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1And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from 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 know not what is become of him. 2And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3And all the people brake off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4And he received it at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD. 6And 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.
7And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 8they 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 unto it, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 9And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: 10now 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. 11And 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? 12Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, saying, For evil did he bring them forth, 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. 13Remember 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. 14And the LORD repented of the evil which he said he would do unto his people.
15And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, with the two tables of the testimony in his hand; tables that were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. 16And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. 17And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 18And 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. 19And 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. 20And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
21And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought a great sin upon them? 22And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on evil. 23For 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 know not what is become of him. 24And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off; so they gave it me: and I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf. 25And when Moses saw that the people were broken loose; for Aaron had let them loose for a derision among their enemies: 26then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Whoso is on the LORD'S side, let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Put ye every man his sword upon his thigh, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. 29And Moses said, Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD, yea, every man against his son, and against his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.
30And 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 atonement for your sin. 31And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. 32Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. 33And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. 34And 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. 35And the LORD smote the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.
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.