Unclean Gold

photo: bible hub

Why did Moses go through this process?

I have pondered this Old Testament event episode for nearly 40 years, 
wondering why Moses dealt with the golden calf this way.  
Then, at 4 am one morning, July 2023, I was awakened, 
with my first thought being this puzzle and then an instant answer. 
Follow along with me:

1) Gold, by itself, is nearly a sacred item in the eyes of most adults.
2) Anything we make of gold becomes elevated in status
     (yes, we elevate our own status when we wear gold, and this is why we wear gold)
3) When Moses came down from Mount Horeb from meeting with God.
      he not only had an idolatry problem, he had a disposal problem.

When he would destroy the calf, he also had the problem of what to do with the gold
that made the calf. There would always be an attachment to the gold, because it is gold.
There might also be an attachment to THAT gold, in the eyes of the people, 
because it had once been a part of the golden calf.

If Moses had saved the gold for use in the Temple, people would remember,
and some would cast their affections toward the calf instead of toward God.

So, God had Moses grind the gold into powder. 
(heating the gold first made the grinding easier- heat makes metal softer)
Then Moses scattered the powder on the water 

and made the Israelites drink it,
where it entered their digestive tracts,
and joined the manna-feces in their lower intestines,
to be defecated. (the term defecate means: to de-feces oneself).

So, the gold from the calf became as feces, 
and hopefully as repulsive to the Israelites
as it was to God.

An archeological note: Just as shipwrecks leave 'debris-trails' on the sea bottom,
I'm sure there is a gold dust trail, somewhere in the desert, equal to the amount of gold
in that golden calf. If someone found this trail of gold dust, at the beginning of the trail, 
they might also find the first set of the 10 Commandments.