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them unto me." And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 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." And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said: "To-morrow is a feast to the Lord." And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
And the Lord said unto Moses: "Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." And the Lord said unto Moses: "I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiffnecked people: now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.”
And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said: "Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever." And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses: "There is a noise of war in the camp."
And he said: "It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear."
And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. And Moses said unto Aaron: "What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? And Aaron said: "Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf."
And when Moses saw that the people were broken loose; (for Aaron had let them loose unto their shame among their enemies) then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said: "Who is on the Lord's side? let him come unto me." And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them: "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor." And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. For Moses had said: "Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord, even every man upon his son; and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day."
And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people: "Ye have sinned a great sin: and now will I go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin." And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said: 'Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written." And the Lord said unto Moses: "Whosoever hath sinned
against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine angel shall go before thee. Nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them." And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.
And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments. For the Lord had said unto Moses: 66 Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee." And the children of Israel stripped them of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.
Renewal of the Covenant (Ex. xxxiii. 12-23; xxxiv. 1-4, 28-33). And Moses said unto the Lord: "See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight and consider that this nation is thy people." And he said: "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." And he said unto him: "If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth." And the Lord said unto Moses: "I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
And he said: "I beseech thee, shew me thy glory." And he said: "I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy." And he said: "Thou canst not see my face for there shall no man see me, and live." And the Lord said: "Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand
while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen."
And the Lord said unto Moses: "Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount."
And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed: "Jehovah, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and the fourth generation." And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. And he said: "If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance." And he said: 66 Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the Lord for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee. Observe thou that which I command thee this day behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: but ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their Asherim: 1 for
1 (Asherim, pl. of asherah. A wooden post planted at Canaanite places of worship near the altar of a god. In the Old Testament it is commonly associated with the upright stone (mazzebah) that represented a god and served as his altar. See note, p. 169.)
thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."
And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
And it came to pass, when Moses, came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.
The Tabernacle (Ex. xxxv. 20, 21; xl. 17, 33; Num. ix. 15-17; Ex. xxxiii. 7-11). And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up. And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.
And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, even the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.
1 shone. The Hebrew word here is related to the word for 'horn,' and the Latin Vulgate renders it cornuta, horned.' This accounts for the early representations of Moses with horns, as in Michael Angelo's statue.