Sh’mot (exodus) 31:18—33:11
18When He finished speaking to him on Mount Sinai. He gave Moshe the two Tablets of Testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of G-d.
1The people saw that Moshe had delayed in descending the mountain, and the people gathered around Aharon and said to him, “Rise up, make for us gods that will go before us, for the man Moshe who brought us up from the land of Mitzrayim—we do not know what became of him!”
2Aharon said to them, “Remove the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, sons, and daughters, and bring them to me.”
3The entire people removed the gold rings that were in their ears, and brought them to Aharon. 4He took it from their hands and bound it up in a cloth, and fashioned it into a molten calf. They said, “This is your god, O Yisra’el, which took you up from the land of Mitzrayim.”
5Aharon saw and built an altar before him. Aharon called out and said, “A festival for HaShem tomorrow!”
6They rose early the next day and offered up elevation-offerings and brought peace-offerings. The people sat to eat and drink, and they got up to revel.
7HaShem spoke to Moshe: “Go descend—for your people that you brought up from the land of Mitzrayim has become corrupt. 8They have strayed quickly from the way that I have commanded them. They have made themselves a molten calf, prostrated themselves to it and sacrificed to it, and they said, ‘This is you god, O Yisra’el, which brought you up from the land of Mitzrayim.’ ” 9HaShem said to Moshe, “I have seen this people, and behold! it is a stiff-necked people. 10And now, desist from Me. Let My anger flare up against them and I shall annihilate them; and I shall make you a great nation.”
11Moshe pleaded before HaShem, his G-d, and said, “Why HaShem, should Your anger flare up against Your people, whom You have taken out of the land of Mitzrayim, with great power and a strong hand? 12Why should Mitzrayim say the following: ‘With evil intent did He take them out, to kill them in the mountains and to annihilate them from the face of the earth? Relent from Your flaring anger and reconsider regarding the evil against Your people.
13Remember for the sake of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yisra’el, Your servants, to whom You swore by Yourself, and You told them, ‘I shall increase your offspring like the stars of heaven, and this entire land of which I spoke, I shall give to your offspring and it shall be their heritage forever.’ ”
14HaShem reconsidered regarding the evil He declared He would do to His people.
15Moshe turned and descended from the mountain, with two Tablets of the Testimony in his hand. Tablets inscribed on both their sides; they were inscribed on one side and the other. 16The Tablets were G-d’s handiwork, and the script was the script of G-d, engraved on the Tablets.
17Yehoshua heard the sound of the people in its shouting, and he said to Moshe, “The sound of battle is in the camp!”
18He said, “Not a sound shouting strength nor a sound shouting weakness, a sound of distress do I hear!”
19It happened as he drew near the camp and saw the calf and the dances, that Moshe’ anger flared up. He threw down the Tablet from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain. 20He took the calf that they had made and burned it in the fire. He ground it into a fine powder and sprinkled it over the water. He made the Children of Yisra’el drink.
21Moshe said to Aharon, “What this people do to you that you brought a grievous sin upon it?”
22Aharon said, “Let not my master’s anger flare up. You know that the person is disposed toward evil. 23They said to me, ‘Make ua a god that will go before us, for this man Moshe who brought us up from the land of Mitzrayim—we do not know what become of him.’ 24So I said to them, ‘Who has gold?’ They removed it and gave it to me. I threw it into the fire, and this calf emerged.”
25Moshe saw the people, that it was exposed, for Aharon had exposed them to disgrace among those who rise up against them.
26Moshe stood at the gateway of the camp, and said, “Whoever is for HaShem, join me!”—and all the Levities gathered around him. 27He said to them, “So said HaShem the G-d of Yisra’el, ‘Every man, put his sword on his thigh and pass back and forth from gate to gate in the camp. Let every man kill his brother, every man his fellow, and every man his near one.’ ”
28The Levities did as Moshe said, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. 29Moshe said, “Dedicate yourselves this day to HaShem—for each has opposed his son and his brother—that He may bestow upon you a blessing, this day.”
30On the next day, Moshe said to the people, “You have committed a grievous sin! And now I shall ascend to HaShem—perhaps I can win atonement in the face of your sin.” 31Moshe returned to HaShem and said, “I implore! This people has committed a grievous sin and made themselves a god of gold. 32And now if You would but forgive their sin!—but if not, erase me now from Your book that You have written.
33HaShem said to Moshe, “Whoever has sined against Me, I shall erease from My book. 34Now go and lead the people to where I have told you. Behold! My anger shall go before you, and on the day that I make My account, I shall bring their sin to account against them.”
35Then HaShem struck the people with a plaque, because they had made the calf that Aharon had made.
1HaShem spoke to Moshe, “Go ascend from here, you and the people whom you brought up from the land of Mitzrayim, to the land about which I swore to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, saying, ‘I shall give it to your offspring.’ 2I shall send an angel ahead of you, and I shall drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivvite, and the Yevusite—3to a land that flows with milk and honey, because I shall not ascend among you, for you are a stiff-neck people, lest I annihilate you on the way.”
4The people heard this bad tiding and they became grief-stricken, and no one donned his jewelry.
5HaShem said to Moshe, “Say to the Children of Yisra’el, ‘You are a stiff-neck people. If I ascend among you, I may annihilate you in an instant. And now remove your jewelry from yourself, and I shall know what I shall do to you.’ ” 6So the Children of Yisra’el were stripped of their jewelry from Mount Horev.
7Moshe would take the Tent and pich it outside the camp, far from the camp, and call it Tent of Meeting. So it was that whoever sought HaShem would go out to the Tent of Meeting, which was outside the camp. 8Whenever Moshe would go out to the Tent, the entire people would stand until he arrived at the Tent. 9When Moshe would arrive at the Tent, a pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the Tent, and He would speak with Moshe. 10The entire people would see the cloud standing at the entrance of the Tent, and the entire people would rise and prostrate themselves, everyone at the entrance of his tent. 11HaShem would speak to Moshe face to face, as a man would speak with his fellow; then he would return to the camp, His servant, Yehoshua ben Nun, a lad, would not depart from within the tent.