NELC 150

Introduction to the Bible

Slide 39

Calf figurine from Samaria (northern Israel), period of the judges. It is debated whether the calves were meant as deities or as pedestals/mounts of deities (some figurines have peg-holes on their backs where a statue of a deity could have been attached, and some reliefs actually show deities standing on the backs of calves and bulls). The idea of the calf as the mount or pedestal of God was apparently the idea underlying the Golden Calf in Exodus 32: it didn't symbolize another god but YHWH, standing invisibly on the calf's back.