The LORD said to Moses: “Carve two tablets of stone like the first, and I will inscribe upon the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you shattered.
ויאמר. פסל לך. כמו לך לך. ואתה קח לך וטעם כראשונים. כמדתם. אמר הגאון כי השניים נכבדים מהראשונים כי השניים נתנו ביום קדש וביום הכפורים ולא כן הראשונים. כי הם ירדו ביום י''ז בתמוז וביום חול... והראשונים נשתברו ואלה כדברי חלום לא מעלין ולא מורידין. כי מכתב אלהים היו שניהם ועוד כי הראשונים הם מעשה אלהים. והשניים מעשה משה
The Lord said. Carve licha. Like "Lech Licha." (Gen 12:1) And "Take licha" (Gen 30:23)
And the meaning of, "like the first." is like its measurements (and of the same stone.)
The Gaon said, that the second set were more m'chubad than the first because the second set was given on a holy day, on Yom Kippur, and such was not true of the first. They came down on the 17th of Tammuz and on a regular day... The first ones were broken, they were like a dream thing, they didn't go up and didn't go down. Both of them were the writing of God and more, the first were made entirely by God, and the second, the work of Moses (and God)
(ב) השאלה הא' למה צוה השם למשה שיפסול שני לוחות אבנים כראשונים ושהוא יתברך יכתוב על הלוחות את הדברים שהיו על הלוחות הראשונים כי בהיות הלוחות השניות במקום הראשונות היו ראוי שתהיינה שוות בכל ולמה אם כן הראשונות פסל וכתב יתברך והשניות פסל משה ולא כתבם וכתב אותם הקב"ה ולא פסל אותם: (ג) השאלה הב' למה נהג בלוחות השניות האלה יותר קדושה מבלוחות הראשונות אם במה שאמר כאן ואיש לא יעלה עמך. ובראשונות אמר עלה אל ה' אתה ואהרן נדב ואביהו וגו'. גם אמר כאן גם הצאן והבקר אל ירעו אל מול ההר ההוא ולא נאמר ככה בלוחות הראשונות. כאלו היו השניות שפסל משה יותר קדושות מהראשונות שפסל השם יתברך:
...והנה ראה יתברך שבלוחות היו שני דברים נסיי'. האחד היתה מלאכתם שהיו מעשה אלהים נעשה בדרך פלאי והשני היתה כתיבתם שהיה מכתב אלהים והנה משה שבר את הלוחות והפסיד מלאכתם ותמונתם אך לא השחית ולא הפסיד הכתב.
1. The first question: why did God command Moses to carve two tablets of stone akin to the first [set of tablets], upon which God would inscribe the Ten Commandments that were on the first set of tablets. For if the second set of tablets were to replace the first set, it would be appropriate for them to be identical in all respects; however, the first set were both carved and inscribed by God, while the second set were carved by Moses, who did not inscribe them, and inscribed by God, who did not carve them. (3) The second question: why did the second set of tablets have greater holiness than the first set, as indicated by the verse, "and no person shall ascend [the mountain] with you." And for the first tablets, the verse said "ascend to God, you and Aharon and Nadav and Avihu ..." Also, here the verse warned "the sheep and the cattle shall not graze adjacent to the mountain," while no such restriction appears with respect to the first tablets. It appears that the second tablets that Moses carved were holier than the first set that were carved by God...
And here, God saw that the tablets encompassed two miraculous qualities. The first was that the workmanship was divine work, done in a miraculous fashion, and the second was the inscription, which was divinely written. When Moses shattered the tablets, the workmanship and form was lost, but the words inscribed were not destroyed or lost. Therefore, God commanded Moses to carve the stone to make new tablets, ready to be inscribed, for it was Moses' obligation since he destroyed the first set of tablets. However, God said the inscription would not be written by Moses, because he did not destroy the words.
(1) פסל לך שני לוחות אבנים כראשונים וכתבתי, “carve for yourself two stone tablets similar to the original ones and I shall write, etc”. When G’d said: וכתבתי, “I will write,” the meaning is “with a finger,” just as we had been told of the first Tablets that they had been written “with the finger of G‘d” (32,18). When G’d spoke of the second Tablets being כראשונים, “like the first ones,” the reference was to the writing not to the material they were made of. The first Tablets were made of material provided by G’d, not material provided by man which Moses carried all the way up the mountain. (2) Shemot Rabbah 46,2 states that the instruction to Moses to carve for himself two stone tablets is an illustration of what Solomon had in mind in Kohelet 3,5 when he said: “there is a time to throw stones away and another time to assemble stones. He first referred to Moses who had smashed the first set of Tablets, whereas in the second half of his statement he referred to G’d’s instruction to Moses to carve for himself two stone tablets as mentioned in our verse. The latter statement was an illustration of the verse (Proverbs 10,23) “the blessing of the Lord makes people wealthy.” The blessing Solomon had in mind when he wrote that was the wording chosen by G’d here i.e. פסל לך, as if G’d had said: “the פסולת, “discarded (slivers of stone) used to carve out these tablets will remain your personal property.” G’d showed Moses a kind of large sapphire from which to carve the tablets. This made Moses a wealthy individual and enabled him to act as king over Israel. This also teaches you that anyone who makes Torah their vocation will find that their livelihood will somehow be provided by the Torah. This is the meaning of the words (Joshua 1,8) “for then (if you preoccupy yourself with Torah on an ongoing basis) you will succeed in your path and will be successful.” Such a person will not experience pain or anguish in the process of securing their livelihood and will not have to leave their home even in order to work for their livelihood.
Another meaning of the words: “carve for yourself!” The matter can be illustrated by means of a parable. A king took a trip abroad, overseas, leaving his wife and the various female servants of the palace behind. The queen now became the subject of the same kind of cheap gossip as is invariably spread about such servants. When these tales reached the ears of the king he wanted to execute his queen. When a companion of the queen who had been a witness to the marriage heard about this he tore up the marriage settlement which had been given to him for safe-keeping. He reasoned that if the king were to accuse his wife of misconduct he would tell him that she was not his wife anymore (seeing she had no marriage settlement). The king examined the reports that had reached him and did not find any substance in them. Only accusations against the maid servants could be substantiated. He immediately changed his mind and his wife became very dear to him again. Thereupon the witness who had previously torn up the marriage contract said to the king: “please write a new marriage contract for your wife.” The king responded that seeing that it was the witness who had torn up the original it was up to him to provide the means to write a replacement. The king was willing, however, to do the writing on the replacement contract. This is the reason G’d said to Moses: “carve for yourself!”
ויאמר ה' אל משה פסל לך שני לחת אבנים כראשנים וכתבתי על הלחת את הדברים אשר היו על הלחת הראשנים אשר שברת. ואיתא בגמ' (שבת פ"ז.) יישר כוחך ששברת, מחמת שהיה קשה בעיני משה מאד שבירת הלוחות לכן הראה לו השי"ת כי באמת למעלה אין שום פירוד ורק בעולם הזה נתראה כנפרדים...
The LORD said to Moses: “Carve two tablets of stone like the first, and I will inscribe upon the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you shattered. It is brought in the gemara (Shabbat 87a) Yasher Koach that you broke, for it was difficult for Moses, very difficult, the breaking of the tablets and thus God showed him that in truth above there is no separation, only in this world do they appear as split...