Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Calf of Gold
(2,059 words)

The image of a calf worshipped by the Israelites while Moses (q.v.) was on the mountain receiving the tablets of the Law. Allusion to this story is made in five passages of the Qurʾān. There, as in the main biblical account (Exod 32), the object of worship is not explicitly called a “calf of gold” but simply a “calf” ( ʿijl, Heb. ʿēgel). The Qurʾān says that it was made from ornaments ( ḥulī, q 7:148; zīna, 20:87), Exodus 32:2-3 from golden rings (nizmey ha-zā…

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Hawting, Gerald R., “Calf of Gold”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 17 February 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQCOM_00029>

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