The golden calf (Ps 106:19-106:23)

“They made a calf in Horeb.

They worshiped a cast image.

They exchanged the glory of God

For the image of an ox that eats grass.

They forgot God!

Their Savior!

He had done great things in Egypt.

He had done wondrous works in the land of Ham.

He had done awesome things by the Red Sea.

Therefore he said

That he would destroy them.

But Moses,

His chosen one,

Stood in the breach before him.

He wanted God

To turn away his wrath

From destroying them.”

This is a sanitized version of the story in Exodus, chapter 32. While Moses was at the top of the Sinai Mountain with Yahweh, Aaron and the Israelites built a golden calf at Horeb or Sinai as it is called. They then worshipped this golden ox as they turned away from Yahweh. They forgot how he had saved them in Egypt and the all the deeds that he done for them in the land of Ham, Egypt, and the Red Sea. Yahweh wanted to destroy them all. However, Moses interceded with God to turn his anger away so that he did not destroy them.

The golden calf (Ex 32:1-32:6)

“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him.  ‘Come, make a god for us, 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.’ Aaron said to them, ‘Take off the rings of gold that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’  All the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron.  He took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf.  They said, ‘Here is your god, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’  When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it.  Aaron made a proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow shall be a festival to Yahweh.’  They rose early the next day, and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of  well-being.  The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.”

As Moses was a long time on the mountain, the people became restless, as they said, we do not know what has happened to Moses.  They asked Aaron to help get another god leader.  Aaron asked them to give him all their golden ear rings and he built a golden calf.  The golden calf or young bull was a sign of fertility.  Then Aaron built an altar before it proclaiming a festival to Yahweh. The Israelites rose early the next day, and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of  well-being, and then they ate, drank and were merry