32:4 molten calf. The “calf” was a common pagan symbol of fertility. The people were undoubtedly very familiar with Apis, the sacred bull of Egypt. Its worship was accompanied by promiscuous sexual activities, the meaning of “play” in Exodus 32:6. Note Exodus 32:25.
32:5 feast to the LORD. Aaron not only yielded to the pressure to fashion an idol, but compounded the sin by calling it Jehovah, thus breaking the first two commandments, Perhaps he rationalized that it would be an “aid to worship” if the people could visualize Jehovah in some concrete form, as the Egyptians did, and as not a few modern professing Christians do today.