1. And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, then the people gathered themselves to Aaron, and they said to him, “Up! Make us gods which shall go before us, for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
2. And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me.”
3. And all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.
4. And he took them from their hand, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molten calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”
5. And when Aaron saw the calf, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.”
6. And they rose up early on the next morning, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
7. And the LORD said to Moses, “Go! Get you down, for your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.
8. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made them a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who have brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’ ”
9. And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiffnecked people.
10. And now leave Me alone, so that My wrath may burn hot against them and that I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”
11. And Moses prayed to the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
12. Why should the Egyptians speak and say, ‘He brought them out with an evil intent, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against Your people.
13. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give to your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ”
14. And the LORD repented of the evil which He spoke of doing to His people.
15. And Moses turned, and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the testimony were in his hand: the tablets were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other.
16. And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God. It was engraved upon the tablets.
17. And Joshua heard the voice of the people in their shouting. And he said to Moses, “A sound of war in the camp!”
18. And he said, “It is not a sound of a cry of victory, nor a sound of the cry of defeat. I am hearing the sound of singing.”
19. And it came to pass, as soon as he came near to the camp and saw the calf and dancing, then Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands, and broke them at the bottom of the mountain.
20. And he took the calf which they had made and burned it in the fire, and pulverized it to powder, and scattered it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
21. And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them?”
22. And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on mischief,
23. For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man that brought us up 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.’ And they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and there came out this calf.”
25. And when Moses saw that the people were naked (for Aaron had made them naked to their shame among their enemies),
26. Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the LORD’S side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves to him.
27. And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Each man put his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and kill each one his brother, and each one his companion, and each one his neighbor.’ ”
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;
29. For Moses had said, “Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD—even though it has been at the cost of a son or a brother—in order that He may give you a blessing today.”
30. And it came to pass on the next day, Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the LORD. Perhaps I shall make an atonement for your sin.”
31. And Moses returned to the LORD, and said, “Oh, these people have sinned a great sin, and have made themselves gods of gold!
32. And now if You would only forgive their sin! And if not, I pray You, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”
33. And the LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
34. And now go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My angel shall go before you. And in the day of My visitation I will visit their sin upon them.”
35. And the LORD plagued the people because they made the calf, which Aaron made.
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