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  1. Nicholas Hebrard
  2. Jan 14
  3. 1.) The behavior of the people changes because without Moses the people grow wary, wanting a guide, so Aaron decides makes an idol for them to worship God. This threatens their existence because they are straying from God's path when breaking one of the commandments, and this angers God enough to want to destroy the Israelites:"My wrath may flare against them, and I will put an end to them and I will make you a great nation"(32:6).
  4. 2.) Aaron tries to find a compromise with the people's demands by using the idol to worship God when declaring;"these are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt"(32:2).
  5. 3.) Moses shows his devotion to the Israelite's welfare by questioning God's decision to destroy them in order for their lives:"Why, O Lord, should your wrath flare against Your people"(32:6).
  6. 4.) Moses uses violence against some of the people by demanding them to kill someone of their friends and kin in order kill the ringleaders who wanted to worship idol:"this is not an indiscriminate massacre but an assault on the ringleaders-or perhaps, those guilty of the most egregious excesses.(32:27)[footnote].
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  8. Sean Cavalieri
  9. Jan 14
  10. 1. The behavior of the people in the absence of Moses threatens their existence because they directly disobey the orders of God, who has been shown to punish with severe acts such as with the 10 plagues of the Egyptians. They disobey God by asking Aaron to “make us gods that will go before us,” which is an idol that the Lord expressly forbid making (32.1).
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  12. 2. Aaron attempts to find a compromise between the peoples’ demands and their promises to the Lord by making the idol dedicated to the Lord alone instead of an idol for all the gods as the people had requested. Aaron does this by making the idol for “a festival to the Lord’ (32.2), thereby honoring the one God.
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  14. 3. Moses shows his devotion to his people by advocating for them when God wants to smite them in a fit of rage for defying him. He does this by reasoning with God, who wants to let his “wrath…flare against [the Israelites]” (32.9), by saying how the punishment would overturn God’s glory against the Egyptians: “Why should the Egyptians say, ‘For evil He brought them out, to kill them on the mountains, to put an end to them on the face of the Earth’?” (32.12).
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  16. 4. Moses uses his followers to kill the people who had committed the greatest offense in order to regain respect for the Lord amongst the Israelites. He does this by commanding to his Levite followers that “each man kill his brother and each man his fellow and each man his kin” (32.27). From this, “three thousand men of the people fell on that day” (32.29), and Moses used the aftermath of the event to call for people to “dedicate [themselves] to the Lord” (32.29).
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  18. Joshua Rubin
  19. Jan 14
  20. The behavior of the Israelites in the absence of Moses—an “orgiastic release of a pagan cult,” as Robert Alter calls (chap. 32, footnote 27)—threatens their existence by being so sacrilegious and in blatant opposition to God’s commands, viz. “You shall have no other gods besides Me… You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image… You shall not bow down to them or serve them” (20:2-5), that God Himself declares “I will put an end to them [the Isrealites]”—he is of course talked down by Moses (32:10).
  21. Aaron tries to compromise between the people’s demands for an idol and their promise to worship only the Lord by acting as though the Golden Calf is but an altar to God; after he finishes molding the idol, Aaron says, “Tomorrow is a festival to the Lord” (32:5), which, as Robert Alter puts it, is Aaron, “rather desperately,… [clinging] to the notion that the Golden Calf should be seen as the Lord’s throne” (32:5). Regardless, whatsoever the Golden Calf is supposed to symbolize, its creation, and worship thereafter, is manifestly in direct contradiction to God’s commandments: “You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image, or any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth” (20:4).
  22. Moses shows his devotion to the Israelite’s welfare in chapter thirty-two by talking back to God, that he might save the lives of all of them. After God declares he will “put an end” to the Israelites, “Moses [implores] the presence of the Lord his God,” and pleads with Him to spare the people, arguing that to wipe the Israelites from the face of the earth would not only do irreparable damage to God’s reputation, but would also be a breach of His covenant with Abraham (32:10-13). By questioning God, an omnipotent being of unimaginable power, Moses is taking a risk that could scarce be understated, and thus proves that he is willing to risk anything to ensure the welfare of the Israelites.
  23. Moses has three thousand men, supposedly the worst offenders during the Golden Calf ordeal, violently murdered by the Levites. As Robert Alter notes, “the figure of three thousand [out of six hundred thousand total men] dead… indicates that this is not an indiscriminate massacre but an assault on the ringleaders” (32:27). One can therefore reasonably conjuncture that Moses is getting rid of people who are not only bad influences to the people, but also ringleaders that could potentially pose a challenge to his power. This assault has the double effect of purging the Israelites of the most parasitically impious and of securing Moses’s position of power.
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  25. Sasha Lu
  26. Jan 14
  27.  
  28. 1. While Moses was away, Aaron created a golden calf for the people of Israel to worship; saying, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought your up from the land of Egypt”(32.8). Switching to worship a different God after just doubting Moses’s well-being and knowing it was against the Ten Commandments to worship another God, signifies that they are already unfaithful and without a leader, they have no loyalty and respect for their God.
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  31. 2. While listening to the people’s needs and hoping to remain faithful, Aaron chose to specifically create a calf. Adam was given power over all the animals in the world, which is why the Israelites used animals for herding. Even though Aaron creates an idol, the calf was meant to be seen as something humans have power over, and never really be above them.
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  34. 3. When the Lord threatens to punish the Israelites, he speaks for them; saying, “Why,O Lord, should your wrath flare against Your people that You brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand”(32.11). Moses questions God’s actions in order to help his people even if they did wrong.
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  36. 4. On the mountain, Moses questioned God’s actions in order to stand up for his people. Seeing that his people betrayed them, he got very angry, “Moses’ wrath flared, and he flung the tablets from his hand and smashed them at the bottom of the mountain”(32.20). Moses dealt with his people out of anger, seeing that, without him, they would have no faith in God.
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  38. Loucas Xenakis
  39. Jan 14
  40. 1. The people’s impatient behavior along with their abandonment of the religious beliefs that unify them threatens their existence as a nation. Firstly, the people reject God’s second commandment when they attempt to create a golden sculpture. This directly contradicts God’s instruction that "[they] shall not make...a sculptured image" (20:4). The people also request of Aaron to “make [them] gods that will go before [them]” (32:1), which disregards Moses as their leader, directly from God.
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  42. 2. When Aaron is asked by the people to create an idol, he compromises in a way which also keeps their promise to worship only the God who brought them out of Egypt. He does so by crafting an Idol which doubles as a “festival to the LORD” (32.5). In doing so, he is maintaining their faith to the LORD as best he can while also pleasing those who demanded the idol.
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  44. 3. Throughout chapter 32, Moses shows his devotion to the welfare of his people by protecting them from God’s destruction, pleading to God for His mercy. Following the people’s disobedience against the Ten Commandments, God settles he must rid of all of the Israelites and is only prevented from doing so when Moses questions, “Why...should your wrath flare against Your people that You brought out from the land of Egypt…” (32.2). Later in the story, Moses offers himself for punishment in replacement of his people stating, “This people has committed a great offense...if You would bear their offense...and if not, wipe me out” (31.31). This also demonstrates his devotion to his people as he is sacrificing himself to God.
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  46. 4. Moses orders violence against his people as a form of justice and in order to deter any further disobedience against the commandments. Moses commands the Levites to “kill [their] brother and each man [their] fellow and...kin” (32.27). In doing so, Moses punishes the worst of the offenders, removing them from the Israelite community. It should also be noted that those who comply with the Moses’s orders are demonstrating their devotion to God by killing their own kin, wanting to become “worthy recipients of God’s blessing” (32.29).
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  48. Jalen Evans
  49. Jan 14
  50. 1. The behavior of the people in the absence of Moses threatens their existence because they break God's commandments, causing him to get so angry he considers whipping them out entirely. This breaking of the commandments is seen when they ask Aaron to "make [them] gods that will go before [them]" (493). In asking Aaron for gods, they indicate they still have polytheistic tendencies and are willing to worship other god's if it gets them out of the wilderness, a clear breaking of god's commandments. Furthermore, they later have Aaron build an alter, something the lord also commands against them doing.
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  52. 2. Aaron tries to compromise by making an alter in the form of a calf, as the people demand, but making sure to indicate that it is dedicated to the Lord. As he says to the people after he makes the alter "tomorrow is a festival to the LORD" (494). In specifying that the festival is going to be for the LORD, Aaron shows he is trying to keep the people faithful to one single LORD while at the same time satisfying their wanting of a materiel presence to guide them in the form of the alter.
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  54. 3. Throughout chapter 32 Moses shows his devotion to the welfare of his people in his conversations with God. For example, when God first finds out about the people's sins and threatens to wipe them out and start over with Moses Moses tries to convince him to spare his people, saying "Why should the Egyptians say, 'For evil He brought them out, to kill them in the mountains... Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel Your servants, to whom You swore by Yourself and spoke to them 'I will multiply your seed' ... And the LORD relented from the evil that He had spoken" (496). Furthermore, he later says to God "I beg You! This people has committed a great offense... if You would bear their offense . . ., and if not, wipe me out, pray, from Your book which You have written" (499-500), essentially sacrificing himself to save his people when he didn't do anything wrong and in-fact was the only person who did anything right.
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  56. 4. Moses has his people kill those (around 3,000/600,000) who were the main ringleaders in getting Aaron to make the alter. The obvious reason he does this is to punish those who were the main offenders of the group and hopefully eliminate the effort of the group against God and his commandments by getting rid of its leaders. However, a more hidden reason he does this is to gain the people's loyalty through fear by proving to them how much they fear God. As he says to them after they kill the offenders, "dedicate yourselves today to the Lord, for each man is against his son and against his brother, and so blessing may be given to you today" (499). By having them kill each other regardless of their relationships Moses reminds the people of their loyalty to God over all relationships and that God isn't afraid to kill you or have you kill someone regardless of who they are if they or you commit sin.
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  58. Rose Cook
  59. Jan 14
  60. 1. How and why does the behavior of the people in the absence of Moses threaten their existence?
  61. The people make an idol of a cow and start worshipping it, which goes against one of the ten commandments that Moses is being told at that very moment. God tells Moses “You shall have no other gods beside me. You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image...you shall not bow down to them or serve them”(19.20) and meanwhile his people have made for themselves a new god-sculpture which they are now praising and serving.
  62. 2. How does Aaron try to find a compromise between the people’s demand for an idol (a graven image forbidden by the second of the Ten Commandments) and their promise to worship only the God who brought them out of Egypt.
  63. He makes them an idol, but he tells the people that the idol is “your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt”(32.2). That way there’s an idol the Israelites can worship but the idol is the same as God, who was the one who actually brought them out of Egypt.
  64. 3. How does Moses show his devotion to the welfare of his people throughout chapter 32?
  65. When God finds out that the Israelites have made an idol and are worshipping it he tells Moses that he “will put an end to them”(32.6), meaning he will presumably destroy them all and start his nation again from scratch. Moses bargains with God, reminding him of his covenant to bring Israel to the land of milk and honey, and in his bargaining saves Israel from being destroyed by God. Moses goes against God and argues with him for the sake of his people, and it’s a major risk to argue with an omnipotent being.
  66. 4. How and why does Moses use violence against some of the people? (Exodus 12.37 says that there were 600,000 Israelite men who left Egypt with Moses. Keep that number in mind, as historically improbable as it seems, when considering the violence Moses commands. The context of chapter 32 makes it clear that Moses’ command that “each man kill his brother and each man his fellow [friend] and each man his kin” does not mean that the Levites are primarily punishing members of their own tribe.)
  67. He’s trying to kill the ringleaders of the idol worshippers to stop the problem of idol-worshipping from spreading. He calls to him “Whoever is for the Lord” for his fighters against the idol worshippers, since every man who doesn’t come to him when he calls is not “for the Lord”, and can therefore be killed since he prefers the idol(32.23).
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  69. Theryn Nguyen
  70. Jan 14
  71. 1. How and why does the behavior of the people in the absence of Moses threaten their existence?
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  73. In the absence of Moses, the behavior of the people angers God who, forgetting the terms of their Covenant, contemplates destroying the people. When learning the people worshiped a Golden Calf, God is so angered he tells Moses: “My wrath may flare up against them and I will put an end to them and I will make you a great nation” (32:6). The Israelites existence as a nation, normally be guaranteed by the Covenant, is now threatened because of their own actions and the forgetfulness of the Lord.
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  76. 2. How does Aaron try to find a compromise between the people’s demand for an idol (a graven image forbidden by the second of the Ten Commandments) and their promise to worship only the God who brought them out of Egypt?
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  78. Aaron tries to find a compromise between the people’s demand for an idol and their promise to only worship the Lord by creating an idol for the people while at the same time maintaining the idea that this idol is still in service of the God who brought them out of Egypt. After creating the Golden calf to satisfy the people, Aaron builds an altar before the idol and proclaims: “Tomorrow is a festival to the Lord” (32:5). While Aaron has given into the people by creating the idol for them, here, he tries to maintain devotion to the Lord by connecting the Calf to the purpose of his worship.
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  80. 3. How does Moses show his devotion to the welfare of his people throughout chapter 32?
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  82. Throughout chapter, 32, Moses shows his devotion to the welfare of his people by begging to the Lord on their behalf and putting their wellbeing before his own gain. For example, when God offers to create Moses his own new nation, Moses chooses to remind God of his obligation to the people: “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Isreal Your servants, to whom You swore by Yourself” (32:12). Rather than take this opportunity to gain a new nation, Moses shows his devotion to his people by advocating for the preservation of a people who had proven to be troublesome.
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  84. 4. How and why does Moses use violence against some of the people? (Exodus 12.37 says that there were 600,000 Israelite men who left Egypt with Moses. Keep that number in mind, as historically improbable as it seems, when considering the violence Moses commands. The context of chapter 32 makes it clear that Moses’ command that “each man kill his brother and each man his fellow [friend] and each man his kin” does not mean that the Levites are primarily punishing members of their own tribe.)
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  86. As part of their atonement for worshiping the Golden Calf, Moses commands the people to kill their family and fellows, using the command as a means of indirectly removing those guilty of the most egregious actions against the Lord. Despite the indiscriminate nature of the target, it is revealed that of all 600,000 men only “about three thousand men of the people fell on that day” (32:28). If all the living men in the tribe were to be successful in killing one other man, their numbers would at least halve, suggesting that the attacks were rather targetted against a few guilty individuals whose removal would contribute to the goal of atonement.
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  88. Brandon Byrd
  89. Jan 14
  90. 1. In the absence of Moses, the people disregard the ten commandments which angers God and therefore threatens their existence. Due to Moses being on the mountain for more than 40 days, Aaron and the people decide to sculpt of molten calf out of golden rings that will "go before [them]" (32.1) on the rest of their journey. This angers God because not only do the people's actions violate the second commandment which states that "You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image-of what is in the heavens above, or on the earth below" (20.4) but the people also show that they have lost faith in the leadership of Moses, who is the chosen one by God himself.
  91. 2. Aaron tries to find a compromise between between giving the people an idol and only worshipping one God as they promised to do. He does this by letting the people build a molten calf to worship but also holding a "festival to the lord" (32.5) to celebrate the God who brought them to Egypt
  92. 3. Moses shows his devotion to the welfare of hie people by volunteering his own life to save there's. One key example of this is when God plans to punish the people for disobeying the ten commandments but instead of excepting the people's fate, Moses asks God why "...should [his] wrath flare against [His] people that [He] brought out from the land of Egypt..." (32.6) and says that he would rather that God "...wipe [him] out" (32.28), instead of the people.
  93. 4. Moses uses violence against some of the people in order to punish them for not respecting the ten commandments as they should. Disappointed in the actions of the people, Moses commands "Whoever is for the lord..." (32.23) to "kill his brother...fellow...and kin" (32.28) in order to prove to him and God who is truly loyal to them, as well as punishment for their wrongdoings.
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  95. Dash KamrianiBeard
  96. 12:37 AM
  97. 1. The people lack faith that Moses will come back to them, so they turn to Aaron to fashion them a God; he does so by taking their gold and turning it into a golden calf for them to worship. This enrages Moses and God, and is a direct violation of the 2nd Commandment given by God. This causes Moses to order the Israelites to kill their kin and God to ravage the population of those who had worshipped the false god; in doing so, their numbers are drastically reduced, threatening the possibility that they're wiped out entirely.
  98. 2. Aaron, while creating an idol in the golden calf, still stays devoted to God by emphasizing the calf's relationship to God and how it should be devoted to the Lord, shown in his emphasis on the celebration being a "festival to the Lord". He tries to preserve the peoples' relationship to God while simultaneously meeting their demands for an icon to follow.
  99. 3. Moses wants what's best for his people; he deems this to be faith and trust in God. He demands that his people follow God and obey the 10 Commandments so that they preserve their faith and to show gratitude to God. In punishing them for disobeying God, he sends a serious message to his people showing them that God's wishes aren't to be messed with.
  100. 4. Moses demands that his people kill their kin to send a message. He wants to show his people that God means business, and that they must follow God's demands in the form of Commandments lest they want this form of punishment to happen again.
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