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Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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GOLDEN CALF

The image of God that Aaron made at the foot of Mount Sinai to please the Israelites, who were tired of waiting for Moses during his stay on the mountain (Exodus 32). Even if the Jews did not worship the calf as an idol, they were forbidden to make any representation of Yahweh (Exodus 20). Moreover, bovine images were associated with obscenity. That is why, on descending from the mountain, Moses was angry with the Israelites and told them, "You have committed a grave sin" (Exodus 32:30).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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