Moses had gone up to the mountain with Joshua for quite some time. When the Israelites saw that Moses is not coming back, they began to feel impatient.
The Israelites gathered around Aaron and said, “It had been so long since we saw Moses. We don’t know what happened to Moses. Please make us a God that will walk before us.”
They put heavy pressure on Aaron and Aaron couldn’t take it anymore. So Aaron said, “Give me all your gold earrings.” So the Israelites took off the gold earrings from their sons and daughters and gave them to Aaron.
Aaron used the gold from the gold earrings to fashion an idol in the shape of a calf. Then they said, “This is your God who brought you out of Egypt.”
Aaron built an altar and announced feast to celebrate the calf idol the next day. The people rose early the next morning and presented offerings to the calf idol.
After that, they ate and drank.The Israelites made noisy partying and were merry.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and see what the people are doing now. They had made an idol of a calf and made it their God. They even sacrifice offerings to it.”
When Moses was coming down from the mountain, he saw the calf idol that Aaron made and the people were dancing and making merry.
Moses’ anger burned against the Israelites. Moses took the calf idol and grinds it into powder and poured them into the water. Then he made the Israelites drink it.
Moses saw the people are still running around like a wild man.
Moses stood at the camp entrance and said, “Whoever that is for God, come and stand here.” The Levites gathered beside Moses.
Then Moses said to them, “Each man take a sword with you and go into the camp and kill your brother, neighbor and friend.”
The Levites did as Moses commanded them and 3000 men and women died that day.
The Lord was very angry with the people and he struck them with a plague.