Acts 7:41

41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made.

Acts 7:41 in Other Translations

KJV
41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
ESV
41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works of their hands.
NLT
41 So they made an idol shaped like a calf, and they sacrificed to it and celebrated over this thing they had made.
MSG
41 That was the time when they made a calf-idol, brought sacrifices to it, and congratulated each other on the wonderful religious program they had put together.
CSB
41 They even made a calf in those days, offered sacrifice to the idol, and were celebrating what their hands had made.

Acts 7:41 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 7:41

And they made a calf in those days
Whilst Moses was in the mount; this was done in imitation of the Egyptian idol Apis or Serapis, which was an ox or a bullock; and it was made of the golden earnings of the people, which were melted down, and cast into the form of a calf, and graved by Aaron with a graving tool, ( Exodus 32:2-4 ) And so the Syriac version here reads in the singular number, "and he made them a calf"; this was a most shameful and scandalous piece of idolatry. The Jews themselves are so sensible of the horribleness of it, and of the guilt of it, and of the reproach that lies on them for it, that it is common for them to say F3,

``there is not a generation, or an age, in which there is not an ounce of the sin of the calf.''

Or, as elsewhere F4 expressed,

``no punishment befalls thee, O Israel, in "which there is not an ounce of the sin of the calf".''

And offered sacrifice unto the idol;
an altar was built, and proclamation made, that the next day would be the feast of the Lord; and accordingly early in the morning the people rose, and offered both burnt offerings and peace offerings, ( Exodus 32:5 Exodus 32:6 ) and rejoiceth in the works of their own hands; for so the calf was; and which rejoicing they showed by eating, and drinking, and singing, and dancing.


FOOTNOTES:

F3 T. Hieros. Taaniot, fol. 68. 3.
F4 Vid. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 102. 1.

Acts 7:41 In-Context

39 “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.
40 They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’
41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made.
42 But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: “ ‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
43 You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile’ beyond Babylon.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Exodus 32:4-6; Psalms 106:19,20; Revelation 9:20