The stone tablets were the "covenants" between Jehovah and his "chosen people" which is why the box they were kept in was called the "Ark of the Covenant". This seems to be too hard for Christians to understand.<quoted text>
Moses actually went up the mountain three times:
The first time Moses went up the mountain, he came back down with no stone tablets. He just recited what God was supposed to have told him and that is the list of do's and don'ts in Exodus 20.
Moses went up the mountain a second time. This time he came back with stone tablets engraved with ten commandments which he smashed in a fit of pique.
Moses went back up a third time to get a replacement set of tablets which God duly provided for him. These commandments were the same as the ones on the smashed tablets so it's safe to say that they were more important than the first, verbal edicts.
There was no outlawing of killing and stealing on these ten divine enactments. What they did contain were orders that the Jews had to observe the Feast of Weeks (whatever that was) as well as not to cook a kid goat in its mother's milk.
If you look at the full ten in Exodus 34:28 and Deuteronomy 4:13 you'll see that the commandments inscribed on stone tablets were quite different to what is commonly regarded as the Ten Commandments.
So, the stone tablets kept in the Ark of the Covenant were the ones that Moses brought down on his third trip.
And, as I'm sure you know, there are a lot more than 10 supposed commandments, including the one to kill all witches.