Some Notes:

The English language has no gender-neutral pronouns. So when the words man, he, him, etc are used, they mean "Generic human being" unless the context specifically says otherwise. Only women get words devoted just to them.

Thou, Thee, and Thine are singular pronouns. You and Your are plural in the 16th Century English the King James Bible was translated into. This actually makes the message clearer than our habit of using "you" as both a singular and a plural.

In many scriptures I have changed the King James (English) spelling to American spelling (labour=labor, for example. I understand those in England still spell it with a u). Also, in some scriptures I have changed the "-eth" to a simple "s." Spelling standards weren't set in English until the mid 1800's, well after the translating of the KJV. So I see no problem with making these simple changes that don't affect the meaning of the scripture but make it easier for our modern mouths and ears to deal with.

Exodus 32- The Golden Calf



1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, "Get up! Make us gods, which will go in front of us, because we don’t know what has happened to Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt.”


The people were used to worshiping idols, "gods" they could see, and they figured Moses was dead since he took so long to come back.  

2 And Aaron said to them, "Break off the golden earring that are in your wives, sons, and daughter’s ears, and bring them to me." 

Instead of reassuring the people or rebuking them for their impatience, Aaron decided to humor them.

3 And all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.  

4 And he took them from their hands, melted them into the shape of a calf, and fashioned it with a graving tool. And they said, "These are thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."

The Egyptians worshiped cattle, among many other things. Aaron decided that was the god that had delivered them.

5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it, and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, "Tomorrow is a feast to the I AM." 

6 And they got up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings, and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and got up to play. 

They had a party.
Moses Informed of Israel's Sin
7 And the I AM said to Moses, "Go, get thee down, for thy people, which thou brought out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 

8 "They have quickly left the way that I commanded them. They have made them a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, 'These are thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.'"

God tells Moses what is going on. 

9 And the I AM said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stubborn people: 

10 "Now then let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them. And I will make of thee a great nation."

God was very mad, mad enough to destroy Israel.

But I think He also wanted Moses to choose to love them above his own legacy. 

11 And Moses begged the I AM his God, and said, “I AM, why does Thy wrath wax hot against Thy people, which Thou have brought up out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?  

It kind of sounds like the Blame Game going on here. God says "...THY people, which THOU brought out..." and Moses says "...THY people which THOU have brought out..."

Neither wanted to claim them at the moment. 

12 "Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, 'For mischief did He bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to remove them from the face of the earth?' Turn from Thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against Thy people.  

"If You kill them, the Egyptians will think you were not able to rescue them."

And then Moses sort of rebukes God!

13 "Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swore by Thine Own Self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give to your descendants, and they will inherit it forever.'"

Moses reminds God that He made certain promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the if He kills them now those promises will be broken.

14 And the I AM turned from the evil which He thought about doing to His people.

I really think God knew all along He wouldn't destroy Israel. But He wanted Moses clear in his own thinking on the matter.
Moses Descends with the Tablets
15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mountain, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand. The tables were written on both their sides, on the one side and on the other were they written.  

Hollywood shows us the tablets with writing on one side because it's too hard to portray the truth, both sides of the two tablets covered. 

16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tables.  

God wrote these with His own finger.

17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is a noise of war in the camp!"

 It isn't usually noticed, but Joshua was up on that mountain with Moses during this 40 days with God. Now he hears a noise and is afraid the camp has been attacked.

18 And Moses said, "It is not the voice of them that shout for victory, neither is it the voice of them that cry because of defeat, but the noise of them that sing is what I hear."

Of course, Moses knew what was going on since God had just told him. This was no war they were hearing.
Moses Breaks the Tablets
19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing, and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mountain. 

Moses broke all Ten Commandments at once!
It is a good thing he had just been defending Israel to God. Imagine how mad he would have been if that wasn't fresh in his mind.

20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and threw it on the water, and made the children of Israel drink from it.

21 And Moses said to Aaron, "What did this people do to thee, that thou have brought such a great sin on them?" 

22 And Aaron said, "Don’t let  the anger of my boss wax hot. Thou know the people, that they are set on mischief.

23 "For they said to me, 'Make us gods, which will go before us, since we don’t know what has happened to this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt.'

24 "And I said to them, 'Whoever has any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it to me, then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.'"

"It was magic! Honest!"

25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked, (for Aaron had made them naked to their shame among their enemies,) 

Pagan rituals and "worship" always involve sex.
Karl Marx declared religion to be the opiate of the masses. He was wrong. Sex is. 

26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Who is on the I AM'S side? Let him come to me." And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 

27 And he said to them, "This is what the I AM, God of Israel says, 'Every man put his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.'"

Time for punishment.

28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.  

29 Then Moses told the Levites, "Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the I AM, for you obeyed Him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing."

We must be merciless in getting rid of sin. I am glad we no longer are required to kill those who disobey. We now live under the law of Grace. But we must love the I AM enough to do whatever He tells us. 
Moses Intercedes for Israel
30 And it happened on the next day, that Moses said to the people, "You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the I AM, maybe I can get forgiveness for your sin."

"You messed up big time! I'll go see if I can keep God from killing all of you." 

31 And Moses returned to the I AM, and said, "Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.  

32 "Yet now, if Thou will, forgive their sin, and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of Thy book which Thou have written."

Moses begs again for the children of Israel. And he asks that if God is going to go ahead and destroy them all, that He kill Moses too.  

33 And the I AM said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book. 

34 "Therefore now go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to thee. See, My Angel will go in front of thee. But when the time comes, I will punish them for their sins."

"You keep leading them, Moses. I'll punish the rest of those who have sinned, but only them." 

35 And the I AM sent a plague on the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.

 They got sick.