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NAVE: Calf
EBD: Calf
SMITH: CALF
ISBE: CALF
PORTRAITS: Calf
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Calf

Arts:
Arts Topics: Rebuking the Worship of the Golden Calf

Calf [EBD]

Calves were commonly made use of in sacrifices, and are therefore frequently mentioned in Scripture. The "fatted calf" was regarded as the choicest of animal food; it was frequently also offered as a special sacrifice (1 Sam. 28:24; Amos 6:4; Luke 15:23). The words used in Jer. 34:18, 19, "cut the calf in twain," allude to the custom of dividing a sacrifice into two parts, between which the parties ratifying a covenant passed (Gen. 15:9, 10, 17, 18). The sacrifice of the lips, i.e., priase, is called "the calves of our lips" (Hos. 14:2, R.V., "as bullocks the offering of our lips." Comp. Heb. 13:15; Ps. 116:7; Jer. 33:11).

The golden calf which Aaron made (Ex. 32:4) was probably a copy of the god Moloch rather than of the god Apis, the sacred ox or calf of Egypt. The Jews showed all through their history a tendency toward the Babylonian and Canaanitish idolatry rather than toward that of Egypt.

Ages after this, Jeroboam, king of Israel, set up two idol calves, one at Dan, and the other at Bethel, that he might thus prevent the ten tribes from resorting to Jerusalem for worship (1 Kings 12:28). These calves continued to be a snare to the people till the time of their captivity. The calf at Dan was carried away in the reign of Pekah by Tiglath-pileser, and that at Bethel ten years later, in the reign of Hoshea, by Shalmaneser (2 Kings 15:29; 17:33). This sin of Jeroboam is almost always mentioned along with his name (2 Kings 15:28 etc.).

Calf [NAVE]

CALF
Offered in sacrifice, Mic. 6:6.
Golden, made by Aaron, Ex. 32; Deut. 9:16; Neh. 9:18; Psa. 106:19; Acts 7:41.
Images of, set up in Beth-el and Dan by Jeroboam, 1 Kin. 12:28-33; 2 Kin. 10:29.
Worshiped by Jehu, 2 Kin. 10:29.
Prophecies against the golden calves at Beth-el, 1 Kin. 13:1-5, 32; Jer. 48:13; Hos. 8:5, 6; 10:5, 6, 15; 13:2; Amos 3:14; 4:4; 8:14.
Altars of, destroyed, 2 Kin. 23:4, 15-20.
"Calves of the lips,'' a metaphor signifying worship, Hos. 14:2.

CALF [SMITH]

The calf was held in high esteem by the Jews as food. (1 Samuel 28:24; Luke 15:23) The molten calf prepared by Aaron for the people to worship, (Exodus 32:4) was probably a wooden figure laminated with gold, a process which is known to have existed in Egypt. [AARON]

CALF [ISBE]

CALF - kaf (`eghel; par, or par, often rendered "bullock"): The etymology of both words is uncertain, but the former has a close parallel in the Arabic `ijl, "calf." Par is generally used of animals for sacrifice, `eghel, in that and other senses. `Eghel is used of the golden calves and frequently in the expression, `eghel marbeq, "fatted calf," or "calf of the stall," the latter being the literal meaning (1 Sam 28:24; Jer 46:21; Am 6:4; Mal 4:2).

At the present day beef is not highly esteemed by the people of the country, but mutton is much prized. In the houses of the peasantry it is common to see a young ram being literally stuffed with food, mulberry or other leaves being forced into its mouth by one of the women, who then works the sheep's jaw with one hand. The animal has a daily bath of cold water. The result is deliciously fat and tender mutton. Such an animal is called a ma`luf. From the same root we have ma`laf, "manger," suggestive of the Hebrew marbeq, "stall."

The calf for sacrifice was usually a male of a year old. Other references to calves are: "to skip like a calf" (Ps 29:6); "the calf and the young lion and the fatling together" (Isa 11:6); "a habitation deserted .... there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof" (Isa 27:10).

See CATTLE.

Alfred Ely Day


Also see definition of "Calf" in Word Study


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