a golden calf

a golden calf

something, especially wealth, as an object of excessive or unworthy worship.
In the Bible, the golden calf was a statue of gold in the shape of a calf, made by Aaron in response to the Israelites' plea for a god while they awaited Moses' return from Mount Sinai, where he was receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus, chapter 32).
See also: calf, golden