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The Gold Calf

32 Now when the people saw that Moses adelayed coming down from the mountain, the people bgathered together to Aaron, and said to him, c“Come, make us 1gods that shall dgo before us; for as for this Moses, the man who ebrought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

And Aaron said to them, “Break off the fgolden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. gAnd he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf.

Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that hbrought you out of the land of Egypt!”

So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a iproclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.” Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people jsat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

And the Lord said to Moses, k“Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt lhave corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which mI commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, n‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ ” And the Lord said to Moses, o“I have seen this people, and indeed it is a 2stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, plet Me alone, that qMy wrath may burn hot against them and I may 3consume them. And rI will make of you a great nation.”

11 sThen Moses pleaded with 4the Lord his God, and said: “Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 tWhy should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and urelent from this harm to Your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You vswore by Your own self, and said to them, w‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ” 14 So the Lord xrelented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.

15 And yMoses turned and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the Testimony were in his hand. The tablets were written on both sides; on the one side and on the other they were written. 16 Now the ztablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on 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 But he said:

It is not the noise of the shout of victory,

Nor the noise of the cry of defeat,

But the sound of singing I hear.”

19 So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that ahe saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses’ anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20 bThen he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it. 21 And Moses said to Aaron, c“What did this people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them?”

22 So Aaron said, “Do not let the anger of my lord become hot. dYou know the people, that they are set on evil. 23 For they said to me, ‘Make us gods that shall go before us; 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, and I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out.”

25 Now when Moses saw that the people were eunrestrained (for Aaron fhad not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies), 26 then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side—come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and glet every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’ ” 28 So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day. 29 hThen Moses said, 5“Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord, that He may bestow on you a blessing this day, for every man has opposed his son and his brother.”

30 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, i“You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord; jperhaps I can kmake atonement for your sin.” 31 Then Moses lreturned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have mmade for themselves a god of gold! 32 Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, nblot me oout of Your book which You have written.”

33 And the Lord said to Moses, p“Whoever has sinned against Me, I will qblot him out of My book. 34 Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have rspoken to you. sBehold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, tin the day when I uvisit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.”

35 So the Lord plagued the people because of vwhat they did with the calf which Aaron made.


About The New King James Version

The New King James Version is a total update of the 1611 King James Version, also known as the "Authorized Version." Every attempt has been made to maintain the beauty of the original version while updating the English grammar to contemporary style and usage. The result is much better "readability." It is noteworthy that the NKJV is one of the few modern translations still based on the "Western" or "Byzantine" manuscript tradition. This makes the New King James Version an invaluable aid to comparative English Bible study.


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Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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