was thus no human reason for writing again in the ground.

Jesus had totally demolished them and they had no option but to leave.

But having won the case, Jesus again began to write on the ground.

He was repeating this futile exercise. Why? Because writing the ten commandments in stone never changed anyone for the better and equally, writing the ten commandments in the ground would never change anyone either.

But the ten commandments had been written twice by God in stone.

Exodus 34:1   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.

As the Father, Jesus had written the ten commandments twice with His finger in stone.

As the Son, He now wrote twice with His finger in the ground.

Isaiah 9:6   For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The Son is the Man Jesus.

The Father is the fulness of the Spirit of God that dwelled bodily inside the Man Jesus Who is the Son.

Colossians 2:9   For in him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

John 8:9   And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Jesus had saved the life of the woman. A woman symbolizes the church. So Jesus alone is the Saviour of the church.

No great prophet could save the church - only Jesus Who is the Word of God.

Jesus had to die on the cross so that His Blood could cleanse the church. Then the great Holy Spirit, the Life that was in His Blood, could come down and dwell within our repentant hearts to guide us into all truth. And take away our desire to sin.

When we repent then a cross-over occurs.

Our sins flow onto Jesus and His innocence and righteousness flow into us.

John 16:13   Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:

The religious leaders of that day actually used the quotes of the prophet Moses to oppose Jesus (the Word) in their attempts to kill the woman (the symbol of the church). Today message pastors use the quotes of the prophet William Branham to replace Scripture and take the church away from Scripture, which kills the church spiritually.

For instance, saying that William Branham is the "Voice of God". That expression is never used in the New Testament.

Thus the Voice of God was never promised to the end-time church.

Message-pastors claim that brother Branham is infallible. Modern-day Pharisees.

Brother Branham totally denied that statement.

62-1007 THE  KEY  TO  THE  DOOR

... and they're preaching that men should leave their wives and hunt for their spiritual mate, and that I am perfectly infallible. That there's nothing... And, oh, some of the awfullest things you ever heard.

Human hearts are made from the dust of the ground

But Jesus was also implying that there was one more step for God’s plan with humanity.

Stone had become ground with time, but what does ground become?

Adam was made from the dust of the earth.

Genesis 2:7   And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.


Suddenly some of the ground in Eden began to turn into a human being. An absolute miracle.

So, from the ground, God makes the bodies of human beings. Our hearts are thus made from the ground.

Our bodies get all the elements they need from food. Animals eat plants and plants get all the elements they need from the ground. So ultimately, everything that our bodies are comes from the ground.

Jeremiah 31:31   Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

:33    But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Hebrews 12:24   And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant,

2 Corinthians 5:17   Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

The Holy Spirit of God writes His Law in broken hearts

The Father wrote in stone.

The Son wrote in the ground.

The Holy Spirit wants to write inside soft human hearts.

God wants to make a New Testament covenant with every human being whereby God writes His laws into our hearts which will give us a deep desire to live by His laws. This will make us new people.

God is wanting to make us into better people.

Exodus 34:1   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.

There must be two tables. So the heart must be broken. Our broken hearts are God’s target.

Human hearts are hard. The murderous zeal of the scribes and Pharisees to kill the woman was proof of that. The endless wars and violence that go on in the world today are further proof of that.

God wants these hard hearts broken.


What breaks our hearts? Genuine remorse and sorrow for our sins.

God wants to write the Law in our hearts, but first, our hearts must be broken by repentance and confession of our sins.

Acts 2:37   Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

:38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

:39   For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

A broken heart will be in two portions, representing the two tables of stone.

The outer surface of our hearts is hardened by sin and selfish desires.

God can only write His laws on the soft inner portions of our broken hearts. Then those laws become part of our innermost desires. In other words, we obey God’s laws because we want to, not because we have to.

When those hearts break in repentance, then Jesus, as the Holy Ghost, writes His laws in the soft portions of our hearts. Then like Him, we have compassion for sinners as well as a desire to get them saved.

The term "Holy Ghost" reminds us of the price He paid for our sins when He died for us.


Only then is God’s plan complete in our lives.

The church in 7 ages and then the 12 tribes of Israel

Why was the Law written twice in the Old Testament?

Because in the New Testament Jesus as the Holy Ghost first wrote His laws into the inner hearts of His church believers or Bride over the 2000 years of church history.

When the true church is taken up to Heaven at the Coming of the Lord, then two prophets, Moses and Elijah, will take the Gospel back to Israel to convert the 144000 Jews. Then once again, for this second group, Jesus will have to start all over and write His laws into the hearts of this new group of people, the Jews, who have effectively ignored Him and denied Him for 2000 years.

There are two groups who receive the truth in the New Testament. The Christians during the seven church ages who collectively make up the Bride of Christ and the 144000 Jews who come in during the Tribulation time. Thus Jesus was happy to write twice in the sand. He knew He had two distinct groups of people, Gentile and Jew, whose repentant hearts He still had to deal with. But the laws written in the ground would become written in the hearts of believers that are made from the ground.

In the holy place in the Tabernacle, there was a seven-branched candlestick and a table of shewbread that had 12 loaves.



These represented the two groups that God is interested in during the New Testament era.

The candlestick represents the seven church ages of the Gentile era.


The table of shewbread represents the 12 tribes of Israel who come back to the Lord during great Tribulation time when the 144000 Jews get called out.

We see the same numbers 7  and  12  appearing in the skeleton of the human body.

Christ is the Head of the church.

The skull or head is attached to the body by the seven cervical vertebrae that form the neck.

Matthew 27:33  And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

Christ became attached to His Body of believers when He died to save them from their sins. This happened at Golgotha, a place of a skull.

Ephesians 5:23   For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

The skull represents Christ as He alone is the Head of the church. He alone is the Saviour of the church, His Body.


Through seven church ages over a period of 2000 years Christ will save the body of believers, called His church. At the end of the seventh church age, there will be a resurrection and the saints will receive immortal bodies, made from the ground or the dust of the earth.

Below the first  7  vertebrae that form the neck, we find the next 12 thoracic vertebrae that are attached to the ribs.


Father and Son and Holy Spirit are God manifest 3 times

After the seven church ages are complete, God will turn back to the 12 Tribes of Israel in the Tribulation.

The church and the 144000 will have the Gospel written in their hearts by the finger of Jesus as He acts as the Spirit of God in the hearts of His people.

This is the blueprint for God’s Great Plan with humanity.

COLOSSIANS 2:2   ... to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Jesus does it all in three manifestations of His power as God.

As the Father, He was above the Jews in the Old Testament.

As the Father, God was called Jehovah in the Old Testament.

But the name Jehovah is never mentioned in the New Testament.

Thus the Jehovah of the Old Testament became the Jesus of the New Testament.

The invisible Word became flesh in a Man that we could see.

JOHN 1:14   And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

COLOSSIANS 2:9   For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

MATTHEW 1:23   Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

As the Son, He was Emmanuel, God with us.

JOHN 14:17   Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

As the Holy Ghost, He was and still is God in His church.

The people, when anointed, can be called christ (the Greek word for anointed) but not THE Christ.

So when He said that we must baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the only name is Jesus. The Holy Ghost has no name in Scripture. The Father's name was secret.

JUDGES 13:18   And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?

JUDGES 13:22   And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

So the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is best expressed as the Lord Jesus Christ.

This involves all three of God's manifestations: above, with, and in His people.

Symbolized by rock, ground, and repentant human hearts.

I TIMOTHY 3:16   And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh,

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” — 1 Corinthians 16:23