The Golden Calf
1 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered against Aaron and said to him, “Rise up and make us gods that shall go before us. As for Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”†
2 Aaron then said to them, “Remove the golden earrings in the ears of your wives and daughters and bring them to me.”
3 So all the people removed the golden earrings in their ears and brought them to Aaron.
4 He received them from their hands; and he fashioned them with an engraving tool and made a molten calf. Then he said, “These are your gods, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt.”
5 So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. Aaron then made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.”
6 Thus he rose early the next day and offered whole burnt offerings and peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
7 But the Lord said to Moses, “Go quickly! Get down from here! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt are transgressing the law.
8 They turned aside quickly from the way I commanded them. They made themselves a calf and are worshiping and sacrificing to it, and are saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt.’
9 Now therefore, let Me be, that I may burn in wrath against them and consume them.
10 Then I will make of you a great nation.”†
11 But Moses prayed before the Lord God and said, “Why, O Lord, does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?
12 Why should the Egyptians speak and say, ‘He brought them out with evil intent, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath and be merciful to the wickedness of Your people.
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Your servants, to whom You swore by Yourself and said to them, ‘I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of heaven for multitude; and all this land I spoke about to give their seed, they shall inherit unto the ages.’ ”
14 So the Lord granted mercy for the harm He said He would do to His people.
15 Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hands. They were stone tablets written on both sides, on one side and on the other.
16 Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets.
17 When Joshua therefore heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp.”
18 But Moses said, “It is not the noise of those that begin the battle, nor of those that begin the cry of defeat, but the noise of those that begin the banquet of wine that I hear.”
19 So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing. Thus Moses became very angry; and he cast the two tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain.
20 Then he took the calf they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.
21 Moses then spoke to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you brought so great a sin upon them?”
22 Aaron replied, “Do not be angry, my lord. You know how impulsive this people is.
23 For they said to me, ‘Make us gods that shall go before us; as for this man Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’
24 So I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let him remove it.’ Thus they gave it to me, and I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out.”
25 Now when Moses saw the people were scattered (for Aaron scattered them, making them a prey to their enemies),
26 Moses then stood in the entrance of the camp and said, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side, come to me.” So all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.
27 He said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’ ”
28 So the sons of Levi did as Moses said to them, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day.
29 Then Moses said, “You filled your hands to the Lord today, each one on his son or brother, that blessing be given you.”
30 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You committed a great sin. So now I will go up to God to make atonement for your sin.”
31 Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “I pray, O Lord, these people have committed a great sin and have made for themselves a god of gold!
32 Yet now, if You will forgive their sin, forgive it—but if not, blot me out of the book You have written.”
33 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever sins against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
34 Now therefore, go down and lead the people to the place of which I spoke to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before your face. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will strike them for their sin.”†
35 So the Lord struck the people for making the calf which Aaron made.
14 But I will hope continually, And I will add to all Your praise.
15 My mouth shall proclaim Your righteousness, Your salvation all the day, For I am not acquainted with learning.
16 I shall enter into the power of the Lord; O Lord, I shall remember Your righteousness, Yours alone.
17 You taught me, O God, from my youth, And from then until now I will proclaim Your wonders.
18 And even to old age and to my last breath, O God, do not abandon me, Until I proclaim Your arm to every coming generation, Yes, Your mighty deeds and Your righteousness.
19 O God, I proclaim the magnificent things You did, Even to the highest heaven; O God, who is like You?
20 How great and evil are the afflictions You showed me, And You returned, and made me live; And You raised me up again from the depths of the earth.
21 You multiplied Your greatness, And You returned and comforted me; You brought me up again from the depths of the earth.
22 Truly, I will give thanks to You with the instrument of a psalm, O God; I will sing to You with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will greatly rejoice when I sing to You; So will my soul, which You redeemed.
24 My tongue shall meditate on Your righteousness all the day long, When those who seek evils for me are dishonored and shamed.
Proverbs of Solomon 14
26 A faithful witness will rescue a soul from evil men, But a deceitful man kindles lies.
27 In the fear of the Lord there is hope of strength, And to His children there remains support.
28 The command of the Lord is a fountain of life, For it causes one to turn from the snare of death.†
29 The glory of a king is in a large nation, But the destruction of a ruler is in a lack of people.
30 A longsuffering man is strong in discernment, But the fainthearted man is strongly without discernment.†
Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,†
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.†
28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”†
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.
30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.†
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”†
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “ The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.†
36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.†
Elizabeth Praises Mary, Mother of God
39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,
40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.†
42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!†
43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?†
44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Mary Exults in God: The Magnificat
46 And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord,†
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.
50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.
54 He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.