|a. an idol made by Aaron and set up for the Israelites to worship (Exodus 32)|
|b. either of two similar idols set up by Jeroboam I at Dan and Bethel in the northern kingdom (I Kings 12:28--30)|
|2.||informal the pursuit or idolization of material wealth|
An idol that the Israelites made during the Exodus. While God was giving Moses the Ten Commandments and other provisions of the Mosaic law on Mount Sinai, the people whom Moses was leading to the Promised Land melted down their gold jewelry and ornaments and built a golden calf, which they began to worship. Moses came down from the mountain carrying two stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written; when he saw the calf, he smashed the tablets and made the people destroy the idol.
Note: By extension, a “golden calf” is any false god or anything worshiped undeservedly.
(Ex. 32:4,8; Deut. 9:16; Neh. 9:18). This was a molten image of a calf which the idolatrous Israelites formed at Sinai. This symbol was borrowed from the custom of the Egyptians. It was destroyed at the command of Moses (Ex. 32:20). (See AARON ØT0000002; MOSES.)