Exodus 32:7
And the LORD said to Moses, Go, get you down; for your people, which you brought out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:
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(7) The Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down.—Moses was, of course, wholly ignorant of all that had occurred in the camp. The thick cloud which covered the top of Sinai had prevented his seeing what occurred in the plain below (Exodus 24:18). The phrase, “Go, get thee down,” is emphatic, and implies urgency.

Thy people.—“Thine,” not any longer “mine,” since they have broken the covenant that united us; yet still “thine,” however much they sin. The tie of blood-relationship cannot be broken.

Have corrupted themselves.—The form of the verb used (shikhêth) is active. We must supply “their way,” or some similar phrase, after it. (Comp. Genesis 6:12 : “All flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”)

32:7-14 God says to Moses, that the Israelites had corrupted themselves. Sin is the corruption of the sinner, and it is a self-corruption; every man is tempted when he is drawn aside of his own lust. They had turned aside out of the way. Sin is a departing from the way of duty into a by-path. They soon forgot God's works. He sees what they cannot discover, nor is any wickedness of the world hid from him. We could not bear to see the thousandth part of that evil which God sees every day. God expresses the greatness of his just displeasure, after the manner of men who would have prayer of Moses could save them from ruin; thus he was a type of Christ, by whose mediation alone, God would reconcile the world to himself. Moses pleads God's glory. The glorifying God's name, as it ought to be our first petition, and it is so in the Lord's prayer, so it ought to be our great plea. And God's promises are to be our pleas in prayer; for what he has promised he is able to perform. See the power of prayer. In answer to the prayers of Moses, God showed his purpose of sparing the people, as he had before seemed determined on their destruction; which change of the outward discovery of his purpose, is called repenting of the evil.The faithfulness of Moses in the office that had been entrusted to him was now to be put to the test. It was to be made manifest whether he loved his own glory better than he loved the brethren who were under his charge; whether he would prefer that he should himself become the founder of a "great nation," or that the Lord's promise should be fulfilled in the whole people of Israel. This may have been especially needful for Moses, in consequence of his natural disposition. See Numbers 12:3; and compare Exodus 3:11. With this trial of Moses repeated in a very similar manner Numbers 14:11-23, may be compared the trial of Abraham Genesis 22 and of our Saviour Matthew 4:8-10.7-14. the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down—Intelligence of the idolatrous scene enacted at the foot of the mount was communicated to Moses in language borrowed from human passions and feelings, and the judgment of a justly offended God was pronounced in terms of just indignation against the gross violation of the so recently promulgated laws. No longer my people, as God had called them hitherto, Exodus 3:7 5:1, &c.; they have forsaken me, and I do hereby renounce them. And the Lord said unto Moses, go, get thee down,.... In Deuteronomy 9:12 it is added, "quickly", and so the Septuagint version here: this was said after the Lord had finished his discourse with him, and had given him the two tables of stone, and he was about to depart, but the above affair happening he hastens his departure; indeed the idolatry began the day before, and he could have acquainted him with it, if it had been his pleasure, but he suffered the people to go the greatest length before a stop was put to their impiety:

for thy people which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves; their works, as the Targum of Jonathan supplies it, their ways and their manners; their minds, the imaginations of their hearts, were first corrupted, and this led on to a corruption of actions, by which they corrupted and defiled themselves yet more and more, and made themselves abominable in the sight of God, as corrupt persons and things must needs be; and what can be a greater corruption and abomination than idolatry? the Lord calls these people not his people, being displeased with them, though they had been, and were, and still continued; for, notwithstanding this idolatry, he did not cast them off from being his people, or write a "Loammi" on them; but he calls them Moses's people, as having broken the law delivered to them by him, they had promised to obey, and so were liable to the condemnation and curse of it; and because they had been committed to his care and charge, and he had been the instrument of their deliverance, and therefore it was great ingratitude to him to act the part they had done, as well as impiety to God; wherefore, though it was the Lord that brought them out of Egypt, it is ascribed to Moses as the instrument, to make the evil appear the greater. Jarchi very wrongly makes these people to be the mixed multitude he supposes Moses had proselyted, and therefore called his people.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:
7. thy people] not mine; Jehovah dissociates Himself from His sinful nation.

7, 8. Jehovah makes known to Moses the people’s sin. The verses are not necessarily by a different hand (RJE[218]) from v. 18 f. Moses’ anger may naturally have been kindled by the spectacle of the doings in the camp, the full character of which he did not before realize.

[218] E See pp. xi, xii.Verses 7-14. - THE INTERCESSION OF MOSES. Moses, in Sinai, was so far removed from the camp, and the cloud so shut out his vision of it, that he had neither seen nor heard anything unusual, and was wholly ignorant of what had happened, until God declared it to him (ver. 7, 8). After declaring it, God announced his intention of destroying the people for their apostasy, and fulfilling his promise to Abraham by raising up a "great nation" out of the seed of Moses (ver. 10). No doubt this constituted a great trial of the prophet's character. He might, without sin, have acquiesced in the punishment of the people as deserved, and have accepted the promise made to himself as a fresh instance of God's goodness to him. There would have been nothing wrong in this; but it would have shown that he fell short of the heroic type, belonged to the ordinary run of mortals, was of the common "delf," not of "the precious porcelain of human clay." God's trial of him gave him an opportunity of rising above this; and he responded to it. From the time that he reached full manhood (Exodus 2:11) he had cast in his lot with his nation; he had been appointed their leader (Exodus 3:10); they had accepted him as such (Exodus 4:31); he had led them out of Egypt and brought them to Sinai; if he had looked coldly on them now, and readily separated his fate from theirs, he would have been false to his past, and wanting in tenderness towards those who were at once his wards and his countrymen. His own glory naturally drew him one way, his affection for Israel the other. It is to his eternal honour that he chose the better part; declined to be put in Abraham's place, and generously interceded for his nation (vers. 11-13). He thereby placed himself among the heroes of humanity, and gave additional strength and dignity to his own character. Verse 7. - Go, descend - i.e., "make haste to descend - do not tarry - there is need of thy immediate presence." Thy people, which thou broughtest, etc. Words calculated to awaken the tenderness between which and self-love the coming struggle was to be. The long stay that Moses made upon the mountain rendered the people so impatient, that they desired another leader, and asked Aaron, to whom Moses had directed the people to go in all their difficulties during his absence (Exodus 24:14), to make them a god to go before them. The protecting and helping presence of God had vanished with Moses, of whom they said, "We know not what has become of him," and whom they probably supposed to have perished on the mountain in the fire that was burning there. They came to Aaron, therefore, and asked him, not for a leader, but for a god to go before them; no doubt with the intention of trusting the man as their leader who was able to make them a god. They were unwilling to continue longer without a God to go before them; but the faith upon which their desire was founded was a very perverted one, not only as clinging to what was apparent to the eye, but as corrupted by the impatience and unbelief of a natural heart, which has not been pervaded by the power of the living God, and imagines itself forsaken by Him, whenever His help is not visibly and outwardly at hand. The delay (בּשׁשׁ, from בּושׁ to act bashfully, or with reserve, then to hesitate, or delay) of Moses' return was a test for Israel, in which it was to prove its faith and confidence in Jehovah and His servant Moses (Exodus 19:9), but in which it gave way to the temptation of flesh and blood.
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