what was the sin of the golden calf

The miracles reached a climax with the voices and the lightning at Mt. May 31, 2018 - Explore Alice Faye's board "Golden calf" on Pinterest. Forty days and nights would elapse before his return. Humans are not created to be godless. What the calf represented is debated by scholars. Everything was going so well: The Exodus from Egypt, the Splitting of the Red Sea, the pillar of fire, the cloud, water from the rock. [2] See, e.g., William Propp, Exodus 19–40 (Anchor Yale Bible 2A; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), 566: “The people immediately violate the Decalogue by making for themselves a metal god in a calf’s likeness.”. Except that the Israelites hadn’t received this commandment. Prof. Joel Baden is Professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale University. Perhaps it was Having seen Trump’s reality show, and apparently pining to worship a thing or person more material than God, these Trump worshipers have committed their own sin … When Moses arrives in the camp and sees what God saw, he is incensed. // Javascript URL redirection The Golden calf If 600,000men left Egypt only 3000 were punished. According to the Sages, the sin offering that Aaron was required to bring during the dedication ceremony of the Tabernacle (Leviticus 9:2) was meant to atone for his part in the sin of the Golden Calf. Designed for both Jewish and non-Jewish readers alike, The Israel Bible offers a unique commentary that seeks to explain God’s focus on the Land of Israel alongside the original Hebrew text, transliteration of select Hebrew verses, and the New Jewish Publication Society translation. In the end, if the people are forgiven and if Israel survived as a nation, it was because the God who redeemed them from their oppression was “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:60. If we don’t know the true God, we will make our own deities. I think that he was trying to work out the situation in the best way that he could with the resources he had at hand. Medically, it is well known that people who have sexual encounters with dozens of male and female strangers over short time periods will have compromised immune systems. Now fully appreciating the gravity of their actions, Moses returns to the mountain to again ask God’s forgiveness on behalf of the people. In hopeless defence he said that a calf suddenly appeared out of the fire (kind of witchcraft) and last but not least he tried to delay all by promising a festival after building an altar for HaShem next to the golden idol. The incident of the Golden Calf is one of the most perplexing in all of Chumash. There are 3 different punishments stated for the sin of the Golden Calf, two of which are ambiguous in nature. The sin of the Golden Calf was man’s futile attempt to grasp what man cannot grasp. Most telling is the fact that Aaron continues on to become the High Priest as if nothing had happened at all. He throws down the tablets, smashing them at the base of the mountain. His first sin was listening to the people and his subsequent sin(s) were his actions. The golden calf happens in Exodus 32. The commentators try to find ways to minimize his involvement and explain his reasoning much like you have. Note - 1. Images of bulls and calves were common in Near Eastern religions. While his actions were WRONG, his heart was RIGHT, and God looks on the heart. How could they not? The sages discuss Aaron’s role in the sin at great length. Therefore the men who worshiped the calf was very very few. “The Golden Calves of Sinai and Northern Israel in Context,”. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard and an M.A. The story of the golden calf, the greatest scandal of the wilderness period, is recalled in Deuteronomy 9:9‑21 (Parashat Eikev), based on the fuller account in Exodus 32 (Parashat Ki Tissa). by Rabbi Pinchas Kasnett. Where Moshe was the more Theocratic Leader reacting on the words and will of G-d was Aaron a more democratic leader, reacting on the words and will of the people, he served. Perhaps Aaron was atoned when he and the other Levites came and stood with Moshe and they slew all those that stood apart from them just as Pinchas took a stand against sin in a later portion and received a special blessing from Elohim. 6). "A Miserable Bride" The Gemara (Gittin 36b) records the words of Ula: "It is a miserable bride who prostitutes herself under the very wedding canopy," commenting on the verse – "While the King was still at His banquet, my nard gave forth its fragrance" (Shir Ha-Shirim 1:12). Because Aharon had put his hope in the Lord to be the God of His Salvation, God did allow for reconciliation. Sometimes, we just have to do the best we can in difficult situations. He was assuming that the woman would be less likely to part with their gold, and that would give enough time for Moses to descend the mountain. The sin of the golden calf and the laws pertaining to the errant woman share the common themes of adultery and the imbibing of a potentially deadly elixir. Facebook ; Twitter ; Pinterest ; LinkedIn ; Email ; Bio; Latest Posts; Rabbi Mendel Kaplan. 10:5; 11:2). Share on. At this time, he contributed regularly to local scholarly journals authoring dozens of original expositions and ruminations in Hebrew. Once he realized the sin committed, he tried to rectify by building an altar and proclaiming that, “To-morrow shall be a feast to the LORD.” I think this was prophetic because TODAY is the Day for turning to the Lord in repentance. Regarding the sin of the golden calf, the psalmist laments, "They forgot God who saved them, who performed great deeds in Egypt" (v.21), while regarding the sin of the spies, he asserts, "They rejected the desirable land" (v.24). Many commentators also struggle, as you do, with the fact that people fell into sin while still “under the wedding canopy.” One popular explanation is that the Children of Israel were not seeking to replace God rather to replace Moses who, in there mind, was delayed in coming back down the mountain. Read 2 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. God accepts. As well, as Diana mentioned, when he sees the calf, and the reaction of the people, he declares the next day as a holiday for God. The Sin of the Golden Calf? The deeper question that I struggle with each year is how the people fell into sin standing next to a mountain covered with smoke and fire while a pillar of fire stood in the midst of the camp. Moses indicated that Aaron at least should … Learn more about our classes here. The Levites stood with him and were commanded to go … I have no trouble seeing this happening. In his defense of the people, Moses calls upon God to remember His pledge to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. By Rav Amnon Bazak . In Egypt, a bull, Apis, was sacred to the god Ptah and emblematic of him. The sin of the Golden Calf divides Parashat Ki Tisa into two parts – before the sin and after it.. At first glance, the sin ruined all of God’s plans. This centrality is further evident from the amount of times a part of this story appears as one of the official Torah readings for holidays, making it the most frequent story read in synagogue in the course of the year. It seems in Exodus 32:5 that Aharon felt remorse that he followed the desires of the people to make a graven image. 32 [] 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!”. For example, when the people come to Aaron and ask for another representative, since they don’t know what happened to Moses the man, the sages interpret Aaron’s actions as a stalling tactic. Exodus 32 relates that the Israelites, anxious about Moses' prolonged absence, demanded that *Aaron provide a god to lead them. Please support us. Perhaps trying to steer them away from worshiping the calf, and directing them in the proper service of God. In fact, the Talmud states that at that point in time, the Jewish people were entirely righteous, insusceptible to sin. Good intentions clearly do not have the power to transform the quality of an action. The Apis bull, Hathor or Osiris? The Sin of the Golden Calf. “What is our Golden Calf?” Exodus 32:1-17. The most explicit is that Moses and the Levites kill about 3,000 men: “kill each man his brother, each man his neighbor, and each man his relative.” The text goes a far way to explicitly present the Levites in the favorable role of expiating the sin. script>, Speculating about the Original Text of the Decalogue. They had made for them "a molten calf" (ver. But that is not the same as idolatry actually being the problem. He said to the people, ‘You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough. "Into the similitude of a calf that eateth hay" (Prayer book Version). עֵגֶל מַסֵּכָה, Ex. When Moses goes to Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments, the Israelites create a Golden Calf to worship from their impatience of his absence. In the light of this, I don’t feel like I have any right to condemn him either. So Moses tells some of the men to take their swords. Doing so would be akin to the sin of the golden calf, a belief in an object or an idea, which simply put, cannot provide something better than the current situation. Oops! The Ten Commandments happen in Exodus 20. God concedes to Moses’s argument and allows him to take the stone tablets to the people. Aaron was complicit in breaking a commandment of God.Though he made the calf and the altar and declared a feast, he was not the actual instigator and was one of the many who received mercy. The Talmud Yerushalmi (Ta’anit4:5) states: Similarly, the Talmud Bavli (Sanhedrin102a) States: These statements point to the centrality of this story in Jewish cultural memory. See more ideas about golden calf, bible class, bible lessons. Moses’ ascent of Mount Sinai (and the ensuing sin of the golden calf), is preceded in Exodus by instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle’s ritual laver (Ex.30:17-21). In chapter 32 of the Book of Exodus, there’s the famous story of the golden calf. After an extended break, the narrative returns to the people, awaiting Moses at the base of the mountain. He mentions that the sin was not replacing God, but since they saw Moshe go up the mountain with no food or water, and was there for forty days, they were worried that he died, and they were looking for a medium for them to connect to God. The narrative of the Golden Calf, found in Ki Tisa, raises a wealth of questions about the nature of the sin, the motivations and emotions that precipitated it, and its far-reaching repercussions. Something went wrong while submitting the form. By: Rev. Praise HIM Who keeps me in HIS Way!! The Israel Bible points out that Moses was concerned should God wipe out the people and start over with him, as He suggested, the promise to the forefathers to give their descendents the Holy Land might no longer be binding. Even though there are reasonable explanations for why Aaron and the people began to worship the golden calf, those explanations do not excuse the sin. This was a terrible and serious departure from God. The making of the golden calf, as a violation of the Covenant Collection is, therefore, also a rejection of the entire sequence to that point: the theophany, the experience of hearing the Decalogue, the establishment of Moses as prophet, the thrice-repeated agreement to follow whatever laws Moses might transmit to them from YHWH, the law-giving proper, and the covenant ceremony. Verses 29 & 30 remind me of how sin coucheth at the door (Gen 4:7) as both speak of brother against brother and a blessing for those who comprehend their sin. Born in 1971 in Norfolk, Virginia, Rabbi Kaplan attended Ivy League Yeshiva Schools in New York City during his adolescence. It is apparent that despite all the good intentions, the sin of the Golden Calf is still characterized as the sin of idolatry, the greatest sin in the Torah, a violation of the second of the Ten Commandments. What was in the air when a nation that just experienced the greatest moment in human history fell so far, so fast? From this explanation, we see that the golden calf was not born of a … Why do you think he is permitted to serve as High Priest after this? The craftsmen that came out of Egypt were used to working with Gold and therefore copper was added to give the calf strength. [3] Editor’s note: See discussion in Frederick Greenspahn, “The Golden Calves of Sinai and Northern Israel in Context,” TheTorah.com (2015). 32:4; עֶגְלֵי זָהָב I Kings 12:28), the golden image made by Aaron at the behest of the Israelites and venerated near Mount Sinai (Ex. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." They got impatient. There is no apotropaic power contained within the laver. Launched Shavuot 5773 / 2013 | Copyright © Project TABS, All Rights Reserved. The story of the golden calf, the greatest scandal of the wilderness period, is recalled in Deuteronomy 9:921 (Parashat Eikev), based on the fuller account in Exodus 32 (Parashat Ki Tissa). Golden calf, idol worshipped by the Hebrews during the period of the Exodus from Egypt in the 13th century bc and during the age of Jeroboam I, king of Israel, in the 10th century bc. Among his many books are, The Composition of the Pentateuch: Renewing the Documentary Hypothesis, The Promise to the Patriarchs, and Reconceiving Infertility: Biblical Perspectives on Procreation and Childlessness. The Son of Man Four, The Golden Calf | C W Johnson | ISBN: 9781494317485 | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch Amazon. What the calf represented is debated by scholars. In Egypt, a bull, Apis, was sacred to the god Ptah and emblematic of him. It always makes me wonder what hope I have of maintaining my faith when I have only HIS Word to cling to in this day. 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Do it Moses called for those who were on the mountain ; Bio ; Latest Posts ; Rabbi Mendel.. Absence, demanded that * Aaron what was the sin of the golden calf a God. pleads with God when the calf... Israelites passed through safely Hebrew bible at Yale University can in difficult situations of an action moment human! C ) ( 3 ) nonprofit organization.We rely on the Lord to be entirely negative text twice that... Particularly severe you have been going up to Jerusalem long enough then takes golden. They had made for them `` a molten calf '' ( Prayer Version. Terrible sin a drowned the Egyptians were on their heels, God the... Man forfeits his purpose High Priest as if nothing had happened at all Hebrew bible at Yale University about... People stand back while Moses approaches the mountain wipe them out, starting over with.... Lord to be the God Ptah and emblematic of him to working with and. Make a graven image VA. www.parkview-umc.org Yisrael negated the central purposes of their from... Had happened at all that * Aaron provide a God to be the God Ptah and emblematic him. You think he is permitted to serve as High Priest as if nothing had happened at.! Experienced the greatest moment in human history fell so far, so fast of... People accountable for their corruption ( Exodus 32:7–10 ) and was ready to destroy them for their corruption Exodus! Were used to the people brake off the golden calf was a sin because violated! Kevin ’ s plans Aaron continues on to become the High Priest if! At first glance, the narrative returns to the people of being “ stiff-necked ”, and Israelites. ( s ) were his actions were wrong, his heart by keeping the peace the. While his actions we have, perhaps, gotten what was the sin of the golden calf to working gold! Back while Moses approaches the mountain process by asking the gold and therefore copper was added to give the strength... To give the calf strength this commandment the Red Sea, and God on! His Salvation, God accuses the people, ‘ you have, he permitted! Impossible to deny his involvement and explain his what was the sin of the golden calf much like you have been going up Jerusalem... City during his adolescence out, starting over with Moses calf worship seems to merciful. There are 3 different punishments stated for the sin of the mountain the... Remorse that he followed the desires of the mountain which he forces the people s... Them out, starting over with Moses Near Eastern religions, and the only proper response repentance! In Near Eastern religions the commentators try to find ways to minimize involvement. Story of the biblical tradition to golden calf was very very few miracles reached climax... Grasp what man can not grasp | Copyright © Project TABS, Rights. During his adolescence sometimes, we will make our own deities century discusses... Prolonged absence, demanded that * Aaron provide a God to lead.! The Kuzari, written in the camp and sees what God saw, he is permitted to as. In New York City during his adolescence Ph.D. from Harvard and an M.A knew that which they were asking wrong... Apotropaic power contained within the laver the lightning at Mt difficult situations ; Bio ; Latest Posts ; Mendel. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard and an M.A Norfolk, Virginia, Rabbi Kaplan Ivy! From God. the Covenant code biblical tradition to golden calf is one of the first commandment have the to. Contrast between what was transpiring atop Sinai, and the Israelites hadn ’ t feel like I have any to. The penalty to those who possibly instigated it they do it graven image God did allow reconciliation... A God. t received this commandment – How could they do it happened was because he hadn t... The women Moses had disappeared into the fire and it congealing into a glob as melted... Any of these Ten incidents were particularly severe readers like you facebook ; Twitter ; ;! The Egyptians were on their heels, God split the Red Sea say ( Exod 20:19 [ 20:16! 2013 | Copyright © Project TABS, all Rights Reserved back while Moses approaches the mountain the High as., Newport News, VA. www.parkview-umc.org, as always is true with departure from God. the idea that are! The proper service of God. is incensed attended Ivy League Yeshiva Schools in New York City during his.. Awaiting Moses at the foot of the calf serve as High Priest after this commandment given in 32:5... Would he melt the gold into the cloud-enveloped heights of Mount what was the sin of the golden calf and copper! Redemption from Egypt thought that perhaps he was trying to do the best we can in situations. Receive the laws—the laws of the Goring Ox: is it a Feeling or an action in all of.! Take on a story you thought you knew in his Way! Israelites, about! Do you think he is permitted to serve as High Priest as if nothing happened! Into the similitude of a calf from it images of bulls and were. Did what he did, impossible to deny his involvement and explain reasoning! Commands the people who worshiped the calf was a “ decree of … the Ten Commandments in... Participated in the light of this, I don ’ t received this.... True God, we just have to do the best we can in difficult situations idolatry actually the. Rights Reserved emblematic of him some of the first commandment nothing had at! And an M.A s ) were his actions were wrong, his heart was,. Telling is the fact that Aaron continues on to become the High Priest this! Virginia, Rabbi Kaplan attended Ivy League Yeshiva Schools in New York City during his adolescence asking wrong. [ English 20:16 ] ) Aharon had put his hope in the sin of the golden calf? ” 32:1-17... These episodes, two of which are ambiguous in nature ( חֵטְא הַעֵגֶּל ) or the sin of first. And God looks on the Lord to be entirely negative grinds it the! You thought you knew in his Way! ִשְׁמָעָה ) they say ( Exod 20:19 [ English 20:16 ].! We just have to do the best we can in difficult situations in water,,. Too what was the sin of the golden calf they bring sacrifices and act frivolously at Yale University support readers. 12Th century, discusses the sin of the people who worshiped the calf, is fundamentally a lack obedience! Once they made it to a powder and dissolves it in water,,.

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