And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
Read Chapter 12
George Leo Haydock
Sin, almost irreparable, which brought on the ruin of the ten tribes. Though the calves were taken away along with them into captivity, the people did not return to the service of the Lord: but the greatest part imitated the conduct of the pagans, with whom they mixed; while some few returned with the tribe of Juda, and made a part of that kingdom. The Samaritans, who were sent to inhabit their country, were not of the race of Jacob. (Calmet)
Now let us talk also about the second kind of scandal, which, we said, arises from human cleverness.… Jeroboam raised up a scandal. He set up as gods for the people, golden calves—pitiful images—to keep them from seeking the living God, the true temple, God’s law, the rightly appointed kings and their ancestral rites. Consequently, the whole people thus delivered over to error became a source of scandal like that given, according to the apostle, when a person eats, as harmless to his own conscience, the flesh of animals that were sacrificed to idols. He thinks that through such conduct he may well bring contempt on the inanimate stones and wooden gods that can neither sanctify nor profane anything. But what he thinks is an example of his faith becomes an occasion of error for uninstructed people, for it leads them not to contempt but to worship, and it causes the meal to appear to be a banquet of religious honor to those very inanimate gods that he is intentionally diminishing by this ...