Exodus 32
Geneva Study Bible
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, (a) make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

(a) The root of Idolatry is when men think that God is not present, unless they see him physically.

And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.
And Aaron said unto them, {b} Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.

(b) Thinking that they would rather abandon idolatry, than give up their most precious jewels.

And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.
And all the people brake off the {c} golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.

(c) Such is the rage of idolaters, that they spare no cost to satisfy their wicked desires.

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

(d) They remembered the sins of Egypt, where they saw calves, oxen and serpents worshipped.

And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.
And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.
And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
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:
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:
They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
They {e} have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

(e) By which we see the need we have to pray earnestly to God, to keep us in his true obedience, and to send us good guides.

And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
Now {f} therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

(f) God shows that the prayers of the godly hold back his punishment.

And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
Remember {g} Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.

(g) That is, your promise made to Abraham.

And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.
And the tables were the work of God, and {h} the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

(h) All these repetitions show how excellent a thing they defrauded themselves of by their idolatry.

And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.
And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.
And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.
And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.
And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.
And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.
And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel {i} drink of it.

(i) Partly to despise them for their idolatry, and partly so they would have no opportunity to remember the calf later.

And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?
And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?
And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief.
And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief.
For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.
And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.
And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)
And when Moses saw that the people were {k} naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)

(k) Both destitute of God's favour, and an occasion for their enemies to speak evil of their God.

Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.
Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD's side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.
And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and {l} slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.

(l) This fact did so please God, that he turned the curse of Jacob against Levi to a blessing, De 33:9.

And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.
For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his {m} son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.

(m) In revenging God's glory we must have no partiality to person, but lay aside all carnal affection.

And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.
And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin´┐Ż; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, {n} out of thy book which thou hast written.

(n) He esteemed the glory of God so much, that he preferred it even to his own salvation.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my {o} book.

(o) I will make it known that he was never predestined in my eternal counsel to life everlasting.

Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.
{p} Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.

(p) This demonstrates how grievous a sin idolatry is, seeing that at Moses prayer God would not fully remit it.

And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.
And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.
The Geneva Bible Translation Notes [1599]

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