The Meaning of Exodus 32:4 Explained

Exodus 32:4

KJV: And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

YLT: and he receiveth from their hand, and doth fashion it with a graving tool, and doth make it a molten calf, and they say, 'These thy gods, O Israel, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.'

Darby: And he took them out of their hand, and fashioned it with a chisel and made of it a molten calf: and they said, This is thy god, Israel, who has brought thee up out of the land of Egypt!

ASV: And he received it at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf: and they said, These are thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

What does Exodus 32:4 Mean?

Context Summary

Exodus 32:1-14 - Aaron's Golden Calf Offends The Lord
The people never thought of taking Aaron as a substitute for Moses, because they instinctively recognized his moral weakness. Though he was dressed in the garments of the high priest, he was essentially a weak man. This came into evidence:
(1) By his reply to the people. When they demanded the calf he ought to have met them with an indignant negative; but instead, and to prevent the unpopularity which such an attitude might have evoked, he contented himself with putting difficulties in the way of their project. "Surely," he thought, "they will never go on with their mad scheme, if they have to pay for it with their jewels." But the event did not justify his expectations.
(2) By his reply to Moses. "There came out this calf." It was the furnace, not I, that did it. "Blame my heredity, environment, companions," says the wrongdoer. The weak becomes the sinful one. Strong Son of God, help us! Make us strong! See Jeremiah 15:20. [source]

Chapter Summary: Exodus 32

1  The people in the absence of Moses, caused Aaron to make a calf
7  God informs Moses, who intercedes for Israel, and prevails
15  Moses comes down with the tablets
19  He breaks them
20  He destroys the calf
22  Aaron's excuse for himself
25  Moses causes the idolaters to be slain
30  He prays for the people

What do the individual words in Exodus 32:4 mean?

And he received [the gold] from their hand and he fashioned it with an engraving tool and made a calf molded And they said these [are] your gods Israel that brought you out of the land of Egypt
וַיִּקַּ֣ח מִיָּדָ֗ם וַיָּ֤צַר אֹתוֹ֙ בַּחֶ֔רֶט וַֽיַּעֲשֵׂ֖הוּ עֵ֣גֶל מַסֵּכָ֑ה וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ אֵ֤לֶּה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֶעֱל֖וּךָ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ ! מִצְרָֽיִם

וַיִּקַּ֣ח  And  he  received  [the  gold] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: יָקַח 
Sense: to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy, bring, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away.
מִיָּדָ֗ם  from  their  hand 
Parse: Preposition-m, Noun, feminine singular construct, third person masculine plural
Root: יָד  
Sense: hand.
וַיָּ֤צַר  and  he  fashioned 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: יׄוצֵר 
Sense: to form, fashion, frame.
בַּחֶ֔רֶט  with  an  engraving  tool 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: חֶרֶט  
Sense: an engraving tool, stylus, chisel, graving tool.
וַֽיַּעֲשֵׂ֖הוּ  and  made 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular, third person masculine singular
Root: עָשָׂה 
Sense: to do, fashion, accomplish, make.
עֵ֣גֶל  a  calf 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: עֵגֶל  
Sense: calf, bull-calf.
מַסֵּכָ֑ה  molded 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular
Root: מַסֵּכָה 
Sense: a pouring, libation, molten metal, cast image, drink offering.
וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ  And  they  said 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
אֵ֤לֶּה  these  [are] 
Parse: Pronoun, common plural
Root: אֵהֶל 
Sense: these.
אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙  your  gods 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct, second person masculine singular
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
אֲשֶׁ֥ר  that 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
הֶעֱל֖וּךָ  brought  you 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Perfect, third person common plural, second person masculine singular
Root: סָלַק 
Sense: to go up, ascend, climb.
מֵאֶ֥רֶץ  out  of  the  land 
Parse: Preposition-m, Noun, feminine singular construct
Root: אֶרֶץ  
Sense: land, earth.
! מִצְרָֽיִם  of  Egypt 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: מִצְרַיִם  
Sense: a country at the northeastern section of Africa, adjacent to Palestine, and through which the Nile flows adj Egyptians = “double straits”.