Deuteronomy 9:15-29 Common English Bible (CEB)
15 So I went down the mountain while it was blazing with fire. The two covenant tablets were in my two hands. 16 It was then that I saw how you sinned against the Lord your God: you made yourselves a calf, an idol made of cast metal! You couldn’t wait to turn from the path the Lord commanded you! 17 I grabbed the two tablets and threw them down with my own hands, shattering them while you watched. 18 Then I fell before the Lord as I had done the previous forty days and forty nights. I ate no bread and drank no water, all because of the sin that you had committed by doing such evil in the Lord’s sight, infuriating him. 19 I was afraid of the massive anger and rage the Lord had for you—he was going to wipe you out! However, the Lord listened to me again in that moment.
20 But the Lord was furious with Aaron—he was going to wipe him out! So I also prayed hard for Aaron at that time. 21 And as for that sinful thing you made, that calf, I took it and I burned it with fire. Then I smashed it, grinding it thoroughly until it was as fine as dust. Then I dumped the dust into the stream that ran down the mountain.
22 Also at Taberah, again at Massah, and then again at Kibroth-hattaavah, you have been the kind of people who make the Lord angry. 23 And then, when the Lord sent you from Kadesh-barnea, telling you: “Go up and take possession of the land that I’m giving you,” you disobeyed the Lord your God’s command. You didn’t trust him. You didn’t obey God’s voice. 24 You’ve been rebellious toward the Lord from the day I[a] met you.
Moses’ intercessory prayer
25 But I fell on my knees in the Lord’s presence forty days and forty nights, lying flat out, because the Lord planned on wiping you out. 26 But I prayed to the Lord! I said: Lord, my Lord! Don’t destroy your people, your own possession, whom you saved by your own power, whom you brought out of Egypt with a strong hand! 27 Remember your servants: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Don’t focus on this people’s stubbornness, wickedness, and sin. 28 Otherwise, that land out of which you brought us will say: The Lord wasn’t strong enough to bring them into the land he’d promised them. Because he didn’t care for them in the least, he brought them out to die in the desert. 29 But these are your people! Your own possession! The people you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm!