Talk:Golden calf

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Though there is as yet no discussion here, User:CheeseDreams has applied NPOV and cleanup notices to this page and others. The contributions of this user to the article may be assessed at the article's Page History. --Wetman 23:51, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)


See history for explanation.

"It is also not clear why it might be involved with bringing the people up from Egypt"

It's not clear because it wasn't involved. It's clear from the episode development that Aaron was making it up from his lack of trust on Moses after the later delayed to go back.

Should not the fact that the calf was seen as an image of Yahweh in the northern kingdom be mentioned?--Rob117 03:31, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Could the have been (seen as) symbolic of the popular Egyptian goddess, Hathor?

Also, the popular culture section ought to reference the Golden Calf scene in Cecil B. DeMille's Ten Commandments film...

Scientific Accuracy[edit]

We should add a section questioning the validity of the claims. Gold is neither flammable nor water soluble yet in the story it behaves in a way incosistent with current chemical knowledge. I propose a new section detailing this. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:54, 17 January 2007 (UTC).

That would be original research, not allowed here. Also, it says he "burned the high place", not the calf, and doesn't say the gold dissolved in the water, simply that it was scattered on it. --tjstrf talk 00:20, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

While that's true the summary given for the story is "Moses then burnt the golden calf in the fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on water, and forced the Israelites to drink it." Additionally it would not count as original research as the current article on Gold already contains all the information and references required namely, "Heat, moisture, oxygen, and most corrosive agents have very little chemical effect on gold, making it well-suited for use in coins and jewelry...". The article on colloidal gold likewise contains more than enough information to make the conclusion that the likely conditions of the burning were unlikely to produce water soluble gold compounds.

The passage reads: "He took the calf which they had made and burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it."

Gold is not flammable but its burning is possible and results in its melting. There should not be any discussion about disolving gold here as the passage makes no mention of dissolving. We are simply told that the gold dust is scattered (not scattered then dissolved) over the surface of the water.

The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary also notes the common confusion about "burning" gold (melting it) and clears up the "scatter" question. --Lleveque (talk) 20:57, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Biblical Inaccuracy[edit]

Quote from the section "Aaron's statement", in the second paragraph:

According to Exodus 32:4 the golden calf is made and Aaron says "This is your god (singular) O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.

According to the Interlinear Scripture Analyser available from the original Hebrew for the second half of the verse reads through transliteration:

"and·they-are-saying these Elohim-of·you Israel who they-brought-up·you from·land-of Egypt".

Assuming this transliteration is correct, there are two problems with the quotation of the cited verse. First that Aaron (alone?) made the statement and second that the use of the word god (Elohim) was in a singular context. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

As the rabbis say, the answer is next to it. What did the people ask for? Gods who would walk (plural verb) before them. And that's what Aaron gave them. Gods with plural verbs. Every time elohim is used of the Jewish Gd, it has a singular verb. (talk) 00:45, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Flight of personal fancy?[edit]

Of what is the following text, moved here, an encyclopedia-worthy report?Wetman (talk) 03:54, 6 November 2008 (UTC) The Hebrew word calf can also mean circle. This might seem to indicate that they made a RA symbol rather than cast a calf, which would require a difficult manufacturing process with furnace, beeswax, clay, etc.


What do the letters E and J stand for? I think it would be clearer if the entire words/ names were spelled out (although I didn't read the article thoroughly). 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 12:39, 7 July 2011 (UTC) I have clarified this a little, readers can also follow the link the the Documentary Hypothesis article in Wikipedia.Drg55 (talk) 07:56, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

What about Christianity?[edit]

The Old testament is also an important piece for Christianity.

The Old testament and new testament go together very nice like. You will find, if you read the whole thing, that Jesus taught from the old testament, and that the prophets prophesied about Jesus. Moses even taught about Jesus.

--HolyandClean (talk) 17:22, 22 October 2011 (UTC)HolyandClean

Quranic Version[edit]

Tagged for tone, as the section is poorly written. I don't have a Quran to reference, so I'm avoiding reworking this section. Also, no appropriate citations. Woodega (talk) 21:20, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

I have edited the section now, how is it now? Raymond Phoenix (talk) 08:20, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Raymond Phoenix (talk) 15:42, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

/* Criticism and interpretation */ Relies heavily on Coogan; see talk page.[edit]

The section "Criticism and interpretation" relies primarily on one source: A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in its Context by M. Coogan (Oxford University Press, 2009). The citation also refers to a single page, which it should not do.

I don't dispute the inclusion of this view at all, but the section does appear to be too reliant on one scholar's view. The subject matter must have other interpretations and the article would benefit from their inclusion. I would have also liked to see a discussion of the Hebrew words relating to the plurality of "gods" and the word translated as "LORD." Roches (talk) 07:09, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

Removal of "In popular culture" material[edit]

I disagree with this edit. The editor tried to move a bunch of material from the "in popular culture" section to Golden calf (disambiguation), but most of the entries were not suitable for that page. A disambiguation page is not the place to list things that refer to the topic of the page, nor things that contain the name of the thing in their name. Only things that can plausibly be referred to solely by that name are appropriate. If you can't call it simply a "golden calf", it doesn't belong on the golden calf disambiguation page.

I fixed the dab page per guidelines. The net result is that material has been simply deleted. Unless someone objects, I propose to restore it to the "in popular culture" section here. I am of course open to discussion on whether any particular entries in the list are or are not appropriate for inclusion. My only concern was with seeing a bulk deletion of material based on the incorrect belief that that material belonged on another page. --Srleffler (talk) 17:47, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

The entries that were removed were:

--Srleffler (talk) 17:59, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

Disambiguation pages are precisely for navigating subjects with similar names. In this case, that means subjects that feature the culturally loaded phrase "golden calf" in their names. So I don't see why transferring such examples to the disambiguation page would be inappropriate. What distinction is there between the entries that I transferred, and those that were already on the DAB page? If you believe that people go to the IPC section looking for DAB material, that is easily addressed by putting a see-also link to the DAB page at the top of the section.

You are correct that examples which only name-drop a subject are not appropriate for a DAB page, but according to WP:IPCV they are usually not appropriate for an IPC section either. Secondary sources should be provided to verify the example's significance and avoid drive-by anonymous "pop-spotting." This is why, when doing IPC cleanup, I aggressively remove (and do not transfer) examples of the form "so-and-so is mentioned in ..." and that is what I did in this case. (talk) 23:16, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

No, you've misunderstood the purpose of disambiguation pages. Dab pages are a navigation aid for cases where names are ambiguous, i.e. where exactly the same name could plausibly refer to two distinct things. Subjects with names that are merely similar are not supposed to be in dab entries, although they sometimes are put in a "see also" section on the dab page. Partial title matches are explicitly excluded—subjects that merely include the phrase "golden calf" in their name explicitly do not belong on the dab page.
There are two distinct issues here:
  • What material belongs on the disambiguation page, and
  • What material belongs in the "in popular culture" section of the article
These issues have nothing to do with one another; moving material to the dab page is not a way to solve the problem of inappropriate pop culture entries. Material should be put on the dab page only because it belongs there. Material should be in the pop culture list only because it belongs there. Some things belong in both locations. Some belong in neither.
I'm fine with you deleting inappropriate entries from the pop culture list. I'm not fine with you moving entries to the dab page that don't belong there. Linking to the dab page is also inappropriate. We don't generally direct readers to dab pages, except in disambiguation hatnotes. The goal is for readers to never see them, except as a result of a search.
The issue at hand is this: which (if any) of the items listed above belong in this article's pop culture section? Are you arguing that none of these entries are appropriate cultural references—including the two operas? If so, why did you leave two unremarkable television episodes in the article? I don't see the distinction.--Srleffler (talk) 02:45, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
IPC cleanup involves making many decisions quickly. One criterion I use is: does the example indicate in any way that the subject possibly significant within the work, and not just a passing mention? For those two examples, the subject appeared to be somehow significant in the plot of the work. They don't have secondary sources and I'm not going to defend them from being removed, but if I went around summarily nuking IPC sections people would revert me.
If you believe the items that I transferred would be properly included in a See also section, then you can put them there. (talk) 20:00, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Great. On that basis I'll argue for the re-insertion of the two opera references. An aria in a notable opera is going to have some cultural influence, and the Schoenberg opera is based on the biblical story—the calf will be more than a passing mention:
Several of the entries are to notable things that are named after and inspired by the golden calf. I think therefore they should be included; in any event it's clearly more than a passing mention. (Yes the Hirst sculpture is clearly notable.)
I'm not sure about the following entries:
For the rest of the entries I agree that they are likely just passing mentions, and don't need to be included.--Srleffler (talk) 07:27, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
I see you've already reinserted them. Thanks for reconsidering.--Srleffler (talk) 07:39, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

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