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WHEN the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, they gathered themselves together unto Aaron and said to him, Arise, make us gods that they may go before us;
as for this man Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.
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And Aaron said to them, Remove the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me.
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So all the people removed the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.
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And he received them, and drew a design, and made it a molten calf;
and they said, This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
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And Aaron was afraid, and he built an altar before it;
then Aaron made a proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.
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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 to quarrel.
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¶ And the LORD said to Moses, Go down, get away from here;
for your people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves;
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They have turned aside quickly from the way which I commanded them;
they have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, This is your god, O Israel, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt.
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And the LORD said to Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold it is a stiff-necked people;
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Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may be kindled against them and that I may destroy them;
and I will make of you a great nation.
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But Moses prayed before the LORD his God and said, Not so, O LORD, let not thy wrath kindle against thy people whom thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand.
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Why should the Egyptians say, It was for their injury he did bring them out to slay them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth?
Rest from thy fierce anger and be reconciled concerning the evil deed of thy people.
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Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou didst swear by thine own self and didst say to them, I will multiply your descendants as the stars in heaven, and all the land that I have spoken of I will give to thy descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.
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And the LORD was reconciled concerning the evil which he had purposed to do to his people.
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¶ And Moses turned and went down from the mountain, and the two stone tablets of the testimony were in his hand, the tablets that were written on both sides;
on the one side and on the other were they written.
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The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved upon the tablets.
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And when Joshua heard the noise of the people fighting, he said to Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.
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Moses said to him, It is not the sound of the cry of mighty men, neither is it the sound of the cry of weak men;
but it is the sound of sin that I hear.
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And it came to pass as soon as they came near to the camp, he saw the calf and the cymbals;
and Moses’ anger raged, and he threw the tablets out of his hand and broke them at the foot of the mountain.
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And he took the calf which they had made, and burned it in the fire, and filed it with a file until it was ground into dust, and he scattered it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
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¶ And Moses said to Aaron, What has this people done to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them?
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And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord rage;
you yourself know this people, that they are bad.
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For they said to me, Make us gods that they shall go before us;
as for this Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.
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And I said to them, Whosoever has any gold bring it to me.
So they brought it to me;
then I cast it into the fire, and it became this calf.
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And when Moses saw that the people had sinned;
(for Aaron had caused them to sin, and to leave a bad name behind them);
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Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, Who is on the LORD’S side?
Let him come to me.
And all the Levites gathered themselves together to him.
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And Moses said to them, Thus says the LORD God of Israel: Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from door to door throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.
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And the Levites did according to the word of Moses;
and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
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And Moses said to them, Strengthen yourselves today before the LORD, every man with his son and with his brother;
for a blessing shall come upon you today.
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¶ And it came to pass on the next day, Moses said to the people, You have sinned this great sin;
and now I will go up to the LORD;
perhaps he may forgive your transgressions.
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So Moses returned to the LORD and said, I beseech thee, O LORD God, truly this people have sinned a great sin and have made for themselves gods of gold.
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But now, if thou wilt, forgive their sins;
and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
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And the LORD said to Moses, Whosoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
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Therefore now go, lead the people to the place where I tell you;
behold, my angel shall go before you;
nevertheless in the day when I punish I will visit their sins upon them.
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And the LORD smote the people because they worshipped the calf which Aaron made.