What is important to know about the history, culture, and theology surrounding this person or concept?

Assignment Requirements

Part 2: Submit a first draft, to include the following:

  • Introduction with thesis statement
  • Body paragraphs that address the following questions:
    • In Exodus/Deuteronomy, what is the significance of the topic (Moses, Miriam, Covenant, the Decalogue, or the Golden Calf) to the story of the Bible?
    • What is important to know about the history, culture, and theology surrounding this person or concept?
    • What was the original meaning and significance of this person or concept?
    • What insights gained could be meaningful for our context today?
  • Body paragraphs embed research and analysis from scholarly sources, and contain in-text citations.
  • Conclusion
  • References page, formatted in SPA style, minimally includes:
    • The Drama of Scripture;
    • the accompanying topic article found in the course from Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch;
    • two additional sources from the APE Library.
    • NOTE: In SPA style, classical works – including the Bible – are not listed in the References page. Embed biblical citations within the text as follows: “Then Moses turned and went down the mountain, carrying the two tablets of the covenant in his hands” (Exon 32:15, RSV). Only indicate the Bible version in the first citation; it is not necessary to identify each citation as RSV.

Assignment Expectations

  • Written in Times New Roman 12 point font and double spaced.
  • 5-7 pages in length, plus a References page.
  • Paper includes an introduction and thesis statement, addresses each of the four assignment questions, engages with the required scholarly sources, and includes a conclusion.
  • Lists references in SPA format.
  • Contains minimal grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

Part 1

The Golden Calf

This was an idol, representing a god, which Aaron made to the Israelite to worship after Moses had spent so many days on top of Mount Sinai. This can be seen in the following, “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods…homemade  it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf” (Exodus 32:1-4,) NIB. Aaron carved it from the gold earrings that the Israelite had and then presented it to them to worship it(Alexander  & Baker, 2003). In this project, I am going to undertake an in-depth analysis of the significance of the Golden Calf, to the Biblical story, the importance of knowing the concepts surrounding the calf, the original meaning and the significance of the Golden Calf and the insights that can be gained that have meaning to our context today.

Significance of the Golden Calf to the Biblical Story

The Golden Calf had a great role to play in the story of the Bible. Making it shows how impatient the Israelite had become as a result of Moses’ absence from them. Furthermore, it showed the presence of the True God amidst the Israelite. this was after Moses, whom they saw as the image of God amidst them, had disappeared for a while. In the Biblical story, it shows the danger of feeling that the presence of God has left an individual.

            The importance of knowing the history, the culture and the theology surrounding the Golden Calf

There is great importance attached to knowing the concept behind the Golden Calf. The Golden Calf shows that during the Old Testament time, there was the practice of idol worship. It also show that Israelite might have been exposed to this culture during their time in captivity and their of exodus from Egypt (Stuart , 2006). In theological point of view, the Canaanite literature states that the chief god, El, was sometimes referred to as a bull. It is regarded as the greatest scandal that befell the Israelite in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 9:9-21).

           The Original Meaning and the significance of the Golden Calf

Originally, when Aaron was making the calf. He never had the intention of it being a god to the Israelite. this can be seen when he proclaimed that there would be a festival in honor of the Lord just when he finished making the calf (Exodus 32:5). The Israelite declared, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4); this declaration indicated that they saw the idol as a representation God. This might be the reason why they wanted a god to lead them since they never knew what had happened to Moses (Exodus 32:1).

          The insights gained that can be meaningful from the Golden Calf

The story of the Golden Calf shows us that although there was a religious belief among the Israelite, they still held to a belief of the existence of many other gods. This might have come from the influence that they received from their Middle East neighbors(Stuart , 2006). The next insight that can be gained, is the necessity of the leaders to be honest as they practice their leadership duties. Lack of honesty is seen in the instance where Aaron gives a lame excuse to Moses when Moses asked why Aaron made the Golden Calf. He said, “So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire-and out came this calf” (Exodus 32:24). This reflects dishonesty on the part of Aaron.


Alexander T.D & Baker D.W (2003), Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch

Stuart, D. K. (2006). Exodus. Nashville, Tenn: Bro adman & Holman Publishers.


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