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And he received it from their hands and fashioned it with an engraving tool and made a cast image of a calf. Then they said, “These

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are your gods,

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Israel, that brought you up out of the land of EGYPT.”

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He (Aaron) received the articles of gold from them; he made a cast image of a calf and then had a professional finish it properly with the right tools.

Then the people said to one another, “Hey fellow Israelites, this must be the completely capable god you should follow because they brought you out of the land of THE PLACE BOUND BY SIN.”



The words used in the text are indeed plural, hence the translation “these,” but, just like the divine name Elohim is plural, yet refers to one God, so this usage probably is intended to mean one, not many. Aaron made one golden calf, not many. It could have represented all the gods of Egypt, but it seems more natural to me to see the use of the plural as an indication of completeness, as is done with Elohim. Here completeness indicates powerful. It is this idea of completeness and powerful that causes me to word it in the paraphrase as “a completely capable god”


The idea behind “your god” is that there will be a close relationship between the human and the divine. The deity will meet your needs if you follow and obey. It was understood to be much more than simply “belonging” to a certain religion with very little commitment to loyalty and obedience. Today we have many people who claim a religious affiliation of some kind, but it is little more than a verbal statement of preference; their lives are not shaped and governed by a commitment to the teachings of that religion.


The meaning of the name “Egypt”: The word means “a siege, an enclosure, a defensive or fortified place, also a besieged place, or a bound-up place.” Throughout Scripture Egypt is consistently portrayed as a representation of sin. Because of that negative reputation, I have chosen to focus on the “besieged or bound up” part of the name, while I acknowledge that Egyptians of that day would have said that they were the ones doing the besieging. I have tied together the idea of besieged or bound, and that of sin to come up with the following meaning of the name: PLACE THAT IS BOUND BY SIN.