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From the Christian Bible, in the Old Testament, specifically Exodus. Moses led his people out of their time of slavery in Egypt, crossing the Red Sea which swallowed all of Pharaoh's army that was pursuing the Israelites, and following a pillar of smoke by day that turned into a pillar of fire by night.

The Israelites reached the foot of Mount Sinai (also known as Mt. Sin) after a protracted period of wandering in the desert. God called Moses up the mountain to have a little talk. While Moses was at a higher elevation, his people got restless. They started to forget the miracles that brought them out of Egypt and turned to another god to worship, hoping he'd get their butts to the Promised Land a little faster.

The Israelites got together all their gold jewelry and pots and plates, melted it down, and had it cast into the shape of a golden calf, emblem of the god Baal. Next they had a ceremony and dedicated a virgin girl to the statue, then started an orgy (i.e. the original party to end all parties). Moses came staggering down the hill, the Ten Commandments on stone tablets in his arms, and encountered the party in flagrante dilecto.

Much of this story is taken from faint remembrance of my days in Catholic school, spiced with scenes from the Cecil B. DeMille production of the film "The Ten Commandments," starring NRA poster-child Charelton Heston.