13 murmurings: Exo 5:21; 14:10; 15:24; 16:2; 17:2; 32:1; Num
11:1,4; 12:2; 14:2; 16:3; 20:2; 21:5. Cp Joh 6:41-43. Those who murmur without
cause are soon given cause to murmur.
Exo 32: Parallel to Joh 3:31-36 (per WGos 100,101).
MOSES WAS SO LONG IN COMING DOWN: "My lord delayeth his
coming" (Luk 12:45).
MAKE US GODS: "Make us a king" (1Sa 8:5).
WHO WILL GO BEFORE US: In place of the pillars of cloud
and fire (Exo 13:21).
"Only 40 days earlier all Israel had gathered at the base of
Mt Sinai, prepared and ready to hear the words God would speak to them. God
spoke to them from on the mountain and he gave them the Ten Commandments. The
first two of the Ten Commandments were, 'You shall have no other gods before
me', and 'You shall not make any idols.' The experience of the voice of God was
so awesome to Israel that they begged Moses to speak to the LORD alone because
they couldn't bear to hear him again. We would have thought that what they had
heard would have been indelibly engraved on their memories after all they had
"But now, after only 40 days, it seems they had forgotten all
that had happened to them. The people got Aaron to make them a god, a calf,
which they worshipped as bringing them out of Egypt, breaking the first two to
the ten commandments they had so recently heard.
"How long are our memories? Does the Word of God have a
lasting effect on us? Will the lessons of a Bible School or a good Bible study
stay with us for more than a month? Let us continually refresh our memories by
constantly turning to God's word so that we will not forget what we have heard"
The support of a false religion, demanding outlay of great
wealth. (Cp temple with buying and selling and money-changing.)
EARRINGS: Sym betrothal (ie to God): Gen 24:47; Hos
2:13; Eze 16:12.
IN THE SHAPE OF A CALF... THESE ARE YOUR GODS: Was the
calf a conscious imitation of one figure of the cherubim?
CALF: Joseph is associated with bull calf, with grain
above head, because he saved Egypt (Gen 41:45n). Joseph promises Jews would
eventually leave Egypt (Gen 50:24n). His bones were carried up out of Egypt (Exo
13:19). Joseph came to be worshiped by an ungodly, superstitious nation, who
desired a greater hero than Moses.
HAVE BECOME CORRUPT: "Have corrupted themselves" (AV);
or "me" (cp Deu 4:14-19).
NOT THE SOUND OF VICTORY.. .OF DEFEAT: But it was
"war", war against God!
THE SOUND OF SINGING: Moses recognizes the hollow,
heated song of Egyptian idolatry.
HE THREW THE TABLETS OUT OF HIS HANDS, BREAKING THEM TO
PIECES AT THE FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN: "What we need today is not anger, but
anguish, the kind of anguish that Moses displayed when he broke the two tablets
of the law and then climbed the mountain to intercede for his people, or that
Jesus displayed when He cleansed the temple and then wept over the city. The
difference between anger and anguish is a broken heart. It's easy to get angry,
especially at somebody else's sins; but it's not easy to look at sin, our own
included, and weep over it" (WW Wiersbe).
AND OUT CAME THIS CALF!: Such a great understatement!
Note the weakness and futility of Aaronic priesthood: its dependence on external
Vv 30-33: Where the prophets of Israel witnessed against the
spiritual abuses among their contemporaries they did so while still continuing
full fellowship with those whom they denounced. More than this, the examples of
Moses (Exo 32:30-33), Daniel (Dan 9:5-14), Nehemiah (Neh 1:6,7), Jeremiah (Jer
3:25; 9:1), and Ezra (Ezr 9:6,7,13) show these men intimately associated with
the people whom they reprimanded, even so far as confessing the sins of the
nation as though they were their own. Here is the spirit of true fellowship, or
sharing, by which those most exercised against error bear the burdens of their
brethren, and strive with them as partners -- not outsiders -- to defeat the
enervating effects of sin.
Moses acts as intercessor for the whole nation. Cp Jesus
("Father, forgive them"); Rom 9:1-3; Jer 9:1; Joh 12:48.
PLEASE FORGIVE THEIR SIN: "If thou wilt forgive their
sin" (AV). 'If thou wilt forgive, then I will... (give something in return? But
I can give nothing)...' A better-than-Moses was needed to insure forgiveness of
sins: the prophet like Moses (Deu 18:15-18).
THE BOOK YOU HAVE WRITTEN: "The figure of a book of
remembrance runs through the Scripture. It is a figure, for the Eternal God
neither changes nor forgets. But the thought is full of comfort for those who
fear God. The earliest reference is in the words of Moses when with
self-effacing love for the people for whom he was mediator, he pleaded that God
should blot out their sin -- and if not, that he should be blotted out of the
book which God had written. In the Messianic Psalm (Psa 69) the persecutors are
to be blotted out of the book of life, and not written with the righteous (Psa
69:28). Isaiah speaks of some 'written among the living in Jerusalem' (Isa 4:3).
Daniel anticipates the use of the phrase in the Apocalypse when he speaks about
the deliverance of 'those found written in the book' (Dan 12:1; Rev 3:5; 13:8;
21:27; 22:19). The Lord himself refers to men's names written in heaven as the
ground for their greatest joy (Luk 10:20); while Paul thinks of his
fellow-labourers 'whose names are in the book of life' (Phi 4:3)" (PAE