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 out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto himUp, make for us gods, who shall go before us, for, as for this Mosesthe man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what hath befallen him. Exodus 32:2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the rings of gold, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters,and bring them unto me. Exodus 32:3 And all the people of themselves brake off the rings of gold which were in their ears,and brought them unto Aaron. Exodus 32:4 And he received [the gold] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf,and they saidThese, are thy gods, O Israel, who brought thee up, out of the land of Egypt. Exodus 32:5 And, when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made proclamation, and said, A festival to Yahweh, tomorrow! Exodus 32:6 So they rose up early, on the morrow, and offered ascending-sacrifices, and brought near peace-offerings,and the people sat down, to eat and to drink, and then rose upto make sport!
God is angered thereby.
Exodus 32:7 Then spake Yahweh unto Moses-Go, get thee down, for thy people whom thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. Exodus 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them, they have made for themselvesa molten calf,and have bowed themselves down thereto, and have sacrificed thereto, and have said, These, are thy gods, O Israel, who have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. Exodus 32:9 So then Yahweh said unto Moses,I have looked on this people, and lo! a stiff-necked people, it is. Exodus 32:10 Now, therefore, let me alone, that mine anger may kindle upon them, and that I may consume them, and may make of thee, a great nation.
At the intreaty of Moses he is appeased.
Exodus 32:11 And Moses besought the face of Yahweh his God,and saidWherefore, O Yahweh, should thine anger kindle upon thy people, whom thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt, with great might, and with a firm hand? Exodus 32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, sayingFor mischief, hath he taken them forth, to slay them among the mountains, and to make an end of them from off the face of the ground? Turn thou from the kindling of thine anger, and be grieved over the calamity to thy people. Exodus 32:13 Have remembrance of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, thy servants, to whom thou didst swear by thyself, and didst speak unto them saying, I will multiply your seed, as the stars of the heavens,and, all this land of which I have spoken, will I give to your seed, and they shall inherit it to times age-abiding. Exodus 32:14 So then Yahweh was grieved,over the calamity,which he had spoken of inflicting on his people.
Exodus 32:15 And Moses turned, and went down out of the mount, with the two tables of testimony in his hand,tables written upon, on both sides of them, on this and on that, were they written. Exodus 32:16 Now as for, the tables, the work of God, they were,and, as for the writing, the writing of God, it was, graven upon the tables. Exodus 32:17 And Joshua heard the noise of the people, as they shouted,so he said unto MosesThe noise of war, in the camp! Exodus 32:18 But he saidNot the noise of the cry of heroism, nor yet the noise of the cry of defeat,the noise of alternate song, do, I, hear.
He breaketh them.
Exodus 32:19 And it came to pass, when he drew near unto the camp, and saw the calf, and the dancings, that the anger of Moses kindled, and he cast out of his hands the tables, and brake them in pieces, at the foot of the mountain.
He destroyeth the calf.
Exodus 32:20 Then took he the calf which they had made, and burned it in the fire, and ground it till it became powder,and strewed it on the face of the waters, and made the sons of Israel drink. Exodus 32:21 And Moses said unto Aaron, What had this people done to thee,that thou shouldst have brought upon them a great sin?
Aaron's excuse for himself.
Exodus 32:22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord kindle,thou thyself, knowest the people, that, ready for mischief, they are. Exodus 32:23 So they said to meMake for us gods, who shall go before us,for, as for this, Mosesthe man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what hath befallen him. Exodus 32:24 And I said to themWhosoever hath gold, let them break it off, So they gave it to me,and I cast it into the fire, and there came outthis calf.
Moses causeth the idolaters to be slain.
Exodus 32:25 And Moses saw the people, that, unbridled, they were,for Aaron had given them the rein, for a whispering, among their enemies. Exodus 32:26 So Moses took his stand in the gate of the camp, and saidWho is for Yahweh? . . . To me! Then gathered unto him all the sons of Levi. Exodus 32:27 And he said to themThus, saith Yahweh, God of Israel, Put ye every man his sword upon his thigh,pass through and return, from gate to gate, in the camp, and slay ye every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbour. Exodus 32:28 So the sons of Levi did, according to the word of Moses,and there fell, from among the people, on that day, about three thousand men. Exodus 32:29 And Moses saidInstall yourselves, today, unto Yahweh, yea every man for his son, and for his brother,so will he bestow upon you, today, a blessing.
He prayeth for the people.
Exodus 32:30 And it came to pass, on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye, have sinned a great sin,Now, therefore, I must go up unto Yahweh, Peradventure, I may make a propitiatory-covering for your sin. Exodus 32:31 So Moses returned unto Yahweh, and said,Oh now! this people hath sinned a great sin, and they have made for themselvesgods of gold. Exodus 32:32 Now, therefore, if thou wilt forgive their sin, . . . but, if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book, which thou hast written. Exodus 32:33 And Yahweh said unto Moses,Him who hath sinned against me, must I blot out of my book. Exodus 32:34 Now, therefore, go lead the people to the place of which I spake to thee, lo! my messenger, shall go before thee,But, in the day when I do visit, then will I visit upon them, their sin. Exodus 32:35 And Yahweh plagued the people,for what they had done with the calf, which Aaron made.