Exodus 32:8
They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be your gods, O Israel, which have brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
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(8) These be thy gods.—Rather, This is thy god, as in Exodus 32:4.

Exodus 32:8. They have turned aside quickly — Quickly after the law was given them, and they had promised to obey it; quickly after God had done such great things for them, and declared his kind intentions to do greater.32:7-14 God says to Moses, that the Israelites had corrupted themselves. Sin is the corruption of the sinner, and it is a self-corruption; every man is tempted when he is drawn aside of his own lust. They had turned aside out of the way. Sin is a departing from the way of duty into a by-path. They soon forgot God's works. He sees what they cannot discover, nor is any wickedness of the world hid from him. We could not bear to see the thousandth part of that evil which God sees every day. God expresses the greatness of his just displeasure, after the manner of men who would have prayer of Moses could save them from ruin; thus he was a type of Christ, by whose mediation alone, God would reconcile the world to himself. Moses pleads God's glory. The glorifying God's name, as it ought to be our first petition, and it is so in the Lord's prayer, so it ought to be our great plea. And God's promises are to be our pleas in prayer; for what he has promised he is able to perform. See the power of prayer. In answer to the prayers of Moses, God showed his purpose of sparing the people, as he had before seemed determined on their destruction; which change of the outward discovery of his purpose, is called repenting of the evil.These be thy gods ... have brought - This is thy god, O Israel, who has brought ...7-14. the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down—Intelligence of the idolatrous scene enacted at the foot of the mount was communicated to Moses in language borrowed from human passions and feelings, and the judgment of a justly offended God was pronounced in terms of just indignation against the gross violation of the so recently promulgated laws. No text from Poole on this verse. 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.

They {e} have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

(e) By which we see the need we have to pray earnestly to God, to keep us in his true obedience, and to send us good guides.

8. the way, &c.] See Exodus 20:4; Exodus 20:23.Verse 8. - They have turned aside quickly. A few weeks have sufficed to make them forget their solemn pledges (Exodus 19:8; Exodus 24:3), and fly in the face of a plain unmistakable commandment. A molten calf. In the contemptuous language of Holy Scripture when speaking of idols, such an emblematic figure as the Babylonion man-bull would be a mere "calf." That the figure made by Aaron is called always "a molten calf" - literally, "a calf of fusion" - disposes of the theory of Keil, that it was of carved wood covered with gold plates hammered on to it. These be thy gods, which have brought thee. Rather, "This is thy god, which has brought thee." The plural must be regarded as merely one of dignity. Aaron also succumbed to the temptation along with the people. Instead of courageously and decidedly opposing their proposal, and raising the despondency of the people into the strength of living faith, by pointing them to the great deeds through which Jehovah had proved Himself to be the faithful covenant God, he hoped to be able to divert them from their design by means of human craftiness. "Tear off the golden ornaments in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me:" this he said in the hope that, by a demand which pressed so heavily upon the vanity of the female sex and its love of display, he might arouse such opposition as would lead the people to desist from their desire. But his cleverness was put to shame. "All the people" tore off their golden ornaments and brought them to him (Exodus 32:3); for their object was not merely "to accomplish an act of pure self-will, in which case there is no sacrifice that the human heart is not ready to make," but to secure a pledge of the protection of God through a visible image of the Deity. The weak-minded Aaron had no other course left than to make (i.e., to cause to be made) an image of God for the people.
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