The people, in the absence of Moses, cause Aaron to make a calf.
Exodus 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people collected together to Aaron, and said to him, Up, make us a god, who will go before us; for this Moses, the man that has brought us up out of the land of Egypt,we do not know what is become of him! Exodus 32:2 And Aaron said to them, Break off the golden rings that are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring [them] to me. Exodus 32:3 Then all the people broke off the golden rings that were in their ears, and brought [them] to Aaron. Exodus 32:4 And he took [them] out of their hand, and fashioned it with a chisel and made of it a molten calf: and they said, This is thy god, Israel, who has brought thee up out of the land of Egypt! Exodus 32:5 And Aaron saw [it], and built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, To-morrow is a feast to Jehovah! Exodus 32:6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered up burnt-offerings, and brought peace-offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to sport.
God is angered thereby.
Exodus 32:7 Then Jehovah said to Moses, Away, go down! for thy people, which thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, is acting corruptly. Exodus 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them: they have made themselves a molten calf, and have bowed down to it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, This is thy god, Israel, who has brought thee up out of the land of Egypt! Exodus 32:9 And Jehovah said to Moses, I see this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Exodus 32:10 And now let me alone, that my anger may burn against them, and I may consume them; and I will make of thee a great nation.
At the intreaty of Moses he is appeased.
Exodus 32:11 And Moses besought Jehovah his God, and said, Why, Jehovah, doth thy wrath burn against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a strong hand? Exodus 32:12 Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, For misfortune he has brought them out, to slay them on the mountains, and to annihilate them from the face of the earth? Turn from the heat of thine anger, and repent of this evil against thy people! Exodus 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou sworest by thyself, and saidst to them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give to your seed, and they shall possess [it] for ever! Exodus 32:14 And Jehovah repented of the evil that he had said he would do to his people.
Exodus 32:15 And Moses turned and went down from the mountain, [with] the two tables of the testimony in his handtables written on both their sides: on this side and on that were they written. Exodus 32:16 And the tables [were] God's work, and the writing was God's writing, engraven on the tables. Exodus 32:17 And Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, and said to Moses, There is a shout of war in the camp. Exodus 32:18 And he said, It is not the sound of a shout of victory, neither is it the sound of a shout of defeat: it is the noise of alternate singing I hear.
He breaketh them.
Exodus 32:19 And it came to pass, when he came near the camp, and saw the calf and the dancing, that Moses' anger burned, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and shattered them beneath the mountain.
He destroyeth the calf.
Exodus 32:20 And he took the calf that they had made, and burned [it] with fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed [it] on the water, and made the children of Israel drink [it]. Exodus 32:21 And Moses said to Aaron, What has this people done to thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin on them?
Aaron's excuse for himself.
Exodus 32:22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord burn! thou knowest the people, that they are [set] on mischief. Exodus 32:23 And they said to me, Make us a god, who will go before us; for this Moses, the man that has brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what is become of him! Exodus 32:24 And I said to them, Who has gold? They broke [it] off, and gave [it] me, and I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.
Moses causeth the idolaters to be slain.
Exodus 32:25 And Moses saw the people how they were stripped; for Aaron had stripped them to [their] shame before their adversaries. Exodus 32:26 And Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, He that is for Jehovah, [let him come] to me. And all the sons of Levi gathered to him. Exodus 32:27 And he said to them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Put every man his sword upon his hip; go and return from gate to gate through the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbour. Exodus 32:28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. Exodus 32:29 And Moses said, Consecrate yourselves to-day to Jehovah, yea, every man with his son, and with his brother, and bring on yourselves a blessing to-day.
He prayeth for the people.
Exodus 32:30 And it came to pass the next day, that Moses said to the people, Ye have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to Jehovah: perhaps I shall make atonement for your sin. Exodus 32:31 And Moses returned to Jehovah, and said, Alas, this people has sinned a great sin, and they have made themselves a god of gold! Exodus 32:32 And now, if thou wilt forgive their sin ... but if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book that thou hast written. Exodus 32:33 And Jehovah said to Moses, Whoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Exodus 32:34 And now go, lead the people whither I have told thee: behold, my Angel shall go before thee; but in the day of my visiting I will visit their sin upon them. Exodus 32:35 And Jehovah smote the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron had made.