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calf, golden

calf, golden, erected by the Israelites on several occasions, as related in the Bible and the Qur'an. Aaron made one while Moses was on Mt. Sinai. Jeroboam placed one at Bethel and another at Dan. Hosea denounced one in Samaria. Archaeological evidence suggests that bull images functioned as representations of the gods or as bearers of them. Bull cults were widespread in Canaan at the time of the invasion of the Israelites.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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