I was a young child when I heard about
the Israelites dancing about the Golden Calf . It did not make sense then
and it does not make sense now that a nation of people could witness the
miracles of the Exodus, then almost over night worship a statue of a cow.
The village idiot has more sense than that. There must be more to it. This
paper is an opinion offering a logical common sense explanation.
Jeroboam And The Golden Calves
After the death of Solomon, Rehoboam
became king in Israel. The people asked for tax relief. The king said,
"No" and a tax payer's revolt followed. As a result he lost most of his
kingdom to Jeroboam the tax rebel's leader. After this there were two
separate nations, one called Israel and the other Judah.
Jehoboam - The son of
(1_Kings_11:26-39), "an Ephrathite,"
Reroboam - The son of Solomon.
1 Kings 12:26-33
(26) And Jeroboam said in his
heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
(27) If this people go up to do
sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the
heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam
king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king
(28) Whereupon the king took
counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them,
"It is too much for you to go
up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, 0 Israel, which brought thee up
out of the land of Egypt."
(29) And he set the one in Bethel,
and the other put he in Dan.
(30) And this thing became a sin:
for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
(31) And he made an house of high
places, and made
priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the
sons of Levi.
(32) And Jeroboam ordained a feast
in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto
the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he
in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he
placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made
which he had made.
(33) So he offered upon the altar
which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month,
even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and
ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon
the altar, and burnt incense
That is all the Bible says about this
event. However the historian Josephus relates the king's speech in more
8, Chapter 8, Section 4:
When therefore Jeroboam had built
a palace in the city Shechem, he dwelt there. He also built him
another at Penuel, a city so called; and now the Feast of
Tabernacles was approaching in a little time, Jeroboam considered,
if he should permit the multitude to go to worship God at Jerusalem,
and there to celebrate the festival, they would probably repent of
what they had done, and be enticed by the temple, and by the worship
of God there performed, and would leave him, and return to their
first king; and if so, he should run the risk of losing his own
So he invented this contrivance:
he make two golden heifers, and built two little temples for them,
the one in the city Bethel, and the other in Dan, which last was at
the fountains of the Lesser Jordan, and he put the heifers into both
the little temples, in the aforementioned cities. And when he had
called those ten tribes together, over whom he ruled, he make a
speech to the people in these words.
"I suppose my countrymen, that
you know this, that every place hath God in it; nor is there
any one determinate place in which he is, but he everywhere hears
and sees those that worship him; on which account I do not think it
right for you to go so long a journey to Jerusalem, which is an
enemy's city, to worship him. It was a man that built the temple:
I have also made two golden heifers, dedicated to the same God;
and one of them I have consecrated in the city Bethel, and the other
in Dan, to the end that those of you that priests of the high places
dwell nearest those cities, may go to them, and worship God
there: and I will ordain for you certain priests and Levites from
among yourselves, that you may have no want of the tribe of Levi, or
of the sons of Aaron; but let him that is desirous among you of
being a priest, bring to God a bullock and a ram, which they say
Aaron the first priest brought also.
When Jeroboam had said this, he
deluded the people, and make them to revolt from the worship of
their forefathers, and to transgress their laws. This was the
beginning of miseries to the Hebrews, and the cause why they were
overcome in war by foreigners, and so fell into captivity.
Notice and think
about the points of the king's speech.
Point 1: "I suppose my countrymen, that you know this, that
every place hath God in it; nor is there any one determinate place
in which he is, but he everywhere hears and sees those that worship
Comment: Doesn't that sound exactly like the present day
message from today's pulpit. God is everywhere. God loves everyone.
God hears the prayers of everyone. (Even the prayers of
|Point 2: "I
have also make two golden heifers, dedicated to the same God;"
King did not call the heifers God, or gods. The King claimed to
worship the same God today as he did yesterday. The people and the
King did not look upon this activity as a change in worship or a
change in religion. It was presented as a solution to a problem. The
problem, "our temple is now in occupied enemy territory." Perhaps
the understanding was "I have also make two places of worship,
dedicated to the same God;"
|Point 3: "I
will ordain for you certain priests and Levites from among
yourselves, that you may have no want of the tribe of Levi, or of
the sons of Aaron; but let him that is desirous among you of being a
priest, bring to God a bullock and a ram."
king licensed the clergy just as the State does today. Anyone who is
desirous among you of being a priest can go to city hall and pay the
license fee. (The license fee then was a bullock and a ram.)
Verse 31 above, "and made priests of
the lowest of the people".
The king rejected the clergy
ordained by God and ordained crooks and con-men.
So here we have the people
worshiping in the new Northern Kingdom exactly as they did in the Southern
Kingdom at Jerusalem and Josephus calls it "a revolt from the worship of
There was little or no
difference in doctrine. Just a different temple location and a different
class of clergy. But the Bible says, "The King deluded the people." I
think we need to understand this situation lest we also be deluded. And
this makes the situation worrisome, a deluded person does not know that
he is deluded. Are we or have we been likewise deluded?
One question is, why did
the king do this? The answer is in verse
Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the
house of David:" The King feared the loss of his political power. To
keep his political power he ordained a clergy that would support him
in rulership over the people.
Doesn't that sound like the present day
clergy's interpretation of Romans 13.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no
power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
It is called a 501 C-3
church. Today's clergy are licensed by the state and may not speak out for
fear of losing tax-exempt status.
Most clergy remain silent
on these issues. After all we must have a 'separation of church and
state'. And "Christians should stay out of politics". On the issues we
have 300,000 silent pulpits.
Was there any 'separation
of church and state' at that time? No. There was no separation then.
Perhaps we only think that there is a separation today. How can a church
incorporated by the state with a pastor licensed by the state be separate
from the state? Perhaps it is a case of double-think.
("The ability to hold two conflicting views at the
same time." - George Orwell, "Nineteen Eighty-Four")
What is 'serving Baal'?
The Bible is constantly telling us
that the people served Baal. What is the Baal religion? Who is Baal? What
do the members of the Baal religion believe? When atending church and
Bible Studies, I had never received a satisfactory answer to these
questions. Here is as good a definition of Baal as any. It came from an
article on Baal.
Definition: - Baal
The word Baal as it appears in
scripture has a variety of meanings. Originally, it was not a proper
noun but eventually it came to be used as such. In its preliminary
sense it means master or owner, 'The Lord'. But most often it is
used in scripture to refer to a deity or deities. The word Baal is
not the name of one god but the name of the presiding deity or
deities in any given locality, 'the lords' of that locality.
From that definition, could you
point out Baal and his temples here in America? The answer will probably
be. "No, I do not see any Baal temples, no Baal priests, etc."
Based on what you have learned in
the past, if someone were to ask you to list the doctrines of the Baal
religion, what would you say?
You probably would not have much to
say at all.
And the next person asked would give
a completely different answer.
If the Bible gave a clear answer to
this, "Who is Baal and what does the Baal religion believe" question with
verses such as this, 'The Baal religion believes it is a woman's right to
have an abortion.''
A clear answer such as that would
immediately let us know that the God of that Bible does not approve of
abortion on demand.
Then we could look about and locate
a church or clergyman that taught the Baal doctrine and say with
confidence, 'There, that is a Baal Church and that is a Baal priest."
If asked, the Baal priest would
reply, "Yes, I serve Baal and that is exactly what we teach and believe."
And you as a Christian would oppose
abortion if for no other reason than, "if that's what Baal teaches then it
must be wrong and pro-life must be right." But it is not so
To start with the word Baal
means 'The Lord', and Christians also call Jesus Christ 'The Lord'.
"behold thy gods O
King Jeroboam said, "It
is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel,
which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."
At first it seems
that King Jeroboam is talking about the golden calves. It seems
that he is calling the calves 'gods'. This also happened at the time of
(4) And he (Aaron) received them
at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had
made it a molten calf: and
These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land
(5) And when Aaron saw it, he
built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To
morrow is a feast to the Lord.
It is incomprehensible that either Aaron
or King Jeroboam would say such a thing. We have wrongly understood that
Aaron said, "This gold calf is thy God, O Israel." Now notice in
Exodus the Bible says 'they said' not 'Aaron said'. Who are 'they'?
Second item to notice, after Aaron had
made the gold into a molten calf:
"and they said,
these be thy gods, O Israel."
In Exodus Aaron made only one calf.
There was only one calf but the word 'gods' is plural. We have always been
taught that the calf was the god, but if that is so, then why didn't
"This be thy god, O Israel, which
brought thee up out of the land of Egypt,"
"These be thy gods, O Israel,
which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt,
Like Happy days are hear again, Moses is
gone, we don't know what has become of him and his repressive government,
"These be thy leaders, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the
land of Egypt."
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