Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

How Aaron Made a Golden Calf, and What Became of It

While Moses was in the mountain alone with God, a strange and wicked thing was done in the camp on the plain. At first the people were alarmed when they saw the mountain smoking, and heard the thunder. But soon they grew accustomed to it, and when day after day passed, and Moses did not come down, at last they said to Aaron:

"Come now, make us a god that we may worship, and that we may have to lead us. As for Moses, the man who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him."

Aaron was not a man of strong will, as Moses was. When his brother Moses was not by his side Aaron was weak, and ready to yield to the wishes of the people. Aaron said:

"If you must have a god that you can look at; then break off the gold earrings that are in your ears, and in the ears of your wives and children, and bring them to me."

Then the people brought their gold to Aaron; and Aaron melted the gold rings into one mass, and shaped it with a graving tool into the form of a calf, and this he brought out and stood up before the people. They they all cried out:

"This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt."

And Aaron built an altar before the image, and he said to all the people, "To-morrow shall be a feast to the Lord."

Perhaps Aaron thought that if the people could have before them an image that they could see, they might still be kept to the worship of the Lord God. But in this he was greatly mistaken. The people came to the feast, and offered sacrifices; and then they began to dance around the altar, and to do wicked deeds together, as they had seen the people of Egypt doing before their idols. And all this time the mountain was smoking and flashing with fire, almost over their heads!

And the Lord, up in the mountain, spoke to Moses, and said:

Hasten, and get down to the camp; for your people have done very wickedly. They have made for themselves an idol, and they are worshipping it now. I am angry with them, and am ready to destroy them all, and to make of your children a great nation."

And Moses pleaded with the Lord for Israel, and God did not destroy the people; but he sent Moses down to them, holding in his hands the two stone tables on which God had written the Ten Commandments. As he went down the mountain Joshua joined him, and said to him:

"I can hear noise of war in the camp. It is not the sound of men who are shouting for victory, nor is it the cry of those who are beaten in battle; it is the voice of singing that I hear."

And in a moment more, as they stood where they could look down upon the camp, there was standing the golden calf, and around it were the people making offerings, and feasting, and dancing and singing.

Golden Calf


And Moses was so angry when he saw all the wickedness and shame of his people, that he threw down the two tables out of his hands, and broke them in pieces upon the rocks. What was the use of keeping the tables of stone, he may have thought, while the people were breaking the laws written upon them?

Moses came straight into the midst of the throng, and at once all the dancing and merry-making stopped. He tore down the golden calf, and broke it in pieces, and burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and threw it into the water; and he made the people drink the water filled with its dust. He meant to teach the people that they would suffer punishment like bitter water, for their wicked deed.

Then Moses turned to Aaron:

"What led you to such an act as this?" said Moses. "Why did you let the people persuade you to make them an image for worship?"

And Aaron said, "Do not be angry with me; you know how the hearts of this people are set to do evil. They came to me and said, 'make us a god,' and I said to them, 'give me whatever gold you have.' So they gave it to me, and I threw the gold into the fire, and this calf came out!"

Then Moses stood at the entrance to the camp, and called out:

"Whoever is on the Lord's side, let him come and stand by me!" Then one whole tribe out of the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Levi, all sprung from Levi, one of Jacob's sons, came and stood beside Moses. And Moses said to them:

"Draw your swords, and go through the camp, and kill every one whom you find bowing down to the idol. Spare no one. Slay your friends and your neighbors, if they are worshipping the image."

And on that day three thousand of the worshippers of the idol were slain by the sons of Levi.

Then Moses said to the people, "You have sinned a great sin; but I will go to the Lord, and I will make an offering to him, and will ask him to forgive your sin."

And Moses went before the Lord, and prayed for the people, and said:

"Oh Lord, this people have sinned a great sin. Yet, now, forgive their sin, if thou art willing. And if thou wilt not forgive their sin, then let me suffer with them, for they are my people."

And the Lord forgave the sin of the people, and took them once again for his own, and promised to go with them, and to lead them into the land which he had promised to their fathers.

And God said to Moses, "Cut out two tables of stone, like those which I gave to you, and which you broke; and bring them up to me in the mountain, and I will write on them again the words of the law."

So Moses went up a second time into the holy mount; and there God talked with him again. Moses stayed forty days on this second meeting with God, as he had stayed in the mountain forty days before. And all this time, while God was talking with Moses, the people waited in the camp; and they did not again set up any idol for worship.

Once more Moses came down the mountain, bringing the two stone tables, upon which God had written the words of his law, the Ten Commandments. And Moses had been so close to God's glory, and had been so long in the blaze of God's light, that when he came into the camp of Israel, his face was shining, though he did not know it. The people could not look on Moses' face, it was so dazzling. And Moses found that when he talked with the people, it was needful for him to wear a vail over his face. When Moses went to talk with God, he took off the vail; but while he spoke with the people, he kept his face covered, for it shone as the sun.

Ten Commandments