Science: The Return of the Golden Calf

A figurine backs the tale of Moses and the idolatrous Israelites

And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses' anger burned hot . . . And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it upon the water, and made the people of Israel drink it.

-- Exodus 32: 19-20

Tough punishment, perhaps, but Moses' fury was understandable. Before he could even get the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, his people had already broken No. 2: Thou shalt not make for thyself a graven image. Although idolatry had been forbidden...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!