Exodus 32:1-24View Full Chapter
The Golden Calf
1When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods
4He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,
6So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry. 7Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt.
8They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’ 9“I have seen these people,” the LORD said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people.
10Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” 11But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. “ LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’ ”
14Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. 15Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.
16The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
17When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.”
18Moses replied: “It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.” 19When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.
20And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.
21He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?” 22“Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. 23They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’
24So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”