New Defender's Study Bible Notes
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.
32:10 may consume them. The Lord evidently here is giving Moses an opportunity to demonstrate his concern for his people and his ability to lead them toward the promised land. God would never have broken His unconditional promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, regardless of the failures of their descendants.
32:15 tables were written. The stone tables had been engraved with the ten commandments, cut out of the mountain and inscribed by God Himself (Exodus 31:18).
32:26 all the sons of Levi. This response of the Levites (Moses and Aaron were also Levites, of course) was at least one reason why they were chosen to be responsible for service at the tabernacle.
32:33 blot out. Other references that relate to this phrase include Revelation 3:5; 20:12; 22:19.