2 Kings 10:29
“Howbeit [from] the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, [to wit], the golden calves that [were] in Bethel, and that [were] in Dan.”
The Old Testament mentions the worship of a “golden calf” several times. According to the Bible, the Israelites fashioned one of these idols after their exodus from Egypt. Later, king Jeroboam worshiped the golden calf idol.
Until 1991, no one in our time had ever seen one. In the summer of 1991, Harvard University archaeologists excavating Canaanite ruins near the ancient port city of Ashkelon unearthed a “golden calf.” Ashkelon is in Israel.
This “golden calf,” however, is not made entirely of gold. It is about four and one-half inches long and four and one-fourth inches tall. It weighs just under a pound. The arms, legs, horns, tail and other parts were made of different metals and were attached to the body in sockets. The body itself was bronze. The calf was dated through the pottery and other artifacts found alongside it to about 1550 BC. This would mean that the calf is Canaanite.
Though there was no reason to question what the Bible says about golden calf worship, many scholars preferred to refer to biblical statements on the subject as legends. This discovery shows the Bible’s accuracy when it speaks of golden calf worship. It also shows that the Canaanites worshiped these idols before the Israelites took over the Promised Land. We should note that no archaeological discovery in the Holy Land has ever shown the Bible to be anything less than accurate. So-called experts, who have been skeptical of the Bible’s claims, have been proven wrong many times.
Lord, I thank You that Your Word is truth. I, too, live in a world with many idols. I ask that You would help me see how the world’s idols influence my life. Help me to be faithful to You, both in my life and witness. Amen.
Author: Paul AS. Bartz
“Before-Christ ‘golden calf’ idol startles archaeologists in Israel.” The Argus (Fremont, CA), July 25, 1990.