Exodus 32:15-20

15 Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.
16 The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.”
18 Moses replied: “It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.”
19 When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.
20 And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.

Exodus 32:15-20 Meaning and Commentary


This chapter gives an account of the idolatry of the Israelites making and worshipping a golden calf, Ex 32:1-6 the information of it God gave to Moses, bidding him at the same time not to make any suit in their favour, that he might consume them, and make a large nation out Moses's family, Ex 32:7-10 the intercession of Moses for them, in which he succeeded, Ex 32:11-14 his descent from the mount with the two tables in his hands, accompanied by Joshua, when he was an eyewitness of their idolatry, which raised his indignation, that he cast the two tables out of his hands and broke them, took the calf and burnt it, and ground it to powder, and made the children of Israel drink of it, Ex 32:15-20 the examination of Aaron about the fact, who excused himself, Ex 32:21-24 the orders given to the Levites, who joined themselves to Moses, to slay every man his brother, which they did to the number of 3000 men, Ex 32:25-29 another intercession for them by Moses, which gained a respite of them for a time, for they are threatened to be visited still for their sin, and they were plagued for it, Ex 32:30-35.

Cross References 12

  • 1. Exodus 31:18; Hebrews 9:4
  • 2. S Exodus 19:18; Exodus 34:4,29; Deuteronomy 9:15
  • 3. 2 Corinthians 3:3
  • 4. S Exodus 24:12; Exodus 31:18
  • 5. S Exodus 17:9
  • 6. Deuteronomy 9:16
  • 7. ver 6; 1 Corinthians 10:7
  • 8. Ezra 9:3; Psalms 119:53,158
  • 9. Exodus 34:1; Deuteronomy 9:17
  • 10. Deuteronomy 7:25; Deuteronomy 12:3; Joshua 7:1; 2 Kings 23:6; 1 Chronicles 14:12
  • 11. 2 Chronicles 34:7; Micah 1:7
  • 12. Deuteronomy 9:21
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