1Meanwhile the people got to see that Moses was taking a long time about coming down from the mountain. So the people congregated themselves about Aaron and said to him: “Get up, make for us a god who will go ahead of us, because as regards this Moses, the man who led us up out of the land of Egypt, we certainly do not know what has happened to him.”2At this Aaron said to them: “Tear off the gold earrings that are in the ears of YOUR wives, of YOUR sons and of YOUR daughters and bring them to me.”3And all the people began tearing off the gold earrings that were in their ears and bringing them to Aaron.4Then he took [the gold] from their hands, and he formed it with a graving tool and proceeded to make it into a molten statue of a calf. And they began to say: “This is your God, O Israel, who led you up out of the land of Egypt.”
5When Aaron got to see this, he went to building an altar before it. Finally Aaron called out and said: “There is a festival to Jehovah tomorrow.”6So on the next day they were early in rising, and they began offering up burnt offerings and presenting communion sacrifices. After that the people sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to have a good time.
7Jehovah now said to Moses: “Go, descend, because your people whom you led up out of the land of Egypt have acted ruinously.8They have turned aside in a hurry from the way I have commanded them to go. They have made a molten statue of a calf for themselves and keep bowing down to it and sacrificing to it and saying, ‘This is your God, O Israel, who led you up out of the land of Egypt.’”9And Jehovah went on to say to Moses: “I have looked at this people and here it is a stiff‐necked people.10So now let me be, that my anger may blaze against them and I may exterminate them, and let me make you into a great nation.”
11And Moses proceeded to soften the face of Jehovah his God and to say: “Why, O Jehovah, should your anger blaze against your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a strong hand?12Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent he brought them out in order to kill them among the mountains and to exterminate them from the surface of the ground’? Turn from your burning anger and feel regret over the evil against your people.13Remember Abraham, Isaac and Israel your servants, to whom you swore by yourself, in that you said to them, ‘I shall multiply YOUR seed like the stars of the heavens, and all this land that I have designated I shall give to YOUR seed, that they may indeed take possession of it to time indefinite.’”
14And Jehovah began to feel regret over the evil that he had spoken of doing to his people.
15After that Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hand, tablets written upon on both their sides. On this side and on that they were written upon.16And the tablets were the workmanship of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved upon the tablets.17And Joshua began to hear the noise of the people because of their shouting, and he proceeded to say to Moses: “There is a noise of battle in the camp.”18But he said:
“It is not the sound of the singing over mighty performance,
And it is not the sound of the singing of defeat;
It is the sound of other singing that I am hearing.”
19So it came about that as soon as he got near the camp and could see the calf and the dances, Moses’ anger began to blaze, and he at once threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain.20Then he took the calf that they had made and he burnt it with fire and crushed it till it was fine, after which he scattered it upon the surface of the waters and made the sons of Israel drink it.21After that Moses said to Aaron: “What did this people do to you that you have brought a great sin upon it?”22To this Aaron said: “Do not let the anger of my lord blaze. You yourself well know the people, that they are evil‐inclined.23So they said to me, ‘Make for us a god who will go ahead of us, because as regards this Moses, the man who led us up out of the land of Egypt, we certainly do not know what has happened to him.’24Hence I said to them, ‘Who have any gold? They must tear it off themselves that they may give it to me.’ And I proceeded to throw it into the fire and this calf came on out.”
25And Moses got to see that the people went unrestrained, because Aaron had let them go unrestrained for a disgrace among their opposers.26Then Moses took his stand in the gate of the camp and said: “Who is on Jehovah’s side? To me!” And all the sons of Le′vi began gathering themselves to him.27He now said to them: “This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said, ‘Put each one of YOU his sword on his side. Pass through and return from gate to gate in the camp and kill each one his brother and each one his fellow and each one his intimate acquaintance.’”28And the sons of Le′vi proceeded to do as Moses had said, so that there fell of the people on that day about three thousand men.29And Moses went on to say: “Fill YOUR hand today with power for Jehovah, because each one of YOU is against his own son and his own brother, and that he may confer a blessing upon YOU today.”
30And it came about on the very next day that Moses proceeded to say to the people: “YOU—YOU have sinned with a great sin, and now I shall go up to Jehovah. Perhaps I can make amends for YOUR sin.”31So Moses returned to Jehovah and said: “Ah, but this people has sinned with a great sin, in that they made a god of gold for themselves!32But now if you will pardon their sin,—and if not, wipe me out, please, from your book that you have written.”33However, Jehovah said to Moses: “Whoever has sinned against me, I shall wipe him out of my book.34And now, come, lead the people to where I have spoken to you of. Look! My angel will go ahead of you, and on the day of my bringing punishment I shall certainly bring punishment upon them for their sin.”35And Jehovah began plaguing the people because they had made the calf, which Aaron had made.