Exodus 32:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, "These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt."

New Living Translation
Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, "O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!"

English Standard Version
And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”

New American Standard Bible
He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt."

King James Bible
And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He took the gold from their hands, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it into an image of a calf. Then they said, "Israel, this is your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!"

International Standard Version
He took them from them and, using a tool, fashioned them into a molten calf. The people said, "This, Israel, is your god who brought you out of the land of Egypt."

NET Bible
He accepted the gold from them, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molten calf. Then they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
After he had worked on the gold with a tool, he made it into a statue of a calf. Then they said, "Israel, here are your gods who brought you out of Egypt."

Jubilee Bible 2000
who took them from their hands and fashioned it with a graving tool and made of it a molten calf. Then they said, These are thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

King James 2000 Bible
And he received them from their hand, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

American King James Version
And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a engraving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

American Standard Version
And he received it at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf: and they said, These are thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when he had received them, he fashioned them by founders' work, and made of them a molten calf. And they said: These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt.

Darby Bible Translation
And he took [them] out of their hand, and fashioned it with a chisel and made of it a molten calf: and they said, This is thy god, Israel, who has brought thee up out of the land of Egypt!

English Revised Version
And he received it at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These are thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt.

World English Bible
He received what they handed him, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it a molten calf; and they said, "These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt."

Young's Literal Translation
and he receiveth from their hand, and doth fashion it with a graving tool, and doth make it a molten calf, and they say, 'These thy gods, O Israel, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

32:1-6 While Moses was in the mount, receiving the law from God, the people made a tumultuous address to Aaron. This giddy multitude were weary of waiting for the return of Moses. Weariness in waiting betrays to many temptations. The Lord must be waited for till he comes, and waited for though he tarry. Let their readiness to part with their ear-rings to make an idol, shame our niggardliness in the service of the true God. They did not draw back on account of the cost of their idolatry; and shall we grudge the expenses of religion? Aaron produced the shape of an ox or calf, giving it some finish with a graving tool. They offered sacrifice to this idol. Having set up an image before them, and so changed the truth of God into a lie, their sacrifices were abomination. Had they not, only a few days before, in this very place, heard the voice of the Lord God speaking to them out of the midst of the fire, Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image? Had they not themselves solemnly entered into covenant with God, that they would do all he had said to them, and would be obedient? ch. 24:7. Yet before they stirred from the place where this covenant had been solemnly made, they brake an express command, in defiance of an express threatening. It plainly shows, that the law was no more able to make holy, than it was to justify; by it is the knowledge of sin, but not the cure of sin. Aaron was set apart by the Divine appointment to the office of the priesthood; but he, who had once shamed himself so far as to build an altar to a golden calf, must own himself unworthy of the honour of attending at the altar of God, and indebted to free grace alone for it. Thus pride and boasting were silenced.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - And fashioned it with a graving tool. Rather, "and bound it (the gold) in a bag." Compare 2 Kings 5:23, where the same two Hebrew words occur in the same sense. It is impossible to extract from the original the sense given in the Authorised Version, since the simple copula van cannot mean "after." When two verbs in the same tense are conjoined by van "and," the two actions must be simultaneous, or the latter follow the former. But the calf cannot have been graven first, and then molten. It is objected to the rendering, "he bound it in a bag," that that action is so trivial that it would be superfluous to mention it (Keil). But it is quite consonant with the simplicity of Scripture to mention very trivial circumstances. The act of putting up in bags is mentioned both here and also in 2 Kings 5:23, and 2 Kings 12:9. They said. The fashioners of the image said this. These be thy gods. Rather, "This is thy God." Why Aaron selected the form of the calf as that which he would present to the Israelites to receive their worship, has been generally explained by supposing that his thoughts reverted to Egypt, and found in the Apis of Memphis or the Mnevis of Hellopolis the pattern which he thought it best to follow. But there are several objections to this view.

1. The Egyptian gods had just been discredited by their powerlessness being manifested - it was an odd time at which to fly to them.

2. Apis and Mnevis were not molten calves, but live bulls. If the design had been to revert to Egypt, would not a living animal have been selected?

3. The calf when made was not viewed as an image of any Egyptian god, but as a representation of Jehovah (ver. 5).

4. The Israelites are never taxed with having worshipped the idols of Egypt anywhere else than in Egypt (Joshua 24:14; Ezekiel 20:8; Ezekiel 23:3). To us it seems probable that Aaron reverted to an earlier period than the time of the sojourn in Egypt, that he went back to those "gods on the other side of the flood," which Joshua warned the Israelites some sixty years later, to "put away" (Joshua l.s.c.). The subject is one too large for discussion here; but may not the winged and human-headed bull, which was the emblem of divine power from a very early date in Babylon, have retained a place in the recollections of the people in all their wanderings, and have formed a portion of their religions symbolism? May it not have been this conception which lay at the root of the cherubic forms, and the revival of which now seemed to Aaron the smallest departure from pure monotheism with which the people would be contented?

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he received them at their hand,.... For the use they delivered them to him:

and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf; that is, after he had melted the gold, and cast it into a mould, which gave it the figure of a calf, and with his tool wrought it into a more agreeable form, he took off the roughness of it, and polished it; or if it was in imitation of the Egyptian Apis or Osiris, he might with his graving tool engrave such marks and figures as were upon that; to cause the greater resemblance, so Selden (y) thinks; see Gill on Jeremiah 46:20 or else the sense may be, that he drew the figure of a calf with his tool, or made it in "a mould" (z), into which he poured in the melted gold:

and made it a molten calf; the Targum of Jonathan gives another sense of the former clause, "he bound it up in a napkin"; in a linen cloth or bag, i.e. the gold of the ear rings, and then put it into the melting pot, and so cast it into a mould, and made a calf of it. Jarchi takes notice of this sense, and it is espoused by Bochart (a), who produces two passages of Scripture for the confirmation of it, Judges 8:24 and illustrates it by Isaiah 46:6. What inclined Aaron to make it in the form of a calf, is not easy to say; whether in imitation of the cherubim, one of the faces of which was that of an ox, as Moncaeus thought; or whether in imitation of the Osiris of the Egyptians, who was worshipped in a living ox, and sometimes in the image of one, even a golden one. Plutarch is express for it, and says (b), that the ox was an image of Osiris, and that it was a golden one; and so says Philo the Jew (c), the Israelites, emulous of Egyptian figments, made a golden ox; or whether he did this to make them ashamed of their idolatry, thinking they would never be guilty of worshipping the form of an ox eating grass, or because an ox was an emblem of power and majesty:

and they said, these be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt; they own they were, brought up out of that land by the divine Being; and they could not be so stupid as to believe, that this calf, which was only a mass of gold, figured and decorated, was inanimate, had no life nor breath, and was just made, after their coming out of Egypt, was what brought them from hence; but that this was a representation of God, who had done this for them; yet some Jewish writers are so foolish as to suppose, that through art it had the breath of life in it, and came out of the mould a living calf, Satan, or Samael, entering into it, and lowed in it (d).

(y) De Diis Syris Syntagm. 1. c. 4. p. 138. (z) "formavit illud modulo", Piscator; so some in Ben Melech, and in Vatablus; and so the Vulgate Latin, "formant opere fusorio"; see Fagius in loc. (a) Hierozoic. p. 1. l. 2. c. 39. col. 334, 335. (b) De Isid. & Osir. (c) De Vita Mosis, l. 3. p. 677. (d) Pirke Eliezer, c. 45.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf—The words are transposed, and the rendering should be, "he framed with a graving tool the image to be made, and having poured the liquid gold into the mould, he made it a molten calf." It is not said whether it was of life size, whether it was of solid gold or merely a wooden frame covered with plates of gold. This idol seems to have been the god Apis, the chief deity of the Egyptians, worshipped at Memphis under the form of a live ox, three years old. It was distinguished by a triangular white spot on its forehead and other peculiar marks. Images of it in the form of a whole ox, or of a calf's head on the end of a pole, were very common; and it makes a great figure on the monuments where it is represented in the van of all processions, as borne aloft on men's shoulders.

they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt—It is inconceivable that they, who but a few weeks before had witnessed such amazing demonstrations of the true God, could have suddenly sunk to such a pitch of infatuation and brutish stupidity, as to imagine that human art or hands could make a god that should go before them. But it must be borne in mind, that though by election and in name they were the people of God, they were as yet, in feelings and associations, in habits and tastes, little, if at all different, from Egyptians. They meant the calf to be an image, a visible sign or symbol of Jehovah, so that their sin consisted not in a breach of the FIRST [Ex 20:3], but of the SECOND commandment [Ex 20:4-6].

Exodus 32:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Golden Calf
3Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt." 5Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD."…
Cross References
Acts 7:41
That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made.

1 Corinthians 10:7
Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry."

Exodus 32:3
So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron.

Exodus 32:5
When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, "Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD."

Exodus 32:7
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt.

Exodus 32:24
So I told them, 'Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.' Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!"

Exodus 32:35
And the LORD struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.

Deuteronomy 9:16
When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against the LORD your God; you had made for yourselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the LORD had commanded you.

1 Kings 12:28
After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt."

2 Kings 10:20
Jehu said, "Call an assembly in honor of Baal." So they proclaimed it.

Nehemiah 9:18
even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, 'This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,' or when they committed awful blasphemies.

Psalm 106:19
At Horeb they made a calf and worshiped an idol cast from metal.

Isaiah 30:22
Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!"

Ezekiel 23:8
She did not give up the prostitution she began in Egypt, when during her youth men slept with her, caressed her virgin bosom and poured out their lust on her.
Treasury of Scripture

And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a engraving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

fashioned

Exodus 20:23 You shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall you make …

Deuteronomy 9:16 And I looked, and, behold, you had sinned against the LORD your God, …

Psalm 106:19-21 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image…

Isaiah 44:9,10 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable …

Isaiah 46:6 They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, …

Acts 7:41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the …

Acts 17:29 For as much then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to …

a graving

Exodus 28:9,11 And you shall take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of …

calf

1 Kings 12:28,32 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and …

2 Kings 10:29 However, from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel …

2 Chronicles 11:15 And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, …

2 Chronicles 13:8 And now you think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand …

Hosea 8:4,5 They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and …

Hosea 10:5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: …

Hosea 13:2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images …

these

Exodus 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: …

Judges 17:3,4 And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to …

Nehemiah 9:18 Yes, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is your …

Isaiah 40:18,19 To whom then will you liken God? or what likeness will you compare to him…

Romans 1:21-23 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, …

which brought

Exodus 32:1,8 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the …

Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of …

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