1 When the peopleI sawII that MosesIII delayedIV to come downV from the mountain,VI
the people gatheredVII around AaronVIII and said to him, “Come,IX makeX godsXI for us,
who shall goXII beforeXIII us; as for this Moses, the manXIV who brought us upXV
out of the landXVI of Egypt,XVII we do not knowXVIII what has becomeXIX of him.”
2 Aaron said to them, “Take offXX the goldXXI ringsXXII that are on the earsXXIII of your wives,XXIV your sons,XXV and your daughtersXXVI and bringXXVII them to me.”
3 So allXXVIII the people took off the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 He tookXXIX these from them,XXX formedXXXI them in a mold,XXXII
and castXXXIII an imageXXXIV of a calf,XXXV and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel,XXXVI who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
5 When Aaron saw this, he builtXXXVII an altarXXXVIII beforeXXXIX it, and Aaron made a proclamationXL
and said, “TomorrowXLI shall be a festivalXLII to the Lord.”XLIII
6 They rose earlyXLIV the next dayXLV and offeredXLVI burnt offeringsXLVII
and broughtXLVIII sacrifices of well-being,XLIX and the people sat downL
to eatLI and drinkLII and rose upLIII to revel.LIV
7 The Lord saidLV to Moses, “Go downLVI at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely;LVII 8 they have been quickLVIII to turn asideLIX
from the wayLX that I commandedLXI them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf and have worshipedLXII it and sacrificedLXIII to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’”
9 The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people,LXIV how stiffLXV-neckedLXVI they are. 10 Now let me aloneLXVII so that my wrathLXVIII
may burn hotLXIX against them and I may consumeLXX them, and of you I will make a greatLXXI nation.”LXXII
11 But Moses imploredLXXIII theLXXIV Lord his GodLXXV and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you broughtLXXVI out of the land of Egypt with great powerLXXVII and with a mightyLXXVIII hand?LXXIX
12 Why should the EgyptiansLXXX say, ‘It was with evil intentLXXXI that he brought them out to killLXXXII them in the mountains and to consume them from the faceLXXXIII of the earth’?LXXXIV
TurnLXXXV from your fierceLXXXVI wrath; change your mindLXXXVII and do not bring disasterLXXXVIII on your people.
13 RememberLXXXIX Abraham,XC Isaac,XCI and Israel, your servants,XCII how you sworeXCIII to them by your own self,
saying to them, ‘I will multiplyXCIV your descendantsXCV like the starsXCVI of heaven,XCVII
and all this land that I have promised I will giveXCVIII to your descendants, and they shall inheritXCIX it forever.’”C 14 And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he plannedCI to bring onCII his people.
Image credit: “Moses monument in Lodz, Poland.” Photo by Jerzystrzelecki, 2014.