And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)
And when Moses saw that the people were naked,.... Not in their bodies, being stripped of their ear rings; for parting with them was not sufficient to denominate them naked in a corporeal sense; nor as being without their armour, which was laid aside while they were eating, and drinking, and dancing about the calf, and so might be thought a proper opportunity for the Levites to fall upon them, by the order of Moses, and slay them: but it can hardly be thought that all the people bore arms, and that Moses took the advantage of their being without them: but rather they were naked in their souls, through their sin, and the shame of their nakedness appeared; their sin was made manifest, and they were discovered to be what they were; and they were now deprived of the divine protection; the cloud was departing from them, the symbol of the divine Presence, God being provoked by their sins; unless it is to be understood of their ceasing from work, and keeping holy day in honour of the calf, and so were loitering about, and not attending to the business of their callings, in which sense the word sometimes seems to be used, see Exodus 5:4
for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame amongst their enemies; to part with their ear rings, or lay aside their armour while feasting, could not be so much to their shame among their enemies; but to sin against God, in the manner they did, was to their shame, which Aaron was a means of by not doing all he could to hinder it, and by doing what he did to encourage it; and now he made them naked to their shame by exposing it, saying they were a people set on mischief, and given up to sin and wickedness; and what they had now done served to expose them to shame even among their enemies, both now and hereafter; when they should hear of their shameful revolt from God, after so many great and good things done for them, and of the change of their gods, and of their fickleness about them, which was not usual with the Gentiles: though the last word may be rendered, "among those that rise up from you"; that should spring from them, come up in their room, and succeed them, their posterity, as in Numbers 32:14 and so Onkelos renders it, "to your generations", and is so to be understood, as Abendana observes; and then the sense is, that this sin of making and worshipping the golden calf, and keeping a holy day, would be to their shame and disgrace, among their posterity, in all succeeding ages.
(If is quite possible the people were physically naked, having taken off all their clothes to indulge in the idolatrous worship of the calf and sexual immorality that usually is associated with such wicked practices. Editor.)