Deuteronomy 9:17

Hebrew Bible

16 When I looked, you had indeed sinned against the Lord your God and had cast for yourselves a metal calf; you had quickly turned aside from the way he had commanded you! 17 I grabbed the two tablets, threw them down, and shattered them before your very eyes. 18 Then I again fell down before the Lord for 40 days and nights; I ate and drank nothing because of all the sin you had committed, doing such evil before the Lord as to enrage him.

Pseudo Jonathan Exodus 32:19


And it was when Mosheh came near the camp, and saw the calf, and the instruments of music in the hands of the wicked, who were dancing and bowing before it, and Satana among them dancing and leaping before the people, the wrath of Mosheh was suddenly kindled, and he cast the tables from his hands, and brake them at the foot of the mountain;- the holy writing that was on them, however, flew, and was carried away into the air of the heavens;‑ and he cried, and said, Woe upon the people who heard at Sinai from the mouth of the Holy One, Thou shalt not make to thyself an image, or figure, or any likeness,- and yet, at the end of forty days, make a useless molten calf! And he took the calf which they had made, and burned it in fire, and bruised it into powder, and cast (it) upon the face of the water of the stream, and made the sons of Israel drink; and whoever had given thereto any trinket of gold, the sign of it came forth upon his nostrils.

 Notes and References

"... Seeing the people bowing down to an idol was too much: Moses took the stone tables that God had given him and threw them to the ground. No doubt he was right to be angry. Still, it disturbed many that his anger should express itself in the destruction of the two stone tables. After all, these had been given to Moses by God and were 'written by the finger of God'. There could hardly be a more sacred object in the whole world. Some interpreters supposed that Moses could not have allowed himself to destroy the divine writing. And there was the thinnest of justifications for such a conclusion ... Perhaps bolstered by this consideration, some interpreters concluded that a miracle must have accompanied this act: the letters first flew off the stone tables, leaving them empty — for it was only under such circumstances that Moses would have allowed himself to break the tables in the first place ..."

Kugel, James L. The Bible as it Was (p. 426) Harvard University Press, 1998

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.