But now, if you will only forgive their sinbut if not, blot me out of the book that you have written. Exodus 32:32 NRSV
Moses had been up on Mt. Sinai (Horeb) meeting with God for many days. Clouds surrounded the mountain, lightning flashed, thunder rumbled, and the ground shook. All these signs indicated the presence of God on the mountain, but somehow that was not enough for the Israelites. They became restless and demanded that Aaron, Moses own brother, make an idol for them. Aaron made a golden calf and the people worshiped it. God saw what the people were doing and was going to destroy them all, and start over with Moses and his descendants. But Moses interceded on behalf of the people and God relented. Moses then came down the mountain with the tablets of stone on which the Words of God were written. When he saw what the people were doing, in his anger he threw the stone tablets down to the ground, breaking them. He then burned the golden calf and had about three thousand of the ring leaders killed. Moses went back up the mountain to God and pleaded with God on behalf of the people, offering to take the punishment for the people. God relented and only sent a plague on the people to punish the ones who had sinned against him.
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