32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto
Aaron, and said unto him, Up, (a) 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. 32:2 And Aaron said unto them, b Break off the golden earrings, which [are] in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring [them] unto me.
(a) The root of Idolatry is when men think that God is not present, unless they see him physically.
(b) Thinking that they would rather abandon idolatry, than give up their most precious jewels. 32:3 And all the people brake off the c golden earrings which [were] in their ears, and brought [them] unto Aaron.
(c) Such is the rage of idolaters, that they spare no cost to satisfy their wicked desires. 32:4 And he received [them] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a d molten calf: and they said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
(d) They remembered the sins of Egypt, where they saw calves, oxen and serpents worshipped. 32:8 They e 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.
(e) By which we see the need we have to pray earnestly to God, to keep us in his true obedience, and to send us good guides. 32:10 Now f 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.
(f) God shows that the prayers of the godly hold back his punishment. 32:13 Remember g 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.
(g) That is, your promise made to Abraham. 32:16 And the tables [were] the work of God, and h the writing [was] the writing of God, graven upon the tables.
(h) All these repetitions show how excellent a thing they defrauded themselves of by their idolatry. 32:20 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 i drink [of it].
(i) Partly to despise them for their idolatry, and partly so they would have no opportunity to remember the calf later. 32:25 And when Moses saw that the people [were] k naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto [their] shame among their enemies:)
(k) Both destitute of Gods favour, and an occasion for their enemies to speak evil of their God. 32:27 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 l slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
32:29 For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his m son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.
(l) This fact did so please God, that he turned the curse of Jacob against Levi to a blessing, ( Deuteronomy 33:9 ).
(m) In revenging Gods glory we must have no partiality to person, but lay aside all carnal affection. 32:32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, n out of thy book which thou hast written.
(n) He esteemed the glory of God so much, that he preferred it even to his own salvation. 32:33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my o book.
(o) I will make it known that he was never predestined in my eternal counsel to life everlasting. 32:34 p 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.
(p) This demonstrates how grievous a sin idolatry is, seeing that at Moses prayer God would not fully remit it.