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View synonyms for golden calf

golden calf

[ gohl-duhn kaf, kahf ]

noun

  1. a golden idol set up by Aaron and worshiped by the Israelites. Exodus 32.
  2. either of the two similar idols set up by Jeroboam. 1 Kings 12:28, 29.
  3. money or material goods as an object of worship or pursuit.


golden calf

noun

  1. Old Testament
    1. an idol made by Aaron and set up for the Israelites to worship (Exodus 32)
    2. either of two similar idols set up by Jeroboam I at Dan and Bethel in the northern kingdom (I Kings 12:28–30)
  2. informal.
    the pursuit or idolization of material wealth


golden calf

  1. An idol that the Israelites made during the Exodus . While God was giving Moses the Ten Commandments and other provisions of the Mosaic law on Mount Sinai , the people whom Moses was leading to the Promised Land melted down their gold jewelry and ornaments and built a golden calf, which they began to worship. Moses came down from the mountain carrying two stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written; when he saw the calf, he smashed the tablets and made the people destroy the idol.


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Notes

By extension, a “golden calf” is any false god or anything worshiped undeservedly.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of golden calf1

First recorded in 1350–1400

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Example Sentences

From ancient myths extolling its sacred nature and promises of immortality and power to new golden calves capable of conferring overnight riches, gold, in the face of our increasingly digital world, has reached a crossroads.

From Ozy

The dimmed lights and sizeable golden calf on the center of the conference table should tip you off.

Independence may well be the modern day Golden Calf to which far too many of us bow down and worship.

But it also goes back to the Bible, commemorating, among others, the sin of the Golden Calf.

The simple and oft-denied truth is that Jews have not been a unified people since that unfortunate incident with the Golden Calf.

Father Costantino spoke in his sermon of the need to shun false idols such as the Golden Calf of scripture.

Men still sigh for the flesh pots of Egypt; still worship the golden calf.

Be that as it may, I was near as quarrelsome, and would as soon have worshipped the golden calf as saluted that rag.

How little they were in sympathy with his ideas of religion and worship was apparent from the affair of the golden calf.

The question was: "Why did the Israelites make a golden calf?"

The worship of the golden calf permits its votaries no escape.

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