And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
A. M. 2513. B.C. 1491. An. Ex. Is. 1. Ab. delayed
And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.
And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.
And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.
And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
No doubt at this feast they sacrificed after the manner of the Egyptians.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:
They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
I have seen
Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
let me alone
and I will
And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
the Lord his God
Heb. the face of the Lord. why doth.
Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, 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 for ever.
I will multiply
And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.
And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.
There is a noise
And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.
Heb. weakness. but the.
And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.
And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
took the calf
How truly contemptible must the object of their idolatry appear, when they were obliged to drink their god, reduced to powder, and strewed on the water! Some have asked, how gold, the most ductile and ponderous of all metals, could have been stamped into dust, and strewed on the water. In De 9:21, this is fully explained. I took, says Moses, your sin, the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire; that is, melted it down, probably into ingots or gross plates, and stamped it, beat it into thin laminÊ, something like our gold leaf, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust, which might be very easily done by the action of the hands, when beat into thin plates or leaves as the original words ekkoth, and dak, imply.
And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?
And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief.
that they are
For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.
And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)
The term naked may mean either that they were unarmed and defenceless, or ashamed from the consciousness of guilt.
Heb. those that rose up against them.
Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.
Who is on
And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
slay every man
And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.
Heb. fill your hands.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.
And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
Allusion may be made to the registry of births, in which those born of a particular tribe were entered in the list of their respective families under that tribe. This was the book of life; and when any died, his name might be considered as blotted out of this list. But as Moses addressed the Lord, he undoubtedly referred, by faith, to the book of God's remembrance.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.
And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.