17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, "There is the sound of war in the camp."

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Exodus 32:17

Commentary on Exodus 32:15-20

(Read Exodus 32:15-20)

What a change it is, to come down from the mount of communion with God, to converse with a wicked world. In God we see nothing but what is pure and pleasing; in the world nothing but what is sinful and provoking. That it might appear an idol is nothing in the world, Moses ground the calf to dust. Mixing this powder with their drink, signified that the backslider in heart should be filled with his own ways.