Machiavelli's Creation Of The Golden Calf

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Machiavelli had a great appreciation for Moses and the methods he used to retain his power, specifically in Exodus 32 where Moses punishes his people for the creation and worship of the Golden Calf. Machiavelli believes that violence is necessary for a leader to hold onto their power, “…all armed prophets have conquered, and the unarmed ones have been destroyed.” (6). Without a leader taking up arms it allows for others to usurp them and gain control. Moses goes so far to say “…. Put every man his sword on his thigh… and each man kill his brother and each man his fellow and each man his kin.’” (Ex 32:27-28) which results in some 3,000 Levites being slaughtered.
In addition, the specific reason behind Machiavelli supporting Moses takes up in arms, is that he is killing his potential rivals, and therefore doing it for the good of the group. Machiavelli believed that the creation of the Golden Calf was by those that were envious of Moses, that this creation of an idol was done to regain some control over the group. If his rivals could create a different god, one that favored themselves instead of Moses and was more palatable for the people, they could now become the chosen leader, and cast out Moses. This would allow them to gain control of a vast number of people, that now that Moses has done the extremely difficult work of
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Moses against his own to set up a system of law, and Romulus against his brother. The only difference that Machiavelli mentions between the two is that Moses has the divine word of God, it is God that has made the laws, and he who is the true king. “…he having been a mere executor of the will of God, yet he ought to be admired, if only for that favour which made him worthy to speak with God.” (ch6), Machiavelli refers to God as the best teacher, who Moses was incredibly lucky to have. While Romulus does not have

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