Friday, May 22, 2009

Gilt Beards

There was a French Bible, printed at Paris in 1538, by Anthony Bonnemere, wherein is related;

"that the ashes of the golden calf which Moses caused to be burnt, and mixed with the water that was drank by the Israelites, stuck to the beards of such as has had fallen down before it; by which they appeared with gilt beards, as a peculiar mark to distinguish those which had worshipped the calf."

This idle story is actually interwoven with the 32nd Chapter of Exodus. And Bonnemere says, in his preface, this French Bible was printed in 1495, at the request of his most Christian Majesty Charles VIII; and declares further that the French translator;

"has added nothing but the genuine truths, according to the express terms of the Latin Bible; nor omitted anything but what was improper to be translated!"

So that we are to look upon this fiction of the gilded beards as matter of fact; and another of the same stamp, inserted in the chapter above mentioned, viz., that;

"Upon Aaron's refusing to make gods for the Israelites, they spat upon him with so much fury and violence that they quite suffocated him."

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