- After the death of Solomon the usurper Jeroboam sought to strengthen his hold on the northern 10 tribes by making two golden calves. The declarations of Aaron's followers and Jeroboam are almost identical:
'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt' (Exod 32:4, 8);
'Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt (1 Kings 12:28)
After making the golden calf or golden calves both Aaron and Jeroboam celebrate festivals. Aaron builds an altar and Jeroboam ascends an altar (Exod 32:5–6; 1 Kings 12:32–33).
Richard Elliott Friedman says "at a minimum we can say that the writer of the golden calf account in Exodus seems to have taken the words that were traditionally ascribed to Jeroboam and placed them in the mouths of the people." Friedman believes that the story was turned into a polemic, exaggerating the throne platform decoration into idolatory, by a family of priests sidelined by Jeroboam.
- Jeroboam and his two golden calves