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The New International Version

Exodus 32:1–14

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The Golden Calf

32 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain,s they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us godsa who will go beforet us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”u

Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earringsv that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idolw cast in the shape of a calf,x fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,b y Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”z

When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festivala to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings.b Afterward they sat down to eat and drinkc and got up to indulge in revelry.d

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt,e have become corrupt.f They have been quick to turn awayg from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idolh cast in the shape of a calf.i They have bowed down to it and sacrificedj to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’k

“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-neckedl people. 10 Now leave me alonem so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroyn them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”o

11 But Moses sought the favorp of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?q 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’?r Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disasters on your people. 13 Remembert your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self:u ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the starsv in the sky and I will give your descendants all this landw I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’ ” 14 Then the Lord relentedx and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

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