Exodus 32:1
New International Version
When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, "Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him."

New Living Translation
When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. "Come on," they said, "make us some gods who can lead us. We don't know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt."

English Standard Version
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

Berean Study Bible
Now when the people saw that Moses was delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him!”

New American Standard Bible
Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, "Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him."

King James 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.

Christian Standard Bible
When the people saw that Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, "Come, make gods for us who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt--we don't know what has happened to him!"

Contemporary English Version
After the people saw that Moses had been on the mountain for a long time, they went to Aaron and said, "Make us an image of a god who will lead and protect us. Moses brought us out of Egypt, but nobody knows what has happened to him."

Good News Translation
When the people saw that Moses had not come down from the mountain but was staying there a long time, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, "We do not know what has happened to this man Moses, who led us out of Egypt; so make us a god to lead us."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When the people saw that Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, "Come, make us a god who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt--we don't know what has happened to him!"

International Standard Version
When the people saw that Moses took a long time to come down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and told him, "Come here and make us a god who will go before us, because, as for this fellow Moses who led us out of the land of Egypt, we don't know what has become of him."

NET Bible
When the people saw that Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, "Get up, make us gods that will go before us. As for this fellow Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him!"

New Heart English Bible
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods, which shall go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. They said to him, "We don't know what has happened to this Moses, who led us out of Egypt. Make gods who will lead us."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him: 'Up, make us a god who shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.'

New American Standard 1977
Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
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, Rise 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 know not what is become of him.

King James 2000 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, who shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what has become of him.

American King James Version
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to 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 know not what is become of him.

American Standard Version
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from 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 know not what is become of him.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people combined against Aaron, and said to him, Arise and make us gods who shall go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us forth out of the land of Egypt—we do not know what is become of him.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the people seeing that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, gathering together against Aaron, said: Arise, make us gods, that may go before us: for as to this Moses, the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what has befallen him.

Darby Bible Translation
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people collected together to Aaron, and said to him, Up, make us a god, who will go before us; for this Moses, the man that has brought us up out of the land of Egypt, -- we do not know what is become of him!

English Revised Version
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from 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 know not what is become of him.

Webster's Bible Translation
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, the people assembled themselves to Aaron, and said to him, Arise, make us gods which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.

World English Bible
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don't know what has become of him."

Young's Literal Translation
And the people see that Moses is delaying to come down from the mount, and the people assemble against Aaron, and say unto him, 'Rise, make for us gods who go before us, for this Moses -- the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt -- we have not known what hath happened to him.'
Study Bible
The Golden Calf
1Now when the people saw that Moses was delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him!” 2So Aaron told them, “Take off the gold earrings that are on your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.”…
Cross References
Acts 7:40
They said to Aaron, 'Make us gods who will go before us! As for this Moses who led us out of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.'

Exodus 14:11
They said to Moses, "Was it because there are no graves in Egypt that you brought us into the wilderness to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?

Exodus 20:23
You are not to make any gods to rival Me; you are not to make for yourselves gods of silver or gold.

Exodus 24:18
Moses entered the cloud as he went up on the mountain, and he remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 32:23
They told me, 'Make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him!'

Numbers 14:22
not one of the men who have seen My glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness--yet have tested Me and disobeyed Me these ten times--

Deuteronomy 9:11
And at the end of forty days and forty nights, the LORD gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant,

Deuteronomy 9:12
and the LORD said to me, "Get up and go down from here at once, for your people whom you brought out of Egypt have corrupted themselves. How quickly they have turned aside from the way that I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten image."

Ezekiel 20:8
But they rebelled against Me and refused to listen. None of them cast away the abominations before their eyes, and they did not forsake the idols of Egypt. So I resolved to pour out My wrath upon them and vent My anger against them in the land of Egypt.

Treasury of Scripture

And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to 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 know not what is become of him.

A.

Exodus 24:18
And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

Deuteronomy 9:9
When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water:

Matthew 24:43
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

up

Genesis 19:14
And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

Genesis 44:4
And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?

Joshua 7:13
Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.

make

Exodus 20:3-5
Thou shalt have no other gods before me…

Deuteronomy 4:14-18
And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it…

Acts 7:40
Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

which shall

Exodus 13:21
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

Exodus 33:3,14,15
Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way…

the man

Exodus 32:7,11
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: …

Exodus 14:11
And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?

Exodus 16:3
And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

we wot







Lexicon
Now when the people
הָעָ֔ם (hā·‘ām)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5971: A people, a tribe, troops, attendants, a flock

saw
וַיַּ֣רְא (way·yar)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

that
כִּֽי־ (kî-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

Moses
מֹשֶׁ֖ה (mō·šeh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4872: Moses -- a great Israelite leader, prophet and lawgiver

was delayed
בֹשֵׁ֥שׁ (ḇō·šêš)
Verb - Piel - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 954: To pale, to be ashamed, to be disappointed, delayed

in coming down
לָרֶ֣דֶת (lā·re·ḏeṯ)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 3381: To come or go down, descend

from
מִן־ (min-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 4480: A part of, from, out of

the mountain,
הָהָ֑ר (hā·hār)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2022: Mountain, hill, hill country

they
הָעָ֜ם (hā·‘ām)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5971: A people, a tribe, troops, attendants, a flock

gathered
וַיִּקָּהֵ֨ל (way·yiq·qā·hêl)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Nifal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6950: To gather as an assembly or congregation

around
עַֽל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

Aaron
אַהֲרֹ֗ן (’a·hă·rōn)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 175: Aaron -- an elder brother of Moses

and said,
וַיֹּאמְר֤וּ (way·yō·mə·rū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

“Come,
ק֣וּם ׀ (qūm)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6965: To arise, stand up, stand

make
עֲשֵׂה־ (‘ă·śêh-)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6213: To do, make

us
לָ֣נוּ (lā·nū)
Preposition | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew

gods
אֱלֹהִ֗ים (’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

who
אֲשֶׁ֤ר (’ă·šer)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's Hebrew 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

will go
יֵֽלְכוּ֙ (yê·lə·ḵū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1980: To go, come, walk

before us.
לְפָנֵ֔ינוּ (lə·p̄ā·nê·nū)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine plural construct | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 6440: The face

As for
כִּי־ (kî-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

this
זֶ֣ה ׀ (zeh)
Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2088: This, that

Moses
מֹשֶׁ֣ה (mō·šeh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4872: Moses -- a great Israelite leader, prophet and lawgiver

who
אֲשֶׁ֤ר (’ă·šer)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's Hebrew 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

brought us up
הֶֽעֱלָ֙נוּ֙ (he·‘ĕ·lā·nū)
Verb - Hifil - Perfect - third person masculine singular | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 5927: To ascend, in, actively

out of the land
מֵאֶ֣רֶץ (mê·’e·reṣ)
Preposition-m | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 776: Earth, land

of Egypt,
מִצְרַ֔יִם (miṣ·ra·yim)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4714: Egypt -- a son of Ham, also his descendants and their country in Northwest Africa

we do not
לֹ֥א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

know
יָדַ֖עְנוּ (yā·ḏa‘·nū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 3045: To know

what
מֶה־ (meh-)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

has happened to him!�
הָ֥יָה (hā·yāh)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be
XXXII.

THE IDOLATRY OF THE GOLDEN CALF.

(1) When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down.--After seven chapters of directions, which belong to the Mosaic or Levitical Law, the writer here resumes his historical narrative. Leaving Moses still in the mount, he returns to the plain at its base in order to relate the events which had there occurred during Moses' absence. It has been suggested that Exodus 31 was originally followed by Exodus 35, and that Exodus 32-34 form a "distinct composition," which was subsequently inserted at this point (Cook). But this supposition is improbable. Exodus 35 does not cohere with Exodus 31. Passing from one to other, we should be sensible of a gap which required filling up. Neither does Exodus 32 commence like an independent narrative. It rests on the fact of the long delay of Moses in Sinai, which requires Exodus 25-31 to explain it; and its mention of "the people," and "the mount," without further designation, implies reference to something that has gone before. Exodus 32-34 occur really in their natural, their proper, and, no doubt, in their original place.

The people gathered themselves together unto Aaron.--Moses, before his departure, had left directions that the people should in any difficulty take the advice of Aaron and Hur (Exodus 24:14). It is not surprising, however, that, when the difficulty arose, Aaron alone was consulted. Aaron had been jointleader with Moses from the first (see Exodus 4:29-30; Exodus 5:1; Exodus 5:4; Exodus 5:20, &c.); Hur had only very recently been advanced into a position of authority (Exodus 17:10; Exodus 24:14). He was, at the most, the Lepidus of the Triumvirate.

Up, make us gods.--Rather, make us a god. The religious condition of the Israelites during the sojourn in Egypt has been so entirely passed over in the previous narrative, that this request comes upon us as a surprise and a shock. True, there have been warnings against idolatry, reiterated warnings (Exodus 20:4-5; Exodus 20:23; Exodus 23:32-33), but no tendency towards it has manifested itself, no hint has been given that it was an immediate and pressing danger. When, however, we carefully scrutinise the rest of Scripture, we find reason to believe that a leaning towards idolatry had, in point of fact, shown itself among the people while they were in Egypt, and had even attained some considerable development. (See Leviticus 17:7; Joshua 24:14; Ezekiel 20:8; Ezekiel 23:3.) This tendency had been checked by the series of extraordinary manifestations which had accompanied the exodus. Now, however, in the absence of Moses, in the uncertainty which prevailed as to whether he still lived or not, and in the withdrawal from the camp of that Divine Presence which had hitherto gone before them, the idolatrous instinct once more came to the front. The cry was raised, "make us a god"--make us something to take the place of the pillar of the cloud, something visible, tangible, on which we can believe the Divine Presence to rest, and which may "go before us" and conduct us.

This Moses, the man that brought us up . . . --Contemptuous words, showing how short-lived is human gratitude, and even human respect. An absence of less than six weeks, and a belief that he was no more, had sufficed to change the great deliverer into "this Moses, the man who brought us up."

Verses 1-6. - THE IDOLATRY OF THE GOLDEN CALF. During the absence of Moses in Mount Sinai, an absence of nearly six weeks, the Israelites grew impatient, and regarding their leader as lost to them, and the Divine Presence which they had hitherto enjoyed as lost with him, insisted on having a symbol of that presence made for them, which should henceforth go in front of the host and so lead them on in their journeyings. It would seem that the pillar of the cloud, which had gone before them from Succoth to Sinai, was now removed from the camp, and resting upon the "mount" where Moses was (Exodus 24:15). Under these circumstances they wanted a visible tangible something, in which they could regard the Divine Presence as resting, and whereto they might offer worship and sacrifice (ver. 8). They therefore went to Aaron, whom Moses had bid them consult in any difficulty (Exodus 24:14), and requested him to "make them a god." Aaron had not the courage to meet this request with a plain negative. As Augustine and Theodoret conjecture with much probability, he sought to turn them from their purpose by asking them to give up those possessions which he conceived that they most valued - viz, the personal ornaments of their wives and children. But he had miscalculated the strength of their fanaticism. The people immediately complied - the ornaments were brought in - and Aaron was compelled, either to fly from his word, or to lend himself to the people's wishes. He did the latter. Either looking to Egypt for a pattern, or falling back on some old form of Syrian or Chaldaean idolatry (see the comment on ver. 4), he melted down the gold and cast it into the form of a calf. The "god" being thus made, an altar was built to it (ver. 5) and sacrifice offered (ver 6). Such was the condition of affairs when Moses, having just received the two tables of stone, was warned by God of what had occurred, and bidden to descend from Sinai. Verse 1. - The people saw that Moses delayed to come down. He had been absent, probably, above a month. It was the first day of their worship when he descended; and a week would suffice for the collection of the ornaments, the formation of the mould, and the casting of the idol. Unto Aaron. It is not clear why no mention is made of Hur, who had been made co-regent with Aaron (Exodus 24:14); but perhaps Aaron was known to be the weaker of the two. Up, make us gods. Most moderns translate" a god." But the word is vague, and the speakers did not themselves perhaps care whether one idol was made or more. Which shall go before us. The Israelites were apparently tired of their long delay at Sinai, and were anxious to proceed upon their journey. They wanted a visible god at their head, to give them confidence and courage. Compare 1 Samuel 4:3-8. We wot not what is become of him. He might, they thought, be dead - he might have returned to Egypt - he might be going to stay always with God in the mount which they did not dare to approach. At any rate, he was lost to them, and they might never see him again. 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 stinginess 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.
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