Aaron makes a golden calf, which Israel worships—Moses serves as a mediator between God and rebellious Israel—Moses breaks the tablets of stone—The Levites slay about 3,000 rebels—Moses pleads and intercedes for the people.
1 And when the people saw that Moses adelayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us bgods, which shall cgo before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we dwot not what is become of him.
2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the agolden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.
3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.
4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a amolten calf: and they said, bThese be thy cgods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the Lord.
6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought apeace offerings; and the bpeople sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
7 ¶ And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have acorrupted themselves:
8 They have aturned aside bquickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a cmolten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
9 And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a astiffnecked people:
10 Now therefore let me alone, that my awrath may wax hot against them, and that I may bconsume them: and I will make of thee a great cnation.
11 And Moses abesought 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?
12 Wherefore should the aEgyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce bwrath, and crepent of this evil against thy people.
13 Remember aAbraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou bswarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will cmultiply your dseed as the stars of heaven, and all this eland that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
14 aAnd the Lord brepented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
15 ¶ And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two atables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
16 And the atables were the work of God, and the bwriting was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.
17 And when aJoshua heard the noise of the people as they bshouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.
18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that ashout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.
19 ¶ And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he asaw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ banger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and cbrake them beneath the mount.
20 And he took the acalf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and bstrawed it upon the cwater, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
21 And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?
22 And Aaron said, Let not the aanger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are bset on cmischief.
23 For they said unto me, aMake us bgods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.
25 ¶ And when Moses saw that the people were anaked; (for Aaron had made them bnaked unto their shame among their enemies:)
26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.
27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and aslay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
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, aConsecrate yourselves to day to the Lord, even every man upon his bson, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a cblessing this day.
30 ¶ And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have asinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord; bperadventure I shall make an catonement for your sin.
31 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them agods of gold.
32 Yet now, if thou wilt aforgive their sin—; and if not, bblot me, I pray thee, out of thy cbook which thou hast dwritten.
33 And the Lord said unto Moses, aWhosoever hath bsinned against me, him will I cblot out of my dbook.
34 Therefore now go, alead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine bAngel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.
35 And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.