The Golden Calf
The story of the Golden Calf, Aaron, and the broken tablets of the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses in free Bible art and free Bible lessons all ages. Beautifully visual Bible lessons with art in high resolution. Searchable lessons with Bible verses and Bible people. Sunday School and Church resources.
And in a moment more, as they stood where they could look down upon the camp, there was standing the golden calf, and around it were the people making offerings, and feasting, and dancing and singing.
And Moses was so angry when he saw all the wickedness and shame of his people, that he threw down the two tables out of his hands, and broke them in pieces upon the rocks. What was the use of keeping the tables of stone, he may have thought, while the people were breaking the laws written upon them?
Moses came straight into the midst of the throng, and at once all the dancing and merry making stopped. He tore down the golden calf, and broke it in pieces, and burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and threw it into the water, and he made the people drink the water filled with its dust. He meant to teach the people that they would suffer punishment like bitter water, for their wicked deed.
Then Moses turned to Aaron, "What led you to such an act as this?" said Moses. "Why did you let the people persuade you to make them an image for worship?" And Aaron said, "Do not be angry with me. You know how the hearts of this people are set to do evil. They came to me and said, "make us a god", and I said to them, "give me whatever gold you have." So they gave it to me, and I threw the gold into the fire, and this calf came out!"
Then Moses stood at the entrance to the camp, and called out, "Whoever is on the Lord's side, let him come and stand by me." Then one whole tribe out of the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Levi, all sprung from Levi, one of Jacob's sons, came and stood beside Moses. And Moses said to them, "Draw your swords, and go through the camp, and kill every one whom you find bowing down to the idol. Spare no one. Slay your friends and your neighbors, if they are worshipping the image."
And on that day three thousand of the worshippers of the idol were slain by the sons of Levi. Then Moses said to the people, "You have sinned a great sin, but I will go to the Lord, and I will make an offering to him, and will ask him to forgive your sin." And Moses went before the Lord, and prayed for the people, and said, "Oh Lord, this people have sinned a great sin. Yet, now, forgive their sin, if thou art willing. And if thou wilt not forgive their sin, then let me suffer with them, for they are my people."
And the Lord forgave the sin of the people, and took them once again for his own, and promised to go with them, and to lead them into the land which he had promised to their fathers.
And God said to Moses, "Cut out two tables of stone, like those which I gave to you, and which you broke and bring them up to me in the mountain, and I will write on them again the words of the law."
So Moses went up a second time into the holy mount, and there God talked with him again. Moses stayed forty days on this second meeting with God, as he had stayed in the mountain forty days before. And all this time while God was talking with Moses, the people waited in the camp, and they did not again set up any idol for worship.
Once more Moses came down the mountain, bringing the two stone tables, upon which God had written the words of his law, the Ten Commandments. And Moses had been so close to God's glory, and had been so long in the blaze of God's light, that when he came into the camp of Israel, his face was shining, though he did not know it. The people could not look on Moses' face, it was so dazzling. And Moses found that when he talked with the people, it was needful for him to wear a vail over his face. When Moses went to talk with God, he took off the vail, but while he spoke with the people, he kept his face covered, for it shone as the sun.