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Exodus 32 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Molten Calf and Smashing Tablets

32 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Get up, make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what’s become of him!”

So Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden rings that are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people broke off the golden rings that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. He received them from their hand, and made a molten calf, fashioned with a chiseling tool.

Then they said, “This is your god, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”

When Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. Then Aaron made a proclamation saying, “Tomorrow will be a feast to Adonai.” They rose up early the next morning, sacrificed burnt offerings and brought fellowship offerings. The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to make merry.

Then Adonai said to Moses, “Go down! For your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have become debased. They quickly turned aside from the path that I commanded for them. They have made a molten calf, worshipped it, and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’”

Adonai said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore, leave Me alone, so My wrath may burn hot against them, and so I may consume them—and make from you a great nation!”

11 Then Moses sought Adonai his God and said, “Adonai, why should Your wrath burn hot against Your people, whom You have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘He brought them out to do evil, to slay them in the mountains, and to annihilate them from the face of the earth?’ Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this destruction against Your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your offspring, and they will inherit it forever.’”

14 So Adonai relented from the destruction that He said He would do to His people.

15 Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain, with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides, on one and on the other. 16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war within the camp.” 18 But Moses said:

“It is not the voice of a shout of victory,
nor is it the voice of crying from defeat,
but I hear the sound of singing.”

19 Then it happened, as soon as Moses came near the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing, and his anger burned hot. So he threw the tablets out of his hands, and smashed them at the foot of the mountain. 20 Then he took the calf that they had made, burned it with fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on the surface of the water and made Bnei-Yisrael drink it.

21 Then Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you, to make you bring such a great sin upon them?”

22 Aaron said, “Don’t be angry, my lord! You know these people yourself, and how they are set on evil. 23 They said to me, ‘Make gods for us, to go before us! As for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what happened to him.’ 24 So I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them break it off.’ So they gave it to me and I threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!”

25 When Moses saw that the people were unrestrained, because Aaron had let them run wild, to become a joke among their enemies, 26 Moses stood at the gate of the camp and said, “Whoever is on Adonai’s side, let him come to me.” Then all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.

27 He said to them, “This is what Adonai, the God of Israel says, ‘Every man put on his sword, and go to and fro, from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.’” 28 So the sons of Levi did as Moses said, and that day from among the people there fell about 3,000 men.

29 Then Moses said, “Consecrate your hands today to Adonai so that He may give you a blessing today, for every man has been against his son and his brother.”

30 So it happened the following day, Moses said to the people, “You have committed a horrendous sin. So now I will go up to Adonai—perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”

31 Then Moses returned to Adonai and said, “Alas, these people have sinned greatly, and made gods of gold! 32 Yet now, please forgive their sin. But if not, please blot me out of Your book that You have written.”

33 Adonai said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot out of My book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place that I told you about. My angel will go before you. Nevertheless, on the day when I take account, I will hold them accountable for their sin.”

35 So Adonai struck the people because of what they did with the calf that Aaron had made.

Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

Exodus 32 New International Version (NIV)

The Golden Calf

32 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods[a] 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.”

Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He 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,[b] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So 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.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They 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.’

“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now 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.”

11 But 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? 12 Why 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. 13 Remember 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.’” 14 Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

15 Moses 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. 16 The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.”

18 Moses replied:

“It is not the sound of victory,
    it is not the sound of defeat;
    it is the sound of singing that I hear.”

19 When 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. 20 And 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.

21 He 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. 23 They 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.’ 24 So 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!”

25 Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.

27 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29 Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”

30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”

31 So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”

33 The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”

35 And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 32:1 Or a god; also in verses 23 and 31
  2. Exodus 32:4 Or This is your god; also in verse 8
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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