golden calf

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golden calf

That which is given inordinate or unworthy praise, worship, or reverence. A reference to an idol mentioned in Exodus 32:4 of the Bible, created and worshipped by the Israelites in the absence of Moses, which was considered blasphemous in God's eyes. It has become apparent that wealth and power have become the golden calves of this country, the attainment of which people prioritize with slavish devotion.
See also: calf, golden

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