Exodus 32:1–6; Exodus 32:25–35

The Golden Calf

32 When the people saw that Moses vdelayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, wUp, make us gods who shall xgo 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 yrings 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. zAnd he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden1 calf. And they said, aThese 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 bmade 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 cthe people sat down to eat and drink and rose up dto play.


25 And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, cto the derision of their enemies), 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me. And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. 27 And he said to them, Thus says the Lord God of Israel, Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you dkill his brother and his companion and his neighbor. 28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell. 29 And Moses said, Today you have been eordained for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day.

30 The next day Moses said to the people, fYou have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; gperhaps I can make atonement for your sin. 31 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, Alas, fthis people has sinned a great sin. They have hmade for themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, if iyou will forgive their sinbut if not, please jblot me out of kyour book that you have written. 33 But the Lord said to Moses, lWhoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book. 34 mBut now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; nbehold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.

35 Then the Lord sent a plague on the people, because they made the calf, the one that Aaron made.