Are the Golden Calves constructed by Aaron and Jeroboam affiliated with any specific deity? In Ugaritic literature Baal is portrayed as a bull mating with his sister Anat who was a female calf. Does this representation of Baal and Anat as Bulls or Calves have any relationship with Yahweh and the calves built by Aaron and Jeroboam? Additionally how does the name "Egeliah" which translates to "bull calf of Yah" relate to this topic? Thanks.

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    is this on-topic? I feel like it's a question on Ancient Near Eastern history, but knowing the answer to this ANE history question would help understand the Tanakh Dec 31, 2014 at 3:46
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    Hello Timmy McDonald and welcome to mi.yodeya. The second part of your question is a separate question, and one I do not understand. Can you provide a reference for the name Egeliah?
    – WAF
    Dec 31, 2014 at 3:47
  • Timmy, where did you find the mane "Egeliah"? It isn't in my Bible. Perhaps this question is more appropriate for hermeneutics.stackexchange.com Dec 31, 2014 at 3:49
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    I found it here, books.google.com/… Dec 31, 2014 at 3:50
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    @Matt It is also about Torah. The question assumes the debatable premise that the egel was intended to be worshipped as a god (cf.) and wishes to know if it was a particular preexisting god.
    – WAF
    Dec 31, 2014 at 3:53

2 Answers 2


The Golden Calf icon seems to be associated with Hashem. Aharon, Jeroboam, and Jehu (all of whom create or, in Jehu's case, do not destroy, calf-idols) never mention any other god in connection with their actions. In fact they all present themselves as worshiping Hashem, albeit in a way that the Torah disproves of.


According to Rabbi Deutsch's "Let My Nation Serve Me," one explanation given for why specifically a calf is because it represents Taurus. They previously were in Mitzraim, land of the sheep (Aries). After Mitzraim fell, they turned to the following Mazel, that of Iyar, the bull. (Several other explanations are given, but none relate to a specific deity.)

  • I don't know about the constellation aspect, but as far as i know, Tammuz was a person shaped/formed god, not an animal one.
    – Aaron
    Aug 22, 2017 at 10:40
  • @Aaron Tammuz is the crab. But you are correct - I meant Iyar, which follows Nissan.
    – DonielF
    Aug 22, 2017 at 13:44
  • This is essentially Ralbag's explanation: ולפי שהמזל העולה אחר טלה הוא שור התחכם אהרן לעשות תמונת שור כדי שיבטחו בו יותר ויאמינו שהוא מסכים להם כאילו יאמר שהטעות היה למצרים בתתם הממשלה למזל טלה כי היא למזל הבא אחריו והוא שור
    – Alex
    Mar 11, 2019 at 16:13

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