According to Ezekiel 20, Ezekiel received the following word from YHVH regarding the rebellion of Israel while they were still in Egypt:
[A]nd say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am the LORD your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands.
And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.
“Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. (Ezekiel 20:5-10 ESV)
I’ve always wondered where this event was recorded because it is not listed in Exodus.
Earlier this morning I stumbled across the following passage in the Book of Jasher:
And Aaron his [Moses’] brother alone remained in the land of Egypt, and he prophesied to the children of Israel, saying, Thus says the Lord God of your ancestors, Throw away, each man, the abominations of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. And the children of Israel rebelled and would not hearken to Aaron at that time. And the Lord thought to destroy them, were it not that the Lord remembered the covenant which he had made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In those days the hand of Pharaoh continued to be severe against the children of Israel, and he crushed and oppressed them until the time when God sent forth his word and took notice of them. (Jasher 71:12-16)
I find it interesting that according to verse 11 it was Aaron that gave this instruction, while Moses was away, outside the borders of Egypt, a distance of 40-days’ journey.
And the angel of the Lord took hold of the right hand of Moses, and brought him forth from Egypt, and placed him from without the borders of Egypt, a distance of forty days’ journey. (Jasher 71:11)
Perhaps this was a foreshadowing of things to come in the wilderness when Moses was gone up the mountain of Sinai for forty days, when the children of Israel had their golden calf experience with Aaron at the helm, as recorded in Exodus 32.
And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them?” And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.” (Exodus 32:21-24 ESV)