[b-hebrew] Golden Calves are FEMALES ?

Walter R. Mattfeld mattfeld12 at charter.net
Wed Sep 3 09:19:16 EDT 2003

I came across an article on the Golden Calves worshipped by Israel claiming
that they are referred to in some bible passages as FEMALE CALVES. I would
be interested in any observations on this interpretation from the b-hebrew

Here's a "snippet" :

"The term 'eghel, is the ordinary Hebrew name for a male calf and is as
flexible as the English name, applying to any animal from one a year old
(Micah 6:6) or perhaps younger (Leviticus 9:3; Leviticus 12:6) to one three
years old (Genesis 15:9; compare Jeremiah 34:18-19). It has been thought
that the habitual use of this diminutive term for the golden bulls which
Aaron and Jeroboam set up--especially as it is twice made feminine (Hosea
10:5; Hosea 13:2)--was intended to indicate their small size and thus to
express contempt for them. This however, though plausible, is by no means
certain. It was not their size which made these bulls contemptible in the
eyes of the prophets, and besides there were no life-size bulls of molten
gold in any surrounding countries so far as known. The reference to female
calves that were kissed (Hosea 13:2), presumably at Bethel, may refer not to
the worship of the bulls, but to their female counterparts, since in all
other countries such female deities invariably accompanied the bull gods.
Calf, Golden
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)


Regards, Walter

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld, M.A.Ed.

mattfeld12 at charter.net


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