Exodus 32: The strange story of the golden calf


Because Moses is gone a long time, the people go to Aaron and say – we think he’s dead. What are we going to do. Make us a god for us to worship. So Aaron asks people to give him their gold and he uses that to make a golden calf. People are happy, they have a feast, get naked and party. At which point, God on the mountain gets mad and says, hey – they aren’t keeping the covenant. I think I’ll kill them all. Moses talks God out of committing such an evil. Moses and Joshua go down the mountain and come to the camp and realize that there is a party going around a golden calf.  Moses is so mad he takes the calf, burns it, grinds it up into a powder puts it in the water and makes everyone drink from it. Moses then calls whoever is loyal to him and the Levi’s come. They take their swords and kill 3,000 people for defying the laws of God.  Moses goes back up to God and begs forgiveness on behalf of the people. God says he will blot out of his book whoever has sinned against him. Now go to where he has promised and an angel will lead you.

In other words:

Moses is gone so long the people decide he must have died. So Aaron tries to appease them by making a golden calf and they have a naked party, which Moses and God get really upset about.

What annoys me the most?

Moses hasn’t delivered the law to the people yet because he was still receiving it up on the mountain. So technically, these people have no way to know they are disobeying since the law has yet to be delivered to them!

Weirdest bit:

Breaking up the golden calf, burning it, grinding it into powder, putting it into the water and then having everyone drink it. Not sure if this was done during the party, after the party or what.  (Exodus 32:19,20)

Most confusing bit:

So only the tribe of Levi stands with Moses. It appears that each person who is loyal was to kill his brother, his companion and his neighbor. They kill 3,000 people. It’s not clear who they killed, but they didn’t kill everyone because the next day Moses lectures everyone about how they have sinned. (Exodus 32:27,28)

Favorite bit:

That everyone was naked during the party for the golden calf (Exodus 32:25)

Funniest bit:

This is all Aaron’s fault. He’s the one who told everyone to get naked. And this is the guy God wants to have be his head priest to minister to him.

Moral Lesson:

Don’t party naked (Exodus 32)