21 And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?
22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief.
23 For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.
25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)
26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.
27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
K.J.V. Bible Text
When Moses asked Aaron what the people had done to cause him to bring so much sin down upon them, Aaron made excuses, saying the people were set on mischief.
After Aaron had told his story, Moses noticed that the people were naked “unto their shame”. Moses then stood in the gate and called out to the people and asked that those who stood on the side of the Lord would come to him. It was the sons of Levi who came and stood by his side and on Moses instructions, each of them slew his brothers and his neighbors who had chosen to continue their revelry rather than standing with the Lord. Three thousand men were slain that day.
It seems to me that the children of Israel were in fact set on mischief, Aaron being not the least of them. They were impatient every time the Lord tarried in showing his presence. Even though Lord dwelt among them and showed them His presence, the people lacked faith that He would continue to take care of them.
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