1 When the peopleA sawB that MosesC delayedD to come down from the mountain, the people gatheredE around Aaron,F
and said to him, “Come,G make godsH for us, who shall goI beforeJ us;
as for this Moses, the manK who brought us up out of the landL of Egypt,M we do not knowN what has become of him.”
2 Aaron said to them, “Take offO the goldP ringsQ that are on the ears of your wives,R your sons,S and your daughters,T and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron.
4 He took the gold from them,U formedV it in a mold,W and cast an imageX of a calf;Y and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel,Z who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
5 When Aaron saw this, he builtAA an altarBB beforeCC it;
and Aaron made proclamationDD and said, “TomorrowEE shall be a festivalFF to the Lord.”GG
6 They rose earlyHH the next day,II and offeredJJ burnt offeringsKK and broughtLL sacrifices of well-being;MM
and the people sat downNN to eat and drink, and rose upOO to revel.PP
7 The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely;QQ 8 they have been quickRR to turn asideSS from the wayTT that I commandedUU them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshipedVV it and sacrificedWW 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,XX how stiff-neckedYY they are. 10 Now let me alone,ZZ so that my wrathAAA may burn hotBBB against them
and I may consumeCCC them; and of you I will make a greatDDD nation.”EEE
11 But Moses imploredFFF theGGG Lord his God,HHH and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great powerIII and with a mightyJJJ hand?
12 Why should the EgyptiansKKK say, ‘It was with evil intentLLL that he brought them out to killMMM them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’?NNN
TurnOOO from your fiercePPP wrath; change your mindQQQ and do not bring disasterRRR on your people.
13 RememberSSS Abraham,TTT Isaac,UUU and Israel, your servants,VVV how you sworeWWW to them by your own self,
saying to them, ‘I will multiplyXXX your descendantsYYY like the starsZZZ of heaven,AAAA and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inheritBBBB it forever.’”CCCC 14 And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he plannedDDDD to bring on his people.
Image credit: “The Golden Calf,” as in Exodus 32:4, by James Tissot.