golden calf, in the Bible, an idol erected by the Israelites on several occasions. Aaron made one while Moses was on Mt. Sinai. Jeroboam I made two, and Hosea denounced a calf in Samaria. A bull cult was widespread in Canaan at the time of the Israelite invasion.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.