Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt,1 have become corrupt.28
They have been quick to turn away3 from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol4 cast in the shape of a calf.5 They have bowed down to it and sacrificed6 to it and have said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.'79
"I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked8 people.
Now leave me alone9 so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy10 them. Then I will make you into a great nation."1111
But Moses sought the favor12 of the LORD his God. "O LORD," he said, "why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?1312
Why should the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth'?14 Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster15 on your people.
Remember16 your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self:17 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars18 in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land19 I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.' "
Then the LORD relented20 and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.