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32
Israel Worships a Golden Calf
1The people saw that Moses took a long time to come down from the mountain. So they gathered around Aaron. They said to him, "Come. Make us a god that will lead us. This fellow Moses brought us up out of Egypt. But we don't know what has happened to him."
2Aaron answered them, "Take the gold earrings off your wives, your sons and your daughters. Bring the earrings to me."
3So all of the people took off their earrings. They brought them to Aaron. 4He took what they gave him and made it into a metal statue of a god. It looked like a calf. He shaped it with a tool.
Then the people said, "Israel, here is your god who brought you up out of Egypt."
5When Aaron saw it, he built an altar in front of the calf. He said, "Tomorrow will be a feast day in the Lord's honor."
6So the next day the people got up early. They sacrificed burnt offerings and brought friendship offerings. They sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to dance wildly in front of their god.
7The Lord spoke to Moses. He said, "Go down. Your people you brought up out of Egypt have become very sinful. 8They have quickly turned away from what I commanded them. They have made themselves a statue of a god that looks like a calf. They have bowed down and sacrificed to it. And they have said, 'Israel, here is your god who brought you up out of Egypt.'
9"I have seen those people," the Lord said to Moses. "They are stubborn. 10Now leave me alone. My anger will burn against them. I will destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation."
11But Moses asked the Lord his God to show favor to the people. "Lord," he said, "why should your anger burn against your people? You used your great power and mighty hand to bring them out of Egypt. 12Why should the Egyptians say, 'He brought them out to hurt them. He wanted to kill them in the mountains. He wanted to wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn away from your burning anger. Please take pity on your people. Don't destroy them!
13"Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel. You made a promise. You took an oath in your name. You said, 'I will make your children after you as many as the stars in the sky. I will give them all of this land I promised them. It will belong to them forever.' "
14Then the Lord took pity on his people. He didn't destroy them as he had said he would.
15Moses turned and went down the mountain. He had the two tablets of the covenant in his hands. Words were written on both sides of the tablets, front and back. 16The tablets were the work of God. The words had been written by God. They had been carved on the tablets.
17Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting. So he said to Moses, "It sounds like war in the camp."
18Moses replied, "It's not the sound of winning.
It's not the sound of losing.
It's the sound of singing that I hear."
19As Moses approached the camp, he saw the calf. He also saw the people dancing. So he burned with anger. He threw the tablets out of his hands. They broke into pieces at the foot of the mountain.
20He took the calf the people had made. He burned it in the fire. Then he ground it into powder. He scattered it on the water. And he made the people of Israel drink it.
21He said to Aaron, "What did these people do to you? How did they make you lead them into such terrible sin?"
22"Please don't be angry," Aaron answered. "You know how these people like to do what is evil. 23They said to me, 'Make us a god that will lead us. This fellow Moses brought us up out of Egypt. But we don't know what has happened to him.'
24"So I told them, 'Anyone who has any gold jewelry, take it off.' They gave me the gold. I threw it into the fire. And out came this calf!"
25Moses saw that the people were running wild. Aaron had let them get out of control. The people had become a joke to their enemies.
26Moses stood at the entrance to the camp. He said, "Anyone who is on the Lord's side, come to me." All of the Levites joined him.
27Then he spoke to them. He said, "The Lord, the God of Israel, says, 'Each man must put on his sword. Then he must go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other. Each man must kill his brother, friend and neighbor.' " 28The Levites did as Moses commanded. About 3,000 of the people died that day. 29Then Moses said to the Levites, "You have been set apart for the Lord today. You stood against your own sons and brothers. And he has blessed you this day."
30The next day Moses said to the people, "You have committed a terrible sin. But now I will go up to the Lord. Maybe if I pray to him, he will forgive your sin."
31So Moses went back to the Lord. He said, "These people have committed a terrible sin. They have made a god out of gold for themselves. 32Now please forgive their sin. But if you won't, then erase my name from the scroll you have written."
33The Lord replied to Moses, "I will erase from my scroll only the names of those who have sinned against me. 34Now go. Lead the people to the place I spoke about. My angel will go ahead of you. But when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin."
35The Lord struck the people with a plague. That's because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.
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CHAPTER 32.
1And the people seeing that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, gathering together against Aaron, said: Arise, make us gods, that may go before us: for as to this Moses, the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what has befallen him.
2And Aaron said to them: Take the golden earrings from the ears of your wives, and your sons and daughters, and bring them to me.
3And the people did what he had commanded, bringing the earrings to Aaron.
4And when he had received them, he fashioned them by founders' work, and made of them a molten calf. And they said: These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt.
5And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it, and made proclamation by a crier's voice, saying: To morrow is the solemnity of the Lord.
6And rising in the morning, they offered holocausts, and peace victims, and the people sat down to eat, and drink, and they rose up to play.
7And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Go, get thee down: thy people, which thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, hath sinned.
8They have quickly strayed from the way which thou didst shew them: and they have made to themselves a molten calf, and have adored it, and sacrificing victims to it, have said: These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt.
9And again the Lord said to Moses: See that this people is stiffnecked:
10Let me alone, that my wrath may be kindled against them, and that I may destroy them, and I will make of thee a great nation.
11But Moses besought the Lord his God, saying: Why, O Lord, is thy indignation kindled against thy people, whom thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, with great power, and with a mighty hand?
12Let not the Egyptians say, I beseech thee: He craftily brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains, and destroy them from the earth: let thy anger cease, and be appeased upon the wickedness of thy people.
13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou sworest by thy own self, saying: I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven: and this whole land that I have spoken of, I will give to you seed, and you shall possess it for ever.
14And the Lord was appeased from doing the evil which he had spoken against his people.
15And Moses returned from the mount, carrying the two tables of the testimony in his hand, written on both sides,
16And made by the work of God: the writing also of God was graven in the tables.
17And Josue hearing the noise of the people shouting, said to Moses: The noise of battle is heard in the camp.
18But he answered: It is not the cry of men encouraging to fight, nor the shout of men compelling to flee: but I hear the voice of singers.
19And when he came nigh to the camp, he saw the calf, and the dances: and being very angry, he threw the tables out of his hand, and broke them at the foot of the mount:
20And laying hold of the calf which they had made, he burnt it, and beat it to powder, which he strowed into water, and gave thereof to the children of Israel to drink.
21And he said to Aaron: What has this people done to thee, that thou shouldst bring upon them a most heinous sin?
22And he answered him: Let not my lord be offended: for thou knowest this people, that they are prone to evil.
23They said to me: Make us gods, that may go before us: for as to this Moses, who brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is befallen him.
24And I said to them: Which of you hath any gold? and they took and brought it to me: and I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out.
25And when Moses saw that the people were naked, (for Aaron had stripped them by occasion of the shame of the filth, and had set them naked among their enemies,)
26Then standing in the gate of the camp, he said: If any man be on the Lord's side let him join with me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him:
27And he said to them: Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Put every man his sword upon his thigh: go, and return from gate to gate through the midst of the camp, and let every man kill his brother, and friend, and neighbour.
28And the sons of Levi did according to the words of Moses, and there were slain that day about three and twenty thousand men.
29And Moses said: You have consecrated your hands this day to the Lord, every man in his son and in his brother, that a blessing may be given to you.
30And when the next day was come, Moses spoke to the people: You have sinned a very great sin: I will go up to the Lord, if by any means I may be able to entreat him for your crime.
31And returning to the Lord, he said: I beseech thee: this people hath sinned a heinous sin, and they have made to themselves gods of gold: either forgive them this trespass,
32Or if thou do not, strike me out of the book that thou hast written.
33And the Lord answered him: He that hath sinned against me, him will I strike out of my book:
34But go thou, and lead this people whither I have told thee: my angel shall go before thee. And I in the day of revenge will visit this sin also of theirs.
35The Lord therefore struck the people for the guilt on occasion of the calf which Aaron had made.