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Encyclopedia > Golden calf
Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin: imagery influenced by the Greco-Roman bacchanal

The golden calf (עגל הזהב) was an idol (a cult image) made for the Israelites during Moses' absence, as he went up to Mount Sinai. According to the Hebrew Bible, the calf was made by Aaron to satisfy the Israelites, whereas Quran indicates the maker to be Samiri. Golden calf can refer to: The Golden calf in the Hebrew Bible Golden Calf (award), a Dutch film award The Little Golden Calf, a novel by Russian writers Ilf and Petrov Mooby the Golden Calf, a fictional childrens television character in director Kevin Smiths View Askewniverse, most notably... Download high resolution version (893x620, 81 KB)The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin http://www. ... Download high resolution version (893x620, 81 KB)The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin http://www. ... Les Bergers d’Arcadie, set in Ancient Greece. ... The Bacchanalia were wild and mystic festivals of the Roman god Bacchus. ... Idolatry is a major sin in the Abrahamic religions regarding image. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... “The Twelve Tribes” redirects here. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... For the Biblical Mount Sinai, and a discussion of its possible locations, see Biblical Mount Sinai. ... 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum Hebrew Bible is a term that refers to the common portions of the Jewish canon and the Christian canons. ... The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin Aaron (Hebrew: , Standard  Tiberian ), or Aaron the Levite (flourished about 1200 B.C.), was, according to biblical accounts, one of two brothers who play a unique part in the history of the Hebrew people. ... The Quran (Arabic al-qurʾān أَلْقُرآن; also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and less commonly Alcoran) is the holy book of Islam. ...


In Hebrew, the incident is known as "Chet ha'Egel" (חטא העגל) or "The Sin of the Calf". It is first mentioned in Exodus 32:4. In Egypt, whence the Hebrews had recently come, the Apis Bull was the comparable object of worship, which the Hebrews were reviving in the wilderness. Among the Egyptians' and Hebrews' neighbors in the Ancient Near East and in the Aegean, the Aurochs, the wild bull, was widely worshipped, often as the Lunar Bull and as the creature of El. Its Minoan manifestation survived as the Cretan Bull of Greek myth. “Hebrew” redirects here. ... Exodus is the second book of the Torah, the Tanakh, and the Old Testament. ... In Egyptian mythology, Apis or Hapis (alternatively spelt Hapi-ankh), was a bull-deity worshipped in the Memphis region. ... Overview map of the Ancient Near East The term Ancient Near East or Ancient Orient encompasses the early civilizations predating Classical Antiquity in the region roughly corresponding to that described by the modern term Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Turkey), during the time roughly spanning the Bronze Age from the rise... Look up Aegean Sea in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Binomial name Subspecies Bos primigenius primigenius   (Bojanus, 1827) Bos primigenius namadicus   (Falconer, 1859) Bos primigenius mauretanicus   (Thomas, 1881) See Ur (rune) for the rune. ... The worship of the Sacred Bull throughout the ancient world is most familiar in the episode of the idol of the Golden Calf made by Aaron and worshipped by the Hebrews in the wilderness of Sinai (Exodus). ... Ä’l (אל) is a Northwest Semitic word and name translated into English as either god or God or left untranslated as El, depending on the context. ... The Minoan civilization was a bronze age civilization which arose on Crete, an island in the Aegean Sea. ... Heracles capturing the Cretan Bull. ...


In Quran, the incident is mentioned in Taha 20:83. The Quran (Arabic al-qurʾān أَلْقُرآن; also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and less commonly Alcoran) is the holy book of Islam. ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ...

Contents

Summary of the Biblical narrative

The Worship of the Golden Calf by Filippino Lippi (1457-1504)

When Moses went up onto Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19:20), he left the Israelites for forty days and forty nights (Exodus 24:18). The Israelites feared that he would not return, and asked Aaron to make gods for them (Exodus 32:1). The Bible does not note Aaron's opinion of this request, merely that he complied, and gathered up the Israelites' golden earrings. He melted them and constructed the golden calf. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 423 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (488 × 692 pixel, file size: 245 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This is a painting by Filippino Lippi called The Worship of the Golden Calf (1457-1504). ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 423 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (488 × 692 pixel, file size: 245 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This is a painting by Filippino Lippi called The Worship of the Golden Calf (1457-1504). ... Filippino Lippi, self-portrait Biography Filippino Lippi (ca. ... Events University of Freiburg founded. ... 1504 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... For the Biblical Mount Sinai, and a discussion of its possible locations, see Biblical Mount Sinai. ... This article is about a list of ten religious commandments. ...


Aaron also built an altar before the calf, and the next day, the Israelites made offerings and celebrated. Look up Altar in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The Lord told Moses that his people had corrupted themselves, and that he planned to eliminate them, but Moses argued and pleaded that they should be spared (Exodus 32:11); the Lord relented. Moses went down from the mountain, but upon seeing the calf, he too became angry. He threw down the tablets upon which God's law had been written, and broke them. Moses then burnt the golden calf in the fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on water, and forced the Israelites to drink it. He questioned Aaron about the event, who admitted to collecting the gold, throwing it into the fire, and out came a calf. Then Moses gathered the sons of Levi and set them to slaying a large number of adult males (3000). A plague then struck the Israelites. Nevertheless, the Lord stated that he would one day visit the Israelites' sin upon them. This article discusses the Biblical patriarch. ...


Since Moses had broken the tablets, the Lord instructed him to return to Mount Sinai yet again (Exodus 34:2) to receive a replacement.


Interpretation

The Sin of Idolatry

Within the context of the narrative, God has just finished delivering the Ten Commandments to the Israelites which included the Second Commandment regarding the prohibition against idolatry, that is, the making of images (similitudes) to be used in the worship of Yahweh. Further interpretation also suggests that the prohibition of the Second Commandment also included any adoption of the rites and traditions of the pagan nations, not merely the making of images. This article is about a list of ten religious commandments. ... This article is about a list of ten religious commandments. ... Idolatry is a major sin in the Abrahamic religions regarding image. ... Tetragrammaton redirects here. ...


Many Christian scholars have suggested that the Israelites were worshipping the Egyptian god Apis, falling back into what they had known for centuries while in captivity. It is suggested that the "idolatry" (a voiding of the Second Commandment) on display here was the worship of another god. However, forging an image of Apis would not have violated the Second Commandment before it had literally violated the First, "worship no other gods".


As such, what may have actually transpired within the event is that the Israelites had not so much voided the First Commandment so much as they had violated the Second which prohibited the making of an image of Yahweh. In Exodus 32 it states: "When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, 'Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD (Yahweh).'" Within the context of the Exodus story, it would be highly unlikely that the Israelites, after witnessing the miracles of the Exodus first hand, would have fallen into the worship of another god immediately after Yahweh had just spoken the Decalogue in their midst. This article is about the list of religious and moral imperatives. ...


General Questions

The worship of the golden calf. From the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493).

The story has long raised a number of interesting questions[1], How can gold be burnt? How can burnt gold be ground to powder? Why was Aaron, who went on to be the head priest, not punished for his action? Aaron leads a somewhat charmed life, missing out on the consequences of his actions, similar to the Snow-white Miriam issue. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 515 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (632 × 736 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 515 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (632 × 736 pixel, file size: 1. ... Depiction of God creating the world Juvenal The Nuremberg Chronicle is one of the best documented early printed books. ... 1493 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Miriam. ...


In the documentary hypothesis, the story is not present in the Priestly source. It would certainly not fit in with their view of Aaron. The story occurs in the Elohist component. This author is rather anti-Aaron, and pro Moses. A relational diagram describing the various versions postulated by the biblical documentary hypothesis. ... The Priestly Source (P) is one of the sources of the Torah postulated by the documentary hypothesis. ... The Elohist (E) is one of the sources of the Torah postulated by the documentary hypothesis. ...


The grinding to powder action is also repeated in King Josiah's reign when "He burned the high place and ground it to powder", which echos the "then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it" phrase. Josiah listening to the reading of the law by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld Josiah or Yoshiyahu (Hebrew: , Standard  Tiberian  ; supported of the Lord) was king of Judah, and son of Amon and Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. ...


Aaron's statement

When Aaron has made the golden calf, he says the rather confusing statement "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." It is confusing because there is a single calf, so why refer to it as gods (plural). It is also not clear why it might be involved with bringing the people up from Egypt.


According to Exodus 32:4 the golden calf is made and Aaron says "This is your god (singular) O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.


However later on in 1 Kings 12:28, Jeroboam tries to stop the Northern Israelites from visiting Jerusalem. He has two high places erected at Dan and Bethel as new offering places. At each of these he has constructed a golden calf and says "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." A similar phrase. The Books of Kings (Hebrew: Sefer Melachim ספר מלכים) is a part of Judaisms Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. ... The United Kingdom of Solomon breaks up, with Jeroboam ruling over the Northern Kingdom of Israel (in green on the map). ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... High Place, in the English version of the Old Testament, the literal translation of the Heb. ... Bethel (בית אל), also written as Beth El or Beth-El, is a Semitic word that has acquired various meanings. ...


The creation of the golden calves may have been an attempt to identify the Lord with Baal. Among the Phoenicians, Baal was sometimes called the "calf" whereas the supreme god El (God) was called the "bull". Bovine whole-burnt offerings were an important part of Baal worship. The golden calf may have been a zoomorphic ark for Baal, just as winged lions (cherubim) were for the Lord. By making a calf pedestal, instead of a lion, would have been an attempt to identify the Lord with the Canaanite son of Dagon, Baal.


The construction of the two golden calves would have been seen as a gross blasphemy by the Kings author, on a par with the original Golden Calf episode. The Levite priests in the North would have found those golden calves an irritation as they were looked after by non-Levite priests, and were probably seen as idolatrous. A reference to the original golden calf episode may have been seen fitting. There may even have been some cross over of the language.


As adoration of wealth

A metaphoric interpretation emphasizes the "gold" part of "golden calf" to criticize the pursuit of wealth. This usage can be found in Spanish[2] where Mammon, the Gospel personification of idolatry of wealth, is not so current. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Summary of the Quranic Narrative

Moses had been gone for forty days and his people were becoming restless, for they did not know that God had extended his time by a further ten days. Samiri, a man who was inclined towards evil, suggested that they find themselves another guide, as Moses had broken his promise (of getting back in 40 days). He said to them: "In order to find true guidance, you need a god, and I shall provide one for you."


So he collected all their gold jewelry that they carried from the Pharaoh's people, dug a hole in which he placed the lot, and lit a huge fire to melt it down. During the casting, he threw a handful of dust, making actions like a magician's to impress the ignorant. From the molten metal he fashioned a golden calf. It was hollow, and the wind passing through it produced a sound. Since superstition was embedded in their past, they quickly linked the strange sound to something supernatural, as if it were a living god. Some of them accept the golden calf as their god. Pharaoh was the ancient Egyptian name for the office of kingship. ... For other uses, see Superstition (disambiguation). ... Look up Supernatural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Moses' brother Aaron, who acted as their leader in Moses' absence, was grieved and spoke up: "O my people! You have been deceived. Your Lord is the Most Beneficent. Follow and obey me."


They replied: "We shall stop worshiping this god only if Moses returns."


On his return Moses saw his people singing and dancing around the calf statue. Furious at their pagan ritual, he flung down the Tablet of the Law he was carrying for them. He tugged Aaron's beard and his hair, crying: "What held you back when you saw them going astray? Whey did you not fight this corruption?" Pagan may refer to: A believer in Paganism or Neopaganism Bagan, a city in Myanmar also known as Pagan Pagan (album), the 6th album by Celtic metal band Cruachan Pagan Island, of the Northern Mariana Islands Pagan Lorn, a metal band from Luxembourg, Europe (1994-1998) Pagans Mind, is... A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ... “Bearded” redirects here. ...


Aaron replied: "O son of my mother, let go of my beard! The fold considered me weak and were about to kill me. So make not the enemies rejoice over me, nor put me among the people who are wrong-doers."


Moses' anger began to subside when he understood Aaron's helplessness, and he began to handle the situation calmly and wisely. So he went to Samiri and asked him, "And what is the matter with you, O Samiri? (why did you do so?)"


Samiri said: "I saw what you saw not, so I took a handful of dust from the hoof print of the Messenger Gabriel's horse and threw it (into the fire in which were put the ornaments of the Pharaoh's people, or into the calf). Thus my inner-self suggested to me." This article is about the archangel Gabriel. ...


Moses said: "Then go away! And verily, your punishment in this life will be that you will say: 'Touch me not' (you will live alone exiled away from mankind); and verily (for a future torment), you have a promise that will not fail. And look at your god, to which you have been devoted. We will certainly burn it, and scatter its particles in the sea."


For details see: 20:83


Trivia

The Netherlands Film Festival (Dutch: Nederlands Film Festival) is an annual film festival, held in September and October of each year in the city of Utrecht. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... The Mooby the Golden Calf logo Mooby the Golden Calf is a fictional childrens television character featured in Kevin Smiths View Askewniverse, most notably in the film Dogma. ... The View Askewniverse is a fictional universe created by Kevin Smith, featured in several films, comics and a television series; it is named for Smiths production company, View Askew Productions. ...

See also

Torah parshiot or portions dealing with the Golden Calf: Ki Tissa and Eikev Quran It has been suggested that Tawrat be merged into this article or section. ... In Jewish services, a Parsha or Parshah or Parashah, פרשה, meaning Portion in Hebrew, is the weekly Torah reading text selection. ... Ki Tisa, Ki Tissa, Ki Thissa, or Ki Sisa (×›×™ תשא — Hebrew for when you take,” the sixth and seventh words, and first distinctive words in the parshah) is the 21st weekly Torah portion (parshah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the ninth in the book of Exodus. ... Eikev, Ekev, Ekeb, or Eqeb (עקב — Hebrew for “because,” the second word, and the first distinctive word, in the parshah) is the 46th weekly parshah or portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the third in the book of Deuteronomy. ... The Quran (Arabic al-qurʾān أَلْقُرآن; also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and less commonly Alcoran) is the holy book of Islam. ...


Notes

  1. ^ The history of exegesis on this episode is summarized by j. Hahn, Das 'Golene Kalb': Die Jahwe-Verehrung bei Stierbildung in der Geschichte Israels (Frankfurt 1981) pp 195-208.
  2. ^ becerro de oro in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española.

Exegesis (from the Greek to lead out) involves an extensive and critical interpretation of an authoritative text, especially of a holy scripture, such as of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrash, the Quran, etc. ... The Diccionario de la lengua española de la Real Academia Española or DRAE is the most authoritative dictionary of Castilian Spanish. ...

External links

  • The Golden calf from a Jewish perspective at Chabad.org
  • The Golden calf from Ein Hod perspective
  • Islamic interpretation of the story of the Golden calf in the Qur'an
  • Story of Muses and Aaron in the Qur'an
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Golden calf - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (787 words)
Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin: imagery influenced by the Greco-Roman bacchanal
In the Hebrew Bible, the golden calf (עגל הזהב) was an idol (a cult image) made by Aaron for the Israelites during Moses' unexpectedly long absence.
The golden calf is also the award given at the Netherlands Film Festival, regarded as the Dutch counterpart to the Academy Awards.
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