Pseudo-Philo, Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum
Earlier in the week I mentioned that I have been reading James Rhodes’ Epistle of Barnabas and the Deuteronomic Tradition. Barnabas asserts that the golden calf incident demonstrates that the covenant was lost forever at Sinai. I am very much interested in how the golden calf incident has been treated by writers prior to Barnabas in the post-biblical literature.
One Jewish text, I am reviewing is the Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum. This text is “a paraphrastic and imaginative retelling of the Old Testament from Adam to the death of Saul.”
The apostasy of the people in worshiping the golden calf is recorded as follow:
“4. And the Lord said to Moses: Make haste hence, for the people is corrupted and hath dealt deceitfully with my ways which I commanded them. What and if the promises are at an end, which I made to their fathers when I said: To your seed will I give this land wherein ye dwell? For behold the people is not yet entered into the land, even though they bear my judgments, yet have they forsaken me. And therefore I know that if they enter the land they will do yet greater iniquities. Now therefore I also will forsake them: and I will turn again and make peace with them, that a house may be built for me among them; and that house also shall be done away, because they will sin against me, and the race of men shall be unto me as a drop of a pitcher, and shall be counted as spittle. 5. And Moses hasted and came down and saw the calf, and he looked upon the tables and saw that they were not written: and he hasted and brake them;” L.A.B. 12:4-5a. See Peter Kirby’s