When the people heard this troubling word, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments.
He took them from them and, using a tool, fashioned them into a molten calf. The people said, "This, Israel, is your god who brought you out of the land of Egypt."
But Moses implored the LORD his God: "LORD, why are you angry with your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a show of force? Why should the Egyptians say, "He brought them out with an evil intention to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth'? Turn from your anger and change your mind about the calamity against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants to whom you swore by yourself as you told them, "I'll increase the number of your descendants like the stars of the heavens, I'll give your descendants all of this land about which I have spoken, and they are to possess it forever.'" read more.
So the LORD changed his mind about the calamity he had said he would bring on his people.
Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Please, LORD, this people committed a great sin by making a god of gold for themselves. Now, if you will, forgive their sin but if not, blot me out of your book which you have written." The LORD told Moses, "Whoever sins against me, I'll blot him out of my book. read more.
Now, go, and lead the people where I told you, and now my angel will go before you, but on the day when I do punish, I'll punish them for their sin."
I fell down in the LORD's presence, just as I had the first 40 days and nights. I did not eat food or drink water because of your sin. You had sinned by committing this evil in the sight of the LORD, thereby provoking him to anger. I feared the anger and wrath of the LORD against you, because he was irate enough to destroy you. But the LORD also listened to me at that time. It was as had been the case with Aaron, the LORD was very angry and about to destroy him, but I prayed for Aaron at that time. read more.
Now, when you made the calf that made you sin, I grabbed it, burned it with fire, crushed it, and ground it thoroughly until it was pulverized to powder. Then I threw the powder into the river that was flowing from the mountain." "You provoked the LORD again at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth-hattaavah. When the LORD sent you from Kadesh-barnea and told you, "Go possess the land that I gave you,' instead you disobeyed what the LORD your God said. You didn't trust him or listen to his voice. You have been rebelling against the LORD since the day I knew you. I fell down in the LORD's presence for 40 days and nights, because the LORD said he was ready to destroy you. So I prayed to the LORD and said, "Oh LORD my God, don't destroy your people and your inheritance whom you redeemed by your power. You brought them out from Egypt in a powerful way. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Don't pay attention to the stubbornness, wickedness, and sinfulness of this people. Otherwise, the people of the land from which you brought us will say, "The LORD wasn't able to bring them out of the land that he had promised them. So he brought them out to kill them in the desert because he hated them." But they are your people and inheritance, whom you brought out by your mighty strength and awesome power.'"
When I stood on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights as I did the first time, the LORD listened to me once again. The LORD was not willing to destroy you.
He would have destroyed them but for Moses, his chosen one, who stood in the breach before him to avert his destructive wrath.
It was as had been the case with Aaron, the LORD was very angry and about to destroy him, but I prayed for Aaron at that time.