32 4 The Israelites impute their deliverance to the calf. 14 God is appeased by Moses’ prayer.  19 Moses breaketh the Tables.

But when the people saw, that Moses tarried long ere he came down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together against Aaron, and said unto him, Up, [a]make us gods to go before us: for of this Moses (the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt) we know not what is become of him.

And Aaron said unto them, [b]Pluck off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.

Then all the people plucked from [c]themselves the golden earrings, which were in their ears, and they brought them unto Aaron.

(A)Who received them at their hands, and fashioned it with the graving tool, and made of it a [d]molten calf: then they said, (B)These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt.

When Aaron saw that, he made an Altar before it: and Aaron proclaimed, saying, Tomorrow shall be the holy day of the Lord.

So they rose up the next day in the morning, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings: also (C)the people sat them down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

¶ Then the Lord said unto Moses, (D)Go get thee down: for thy people which thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, hath corrupted their ways.

They [e]are soon turned out of the way, which I commanded them: for they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have offered thereto, saying, (E)These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt.

Again the Lord said unto Moses, (F)I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people.

10 Now [f]therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, for I will consume them: but I will make of thee a mighty people

11 (G)But Moses prayed unto the Lord his God, and said, O Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, with great power and with a mighty hand?

12 (H)Wherefore shall the Egyptians [g]speak, and say, He hath brought them out maliciously for to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the earth? turn from thy fierce wrath, and [h]change thy mind from this evil toward thy people.

13 Remember [i]Abraham, Isaac, and Israel thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidest unto them, (I)I will multiply your seed, as the stars of heaven, and all this land, that I have spoken of, will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.

14 Then the Lord changed his mind from the evil, which he threatened to do unto his people.

15 So Moses returned and went down from the mountain with the two Tables of the Testimony in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides, even on the one side and on the other were they written.

16 And these Tables were the work of God, and [j]this writing was the writing of God graven in the Tables.

17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people, as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the host.

18 Who answered, It is not the noise of them that have the victory, nor the noise of them that are overcome: but I do hear the noise of singing.

19 Now, as soon as he came near unto the host, he saw the calf and the dancing: so Moses’ wrath waxed hot, and he cast the Tables out of his hands, and brake them in pieces beneath the mountain.

20 (J)After, he took the calf, which they had made, and burned it in the fire, and ground it unto powder, and strowed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel [k]drink of it.

21 Also Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?

22 Then Aaron answered, Let not the wrath of my Lord wax fierce: Thou knowest this people, that they are even set on mischief.

23 And they said unto me, Make us gods to go before us: for we know not what is become of this Moses (the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt).

24 Then I said to them, Ye that have gold, pluck it off: and they brought it me, and I did cast it into the fire, and thereof came this calf.

25 Moses therefore saw that the people were [l]naked (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies)

26 And Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who pertaineth to the Lord? let them come to me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves unto him.

27 Then he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Put every man his sword by his side, go to and fro, from gate to gate, through the host, and [m]slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

28 So the children of Levi did as Moses had commanded: and there fell of the people the same day about three thousand men.

29 (For Moses had said, Consecrate your hands unto the Lord this day, even every man upon his [n]son, and upon his brother, that there may be given you a blessing this day.)

30 And when the morning came, Moses said unto the people, Ye have committed a grievous crime: but now I will go up to the Lord, if I may pacify him for your sin.

31 Moses therefore went again unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.

32 Therefore now if thou pardon their sin, thy mercy shall appear: but if thou wilt not, I pray thee, raise me [o]out of thy book, which thou hast written.

33 Then the Lord said to Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, I will put him out of my [p]book.

34 Go now therefore, bring the people unto the place which I commanded thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee, but yet in the day of my visitation I will visit their sin upon them.

35 [q]So the Lord plagued the people, because they caused Aaron to make the calf which he made.

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 32:1 The root of Idolatry is, when men think that God is not at hand, except they see him carnally.
  2. Exodus 32:2 Thinking that they would rather forego idolatry, than to resign their most precious jewels.
  3. Exodus 32:3 Such is the rage of idolaters, that they spare no cost to satisfy their wicked desires.
  4. Exodus 32:4 They smelled of their leaven of Egypt, where they saw calves, oxen and serpents worshipped.
  5. Exodus 32:8 Whereby we see what necessity we have to pray earnestly to God, to keep us in his true obedience, and to send us good guides.
  6. Exodus 32:10 God showeth that the prayers of the godly stay his punishment.
  7. Exodus 32:12 Or, blaspheme.
  8. Exodus 32:12 Or, repent.
  9. Exodus 32:13 That is, thy promise made to Abraham.
  10. Exodus 32:16 All these repetitions show how excellent a thing they defrauded themselves of by their idolatry.
  11. Exodus 32:20 Partly to despite them of their idolatry, and partly that they should have none occasion to remember it afterward.
  12. Exodus 32:25 Both destitute of God’s favor, and an occasion to their enemies to speak evil of their God.
  13. Exodus 32:27 This fact did so please God, that he turned the curse of Jacob against Levi to a blessing, Deut. 33:9.
  14. Exodus 32:29 In revenging God’s glory we must have no respect to person, but put off all carnal affection.
  15. Exodus 32:32 So much he esteemed the glory of God, that he preferred it even to his own salvation.
  16. Exodus 32:33 I will make it known that he was never predestinated in mine eternal counsel to life everlasting.
  17. Exodus 32:35 This declareth how grievous a sin idolatry is, seeing that at Moses’ prayer God would not fully remit it.