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The Golden Calf Incident

Submitted by on Monday, 27 July 2009No Comment


NAB HomepageToday’s Readings

The Golden Calf incident in Exodus 32 will have two significant effects on the subsequent Israelite history of salvation: first, the Levitical priesthood will be raised above the Aaronite priesthood and will become the guardian of Israelite holiness; and second, God will distance himself from Israel.

The Levites will take on importance because of what Aaron did. Henceforth, the process of Israel’s sanctification will be regulated through them. This becomes evident in the book that follows Exodus, which is Leviticus. Second, there will be a greater distance between Israel and Yahweh. After the Golden Calf incident, Moses will have greater prominence as the intermediary. And this happened because Israel failed to show that it was ready for the covenant at Sinai. Later, all future infidelities of Israel will be described in terms of this act of apostasy in Sinai.

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