The Golden Calf

32 When the people saw that Moses (A)delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, (B)“Up, make us gods who shall (C)go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So Aaron said to them, “Take off the (D)rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. (E)And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden[a] calf. And they said, (F)“These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron (G)made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And (H)the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up (I)to play.

And the Lord said to Moses, (J)“Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have (K)corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that (L)I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, (M)it is a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore (N)let me alone, that (O)my wrath may burn hot against them and (P)I may consume them, in order that (Q)I may make a great nation of you.”

11 But (R)Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 (S)Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and (T)relent from this disaster against your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you (U)swore by your own self, and said to them, (V)‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’” 14 And the Lord (W)relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

15 Then (X)Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the (Y)two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides; on the front and on the back they were written. 16 (Z)The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. 17 When (AA)Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp.” 18 But he said, “It is not the sound of (AB)shouting for victory, or the sound of the cry of defeat, but the sound of singing that I hear.” 19 And as soon as he came near the camp and (AC)saw the calf and the dancing, Moses' anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it.

21 And Moses said to Aaron, (AD)“What did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them?” 22 And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. (AE)You know the people, that they are set on evil. 23 For (AF)they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 24 So (AG)I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 32:4 Hebrew cast metal; also verse 8

Bible Gateway Recommends

ESV Study Bible, Burgundy Genuine Leather
ESV Study Bible, Burgundy Genuine Leather
Retail: $99.99
Our Price: $49.99
Save: $50.00 (50%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Large Print Value Thinline Bible (TruTone, Ruby, Vine Design)
ESV Large Print Value Thinline Bible (TruTone, Ruby, Vine Design)
Retail: $19.99
Our Price: $9.99
Save: $10.00 (50%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Women's Study Bible--soft leather-look, teal
ESV Women's Study Bible--soft leather-look, teal
Retail: $69.99
Our Price: $34.99
Save: $35.00 (50%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
ESV Holy Bible for Kids, Softcover Economy Edition
ESV Holy Bible for Kids, Softcover Economy Edition
Retail: $5.99
Our Price: $4.49
Save: $1.50 (25%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Study Bible--soft leather-look, olive with branch design
ESV Study Bible--soft leather-look, olive with branch design
Retail: $79.99
Our Price: $39.99
Save: $40.00 (50%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Study Bible--Bonded leather, black
ESV Study Bible--Bonded leather, black
Retail: $89.99
Our Price: $56.99
Save: $33.00 (37%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars