An offering of gold

When the Israelites waited for Moses to come down from the mountain as he was speaking with YHWH, they became impatient and asked Aaron to make for them a god who shall go before them. Aaron then asked the Israelites to “take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” The Israelites obliged, and Aaron made a golden calf out of the rings of gold (Exo 32).

So perhaps it should come as a happy ending when, later on, Moses assembled the people and asked them to contribute for the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. Again, the Israelites obliged, and among the things that they contributed, “all who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicating an offering of gold to YHWH.” (35.22)

The question, then, is not whether gold is good or evil, but on how we would use our “gold objects.” They could be meld into a golden calf, but they could be dedicated as an offering for the tent of meeting as well.

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