Exodus 32:8

8 They have already left the way that I commanded them to follow; they have made a bull-calf out of melted gold and have worshiped it and offered sacrifices to it. They are saying that this is their god, who led them out of Egypt.

Exodus 32:8 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 32:8

They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I
commanded them
The Targum of Jonathan adds, by way of explanation,

``on Sinai, saying, ye shall not make to yourselves an image, or figure, or any similitude.''

This was the command God had given to them; this the way he had directed them to walk in; from this they turned aside, by making the golden calf as an image or representation of God; and this they had done very quickly, since it was but about six weeks ago that this command was given; wherefore if Moses had delayed coming down from the mount, they had made haste to commit iniquity; and, perhaps, this observation is made of their quick defection, in opposition to their complaint of Moses's long absence:

they have made them a molten calf;
for though it was made by Aaron, or by his direction to the founder or goldsmith, yet it was at their request and earnest solicitation; they would not be easy without it:

and have worshipped it;
by bowing the knee to it, kissing it or their hands at the approach of it, see ( Hosea 13:2 ) .

and have sacrificed thereunto
burnt offerings and peace offerings:

and said, these be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of
the land of Egypt;
the very words they used, ( Exodus 32:4 ) and which were taken particular notice of by the Lord with resentment.

Exodus 32:8 In-Context

6 Early the next morning they brought some animals to burn as sacrifices and others to eat as fellowship offerings. The people sat down to a feast, which turned into an orgy of drinking and sex.
7 The Lord said to Moses, "Hurry and go back down, because your people, whom you led out of Egypt, have sinned and rejected me.
8 They have already left the way that I commanded them to follow; they have made a bull-calf out of melted gold and have worshiped it and offered sacrifices to it. They are saying that this is their god, who led them out of Egypt.
9 I know how stubborn these people are.
10 Now, don't try to stop me. I am angry with them, and I am going to destroy them. Then I will make you and your descendants into a great nation."