Old Testament

Exodus

The Golden Calf – Discussion Questions

Interpretation Questions:

  1. What is the actual sin of the golden calf?
  2. What is the basis of the relationship between God and Israel as expressed in these chapters?
  3. How can we understand the motivations of the Levites?
  4. What is the theological import of God’s proclamation in Exod 34:6–7?

Application Questions:

  1. This video discusses briefly the aniconic tradition surrounding God in the Hebrew Bible. Is it responsible to portray God in images? What do typical depictions of God enforce for us? Who do we usually see God portrayed as? For instance, can you see yourself relating to God depicted as a Black person or a woman? Why or why not? Do varying depictions alter the essence of our understanding of God?
  2. Moses destroys the first set of tablets holding the ten commandments. Does this show a lack of care for the divine word when overcome with emotion? In what ways does our own interaction with our sacred text reflect Moses’ attitude?
  3. Does it seem just that Aaron is promptly forgiven while the people are punished?

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