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Featured Whom Did the Israelites Worship in the Golden Calf Incident?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Scripture More Accurately, Jul 17, 2021.

?
  1. Yahweh

    2 vote(s)
    15.4%
  2. One or more false gods

    9 vote(s)
    69.2%
  3. Yahweh and one or more false gods

    2 vote(s)
    15.4%
  1. Scripture More Accurately

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    In at least six passages, the Spirit speaks about when the Israelites worshiped a golden calf in the wilderness (Exod. 32; Deut. 9; Neh. 9; Ps. 106; Acts 7; and 1 Cor. 10.) Interpreters debate whom they worshiped in the Golden Calf incident (GCI) when they worshiped the calf.

    Did they worship Yahweh, one or more false gods, or both in the GCI when they worshiped the calf?
     
  2. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    They worshipped an idol as if it were the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.

    The “calf” was a symbol of fertility and or power. I think Baal was depicted as a bull.

    peace to you
     
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  3. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    According to Exodus 32:8, it was multiple gods.
     
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  4. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    It has always appeared to me that they were worshipping Yahweh (Exodus 32:5), but in the wrong way (c.f. 1 Chronicles 13:7-10; 15:11-15). It is evident that the Israelites worshipped other gods in the wilderness (Amos 5:25-27), but not necessarily in the Golden Calf episode.

    Regardless, I think the lesson for the churches is that we have no right to choose how we worship God, but must follow His instructions as we find them in the Bible.
     
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  5. Scripture More Accurately

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    Does this mean then that you believe that they actually were worshiping the true God when they worshiped the calf?
     
  6. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member
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    they worshipped the devil!
     
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  7. Scripture More Accurately

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    Why do you believe that was true? How do you know that was what they did?
     
  8. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I've been giving a bit more thought to this. When the Israelites say to Aaron, "Make us gods who shall go before us" (Exodus 32:1), the word for 'gods' is elohim (also in v.5), which, although it is plural, may either refer to the one true God or to pagan deities and human judges. Since Aaron only gave them one golden calf, it would be a bit odd if they thought it was more than one god, so I still incline to the belief that they were seeking to worship Yahweh, but in a way that was (and is) totally unacceptable to Him.(Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 4:15--23).

    God's reaction the the Golden Calf episode should warn us how dangerous it is to attempt to worship Him in any way other than that which He has laid down, especially through crucifixes and icons, but also in dance (Exodus 32:19), drama, anything except the reading of His word, preaching, the singing of godly hymns and psalms. Even pictures of the Lord Jesus in children's books may be unacceptable. We need to consider these things very deeply. We don't have a cross in our church.
     
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  9. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Rather than "golden calf" the NASB95 has "molten calf" or a calf made from molten metal. See Exodus 32:4, 32:8, Deuteronomy 9:16 and Nehemiah 9:18. The NET footnote concerning whether the plural "gods" refers to more than one god, (Exodus 32:1) says it refers to multiply gods, because the follow phrase has the plural, i.e. they go before us. And in Acts 7:41-42 it appears God says the worship was not of Yahweh.
     
    #9 Van, Jul 19, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  10. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Aaron attempted to create a visible image of the invisible God who cannot be captured by man and made into an image. Aaron tried to turn the "I Am" into a "you is" by making a golden calf.
    Later in Israel's history, Jeroboam did something similar by creating the place of worship in Bethel where he expected Israel to worship his image of God rather than go to Jerusalem within Judea. God hated what Jeroboam did.
    It is an abomination to God when man tries to make Him in the image of man. As Sovereign King over all things, God will not abide by men who would make Him less than who He is.
     
  11. Scripture More Accurately

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    Exodus 32:3-4 and 32:24 make it plain that it was a calf made from gold that was melted to make a golden calf. Saying that it was "a molten calf" does not mean that it was not a golden calf.

    Exodus 32:3-4
    New American Standard Bible 1995


    3 Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”

    Exodus 32:24
    New American Standard Bible 1995


    24 I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”
     
    #11 Scripture More Accurately, Jul 19, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
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  12. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    What if it was a gold plated young bull calf? As far as Exodus 32:24, the claim appears to a bogus claim of Aaron to avoid blame.
     
  13. Scripture More Accurately

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    I'm not sure how this a relevant matter for further discussion. Whether it was a calf made only of gold or whether it was something else that was gold plated, I think that it still is valid to say that it was a golden calf, if for no other reason than on the basis of its external appearance and what its exterior was made of.
     
    #13 Scripture More Accurately, Jul 19, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  14. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Right a gold plated young bull is the same as a golden calf.
     
  15. MB

    MB Well-Known Member

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    Following is a choice. Why would they have a choice if determinism is true? I agree they were worshiping other gods as well as Jehovah.
    MB
     
  16. Scripture More Accurately

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    What evidence do you see in Scripture that they were worshiping Jehovah?
     
  17. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Because 'Determinism' in the sense you seem to mean it is not true.
     
  18. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    If it had been a wooden elephant they made, the principle would still be the same. Exodus 20:4 applies.
    N.B. For the avoidance of doubt, I'm not suggesting that it was a wooden elephant they made.
     
  19. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    I think our English translations should reflect the historical/grammatical method. Ask yourself is "golden calf" an accurate translation of a gold plated young bull.
     
  20. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    No.

    peace to you
     
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