1When the people saw that Moses was a long time before coming down the mountain, they gatheredround Aaron and said to him, 'Get to work, make us a god to go at our head; for that Moses, the man whobrought us here from Egypt -- we do not know what has become of him.' 2Aaron replied, 'Strip off the gold rings in the ears of your wives and your sons and daughters, andbring them to me.' 3The people al stripped off the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4He received what they gave him, melted it down in a mould and with it made the statue of a calf.'Israel,' the people shouted, 'here is your God who brought you here from Egypt!' 5Observing this, Aaron built an altar before the statue and made this proclamation, 'Tomorrow will be afeast in Yahweh's honour.' 6Early next morning they sacrificed burnt offerings and brought communion sacrifices. The people thensat down to eat and drink, and afterwards got up to amuse themselves. 7Yahweh then said to Moses, 'Go down at once, for your people whom you brought here from Egypthave become corrupt. 8They have quickly left the way which I ordered them to fol ow. They have cast themselves a metal calf,worshipped it and offered sacrifice to it, shouting, "Israel, here is your God who brought you here from Egypt!" ' 9Yahweh then said to Moses, 'I know these people; I know how obstinate they are! 10So leave me now, so that my anger can blaze at them and I can put an end to them! I shal make agreat nation out of you instead.' 11Moses tried to pacify Yahweh his God. 'Yahweh,' he said, 'why should your anger blaze at yourpeople, whom you have brought out of Egypt by your great power and mighty hand? 12Why should the Egyptians say, "He brought them out with evil intention, to slaughter them in themountains and wipe them off the face of the earth?" Give up your burning wrath; relent over this disasterintended for your people. 13Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to whom you swore by your very self andmade this promise: "I shal make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and this whole country ofwhich I have spoken, I shal give to your descendants, and it wil be their heritage for ever." ' 14Yahweh then relented over the disaster which he had intended to inflict on his people. 15Moses turned and came down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands,tablets inscribed on both sides, inscribed on the front and on the back. 16The tablets were the work of God, and the writing on them was God's writing, engraved on thetablets. 17When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, 'There is the sound of battlein the camp!' 18But he replied: No song of victory is this sound, no lament for defeat this sound; but answeringchoruses I hear! 19And there, as he approached the camp, he saw the calf and the groups dancing. Moses blazed withanger. He threw down the tablets he was holding, shattering them at the foot of the mountain. 20He seized the calf they had made and burned it, grinding it into powder which he scattered on thewater, and made the Israelites drink it. 21Moses then said to Aaron, 'What have these people done to you for you to have brought so great asin on them?' 22Aaron replied, 'My lord should not be so angry. You yourself know what a bad state these people arein! 23They said to me, "Make us a god to go at our head; for that Moses, the man who brought us herefrom Egypt -- we do not know what has become of him." 24I then said to them, "Anyone with gold, strip it off!" They gave it to me. I threw it into the fire and out came this calf!' 25When Moses saw that the people were out of hand -- for Aaron had let them get out of hand to thederision of their enemies al round them- 26Moses then stood at the gate of the camp and shouted, 'Who is for Yahweh? To me!' And al theLevites ral ied round him. 27He said to them, 'Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, "Buckle on your sword, each of you, and go upand down the camp from gate to gate, every man of you slaughtering brother, friend and neighbour." ' 28The Levites did as Moses said, and of the people about three thousand men perished that day. 29'Today', Moses said, 'you have consecrated yourselves to Yahweh, one at the cost of his son,another of his brother; and so he bestows a blessing on you today.' 30On the fol owing day Moses said to the people, 'You have committed a great sin. But now I shal goup to Yahweh: perhaps I can secure expiation for your sin.' 31Moses then went back to Yahweh and said, 'Oh, this people has committed a great sin by makingthemselves a god of gold. 32And yet, if it pleased you to forgive their sin. . .! If not, please blot me out of the book you havewritten!' 33Yahweh said to Moses, 'Those who have sinned against me are the ones I shal blot out of my book. 34So now go and lead the people to the place I promised to you. My angel will indeed go at your headbut, on the day of punishment, I shall punish them for their sin.' 35And Yahweh punished the people for having made the calf, the one Aaron had made.
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