When the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. They said to him, "We don't know what has happened to this Moses, who led us out of Egypt. Make gods who will lead us."
Aaron said to them, "Have your wives, sons, and daughters take off the gold earrings they are wearing, and bring them to me."
So all the people took off their gold earrings and handed them to Aaron.
After he had worked on the gold with a tool, he made it into a statue of a calf. Then they said, "Israel, here are your gods who brought you out of Egypt."
When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of it and announced, "Tomorrow there will be a festival in the LORD's honor."
Early the next day the people sacrificed burnt offerings and brought fellowship offerings. Afterward, they sat down to a feast, which turned into an orgy.