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Passage Display[Printer-friendly Verses]   
 Exodus 32
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The New American Standard Bible
   Book of ExodusClick Verse Reference for Study Notes
    32:1-35 - Study Chapter  - Click for Chapter Audio

The Golden Calf

1 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed R1005 to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, "Come, make R1006 us a F710 god who will go before us; as for this R1007 Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." 2 Aaron said to them, "Tear R1008 off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me." 3 Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten R1009 calf; and they said, "This F711 is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt." 5 Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD." 6 So the next day they rose early and offered R1010 burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the R1011 people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to R1012 play.

7 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Go down F712 at once, for your people, whom you R1013 brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted R1014 themselves. 8 "They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They R1015 have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have R1016 sacrificed to it and said, `This R1017 F713 is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!' " 9 The R1018 LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, they are an R1019 F714 obstinate people. 10 "Now then let R1020 Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I R1021 will make of you a great nation."

Moses' Entreaty

11 Then Moses R1022 entreated the LORD his God, and said, "O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 "Why should the R1023 Egyptians speak, saying, `With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth'? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people. 13 "Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore R1024 by Yourself, and said to them, `I will multiply R1025 your descendants F715 as the stars of the heavens, and all R1026 this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, F715 and they shall inherit it forever.' " 14 So R1027 the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.

15 Then R1028 Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets R1029 which were written on both sides; F716 they were written on one side and the other. 16 The tablets were God's work, and the writing was God's writing engraved on the tablets. 17 Now when Joshua heard the sound of the people as F717 they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is a sound of war in the camp." 18 But he said, "It is not the sound of the cry of triumph, Nor is it the sound of the cry of defeat; But the sound of singing I hear."

Moses' Anger

19 It came about, as soon as Moses F718 came near the camp, that he R1030 saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses' anger burned, and he R1031 threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at F719 the foot of the mountain. 20 He R1032 took the calf which they had made and burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it.

21 Then Moses said to Aaron, "What did this people do to you, that you have brought such great sin upon them?" 22 Aaron said, "Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that R1033 they are prone F720 to evil. 23 "For they R1034 said to me, `Make a F721 god for us who will go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' 24 "I said to them, `Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.' So they gave it to me, and I R1035 threw it into the fire, and out came this calf."

25 Now when Moses saw that the people were out F722 of control--for Aaron had let R1036 them get F723 out of control to be a derision among their F724 enemies-- 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Whoever is for the LORD, come to me!" And all the sons of Levi gathered together to him. 27 He said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, `Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.' F725 " 28 So the R1037 sons of Levi did as F726 Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. 29 Then Moses said, "Dedicate F727 yourselves today to the LORD--for every man has been against his son and against his brother--in order that He may bestow a blessing upon you today."

30 On the next day Moses said to the people, "You R1038 yourselves have committed F728 a great sin; and now I am going up to the LORD, perhaps I can make R1039 atonement for your sin." 31 Then Moses returned to the LORD, and said, "Alas, this people has committed F729 a great sin, and they have made a F730 god R1040 of gold for themselves. 32 "But now, if You will, forgive their sin--and if not, please blot me out from Your book R1041 which You have written!" 33 The LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I R1042 will blot him out of My book. 34 "But go now, lead the people where R1043 I told you. Behold, My R1044 angel shall go before you; nevertheless in R1045 the day when I punish, F731 I R1046 will punish F732 them for their sin." 35 Then R1047 the LORD smote the people, because of what R1048 they did with the calf which Aaron had made.

F710: Or gods
F711: Or These are your gods
F712: Lit go down
F713: Or These are your gods
F714: Or a stiff-necked
F715: Lit seed
F715: Lit seed
F716: Lit their sides
F717: Lit in its shouting
F718: Lit he
F719: Lit beneath
F720: Lit in evil
F721: Or gods
F722: Lit let loose
F723: Lit go loose
F724: Lit those who rise against them
F725: Or kin
F726: Lit according to Moses' word
F727: Lit Fill your hand
F728: Lit sinned
F729: Lit sinned
F730: Or gods
F731: Lit visit
F732: Lit visit their sin upon them

R1005: Exodus 24:18; Deuteronomy 9:11,12
R1006: Acts 7:40
R1007: Exodus 14:11
R1008: Exodus 35:22
R1009: Deuteronomy 9:16; Nehemiah 9:18; Psalms 106:19; Acts 7:41
R1010: Acts 7:41
R1011: 1 Corinthians 10:7
R1012: Exodus 32:17-19; Numbers 25:2
R1013: Exodus 32:4,11; Deuteronomy 9:12
R1014: Genesis 6:11f
R1015: Exodus 20:3,4,23
R1016: Exodus 22:20; 34:15; Deuteronomy 32:17
R1017: 1 Kings 12:28
R1018: Numbers 14:11-20
R1019: Exodus 33:3,5; 34:9; Isaiah 48:4; Acts 7:51
R1020: Deuteronomy 9:14
R1021: Numbers 14:12
R1022: Deuteronomy 9:18,26
R1023: Numbers 14:13-19; Deuteronomy 9:28; Joshua 7:9
R1024: Genesis 22:16-18; Hebrews 6:13
R1025: Genesis 15:5; 26:4
R1026: Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 15:18; 17:8; 35:12; Exodus 13:5,11; 33:1
R1027: Psalms 106:45
R1028: Deuteronomy 9:15
R1029: Exodus 31:18
R1030: Exodus 32:6; Deuteronomy 9:16
R1031: Deuteronomy 9:17
R1032: Deuteronomy 9:21
R1033: Deuteronomy 9:24
R1034: Exodus 32:1-4
R1035: Exodus 32:4
R1036: 1 Kings 12:28-30; 14:16
R1037: Numbers 25:7-13; Deuteronomy 33:9
R1038: 1 Samuel 12:20,23
R1039: Numbers 25:13
R1040: Exodus 20:23
R1041: Psalms 69:28; Isaiah 4:3; Daniel 12:1; Malachi 3:16,17; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; 21:27
R1042: Exodus 17:14; Deuteronomy 29:20; Psalms 9:5; Revelation 3:5
R1043: Exodus 3:17
R1044: Exodus 23:20
R1045: Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 2:5,6
R1046: Psalms 99:8
R1047: Exodus 32:28
R1048: Exodus 32:4,24


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