E X O D U S
It is a very lamentable interruption which the
story of this chapter gives to the record of the establishment of
the church, and of religion among the Jews. Things went on
admirably well towards that happy settlement: God had shown himself
very favourable, and the people also had seemed to be pretty
tractable. Moses had now almost completed his forty days upon the
mount, and, we may suppose, was pleasing himself with the thoughts
of the very joyful welcome he should have to the camp of Israel at
his return, and the speedy setting up of the tabernacle among them.
But, behold, the measures are broken, the sin of Israel turns away
those good things from them, and puts a stop to the current of
God's favours; the sin that did the mischief (would you think it?)
was worshipping a golden calf. The marriage was ready to be
solemnized between God and Israel, but Israel plays the harlot, and
so the match is broken, and it will be no easy matter to piece it
again. Here is, I. The sin of Israel, and of Aaron particularly, in
making the golden calf for a god (ver. 1-4), and worshipping it, ver. 5, 6. II. The notice which God
gave of this to Moses, who was now in the mount with him,
(ver. 7, 8), and the
sentence of his wrath against them, ver. 9, 10. III. The intercession which
Moses immediately made for them in the mount (ver. 11-13), and the prevalency of that
intercession, ver. 14. IV.
His coming down from the mount, when he became an eye-witness of
their idolatry (ver.
15-19), in abhorrence of which, and as an expression of
just indignation, he broke the tables (ver. 19), and burnt the golden calf,
ver. 20. V. The examination
of Aaron about it, ver.
21-24. VI. Execution done upon the ring-leaders in the
idolatry, ver. 25-29.
VII. The further intercession Moses made for them, to turn away the
wrath of God from them (ver.
30-32), and a reprieve granted thereupon, reserving them
for a further reckoning, ver.