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Exodus: Chapter 32

The people, in the absence of Moses, cause Aaron to make a calf, 1-6. God informs Moses, who intercedes for Israel and prevails, 7-14. Moses comes down with the tables, 15-18. He breaks them, 19. He destroys the calf, 20, 21. Aaron's excuse for himself, 22-24. Moses causes the idolaters to be slain, 25-29. He prays for the people, 30-35.

1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled themselves to Aaron and said to him, "Arise, make us gods which shall go before us. For as for this Moses, the man who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." 2 And Aaron said to them, "Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters and bring them to me." 3 And all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand and fashioned it with an engraving tool and made it a molten calf. And they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, which brought you out of the land of Egypt." 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made proclamation and said, "Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD." 6 And they rose early on the next day and offered burnt-offerings and brought peace-offerings. And the people sat down to eat and to drink and rose up to play.

7 And the LORD said to Moses, "Go, go down, for your people, which you brought out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly from the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molten calf, worshiped it, sacrificed to it, and said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt.'" 9 And the LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore, leave me alone so that my wrath may wax hot against them and that I may consume them, and I will make of you a great nation."

11 And Moses implored the LORD his God and said, "LORD, why does your wrath wax hot against your people which you have brought forth from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians speak and say, 'For evil he brought them out to slay them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce wrath and repent of this evil against your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel your servants, to whom you swore by your own self and said to them, 'I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.'" 14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do to his people.

15 And Moses turned and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the testimony were in his hand. The tablets were written on both their sides, on one side and on the other they were written. 16 And the tablets were the work of God and the writing was the writing of God, engraved upon the tablets. 17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is a noise of war in the camp."

18 And he said, "It is not the voice of those who shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of those who cry for being overcome, but the noise of those who sing I hear."

19 And it came to pass as soon as he came near to the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. And Moses's anger waxed hot, and he cast the tablets from his hands and broke them beneath the mountain. 20 And he took the calf which they had made, burnt it in the fire, ground it to powder, strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink it.

21 And Moses said to Aaron, "What did this people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them?" 22 And Aaron said, "Do not let the anger of my lord wax hot. You know the people that they are set on mischief. 23 For they said to me, 'Make us gods which shall go before us. For as for this Moses, the man who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' 24 And I said to them, 'Whoever has any gold, let them break it off.' So they gave it to me, then I cast it into the fire and this calf came out."

25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked (for Aaron had made them naked to their shame, among their enemies), 26 Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, "Who is on the LORD'S side? Let him come to me." And all the sons of Levi assembled themselves to him. 27 And he said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'Every man put his sword by his side and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each slay his brother, each his companion, and each his neighbor.'" 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. 29 For Moses had said, "Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD, even every man upon his son and upon his brother, so that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day."

30 And it came to pass on the next day, that Moses said to the people, "You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the LORD. It may be that I shall make an atonement for your sin." 31 And Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Oh, this people has sinned a great sin and has made themselves gods of gold. 32 Yet now, if you will, forgive their sin. And if not, blot me, I pray you, out of your book which you have written." 33 And the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot him out of my book. 34 And now, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them." 35 And the LORD afflicted the people because they made the calf which Aaron made.