(1 Kings 12:28-29 KJV) 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, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.Most people when they think of the “golden calf” think of Aaron making one in the wilderness. Moses came down from Mount Sinai, saw it, and smashed the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments.
(Exodus 32:3-4 KJV) And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.So it would seem that the worship of cows was common in the ancient world. It tried to make a place for itself in the worship of the Jews and succeeded in the Northern Kingdom. Is it any wonder that the Jews of Jesus day had no place for the paganism of the Samaritans?
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