The Story of Patriarchs and Prophets
by Ellen G. White
NOTE 4. PAGE 316. The Israelites, in their adoration of the golden
calf, professed to be worshiping God. Thus Aaron, when inaugurating
the worship of the idol, proclaimed, "Tomorrow is a feast unto
Jehovah." They proposed to worship God, as the Egyptians worshiped
Osiris, under the semblance of the image. But God could not accept
the service. Though offered in His name, the sun-god, and not Jehovah,
was the real object of their adoration.
The worship of Apis was accompanied with the grossest licentiousness,
and the Scripture record indicates that the calf worship by the
Israelites was attended with all the license usual in heathen worship.
We read: "They rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings,
and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink,
and rose up to play." Exodus 32:6. The Hebrew word rendered
"to play" signifies playing with leaping, singing, and dancing.
This dancing, especially among the Egyptians, was sensual and
indecent. The word rendered "corrupted" in the next verse, where it is
said, "Thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have
corrupted themselves," is the same that is used in Genesis 6:11, 12,
where we read that the earth was corrupt, "for all flesh had corrupted
his way upon the earth." This explains the terrible anger of the Lord,
and why He desired to consume the people at once.