What do You Know about Aaron?

When we consider the man Aaron, how much do we really know of him? Perhaps we know him as the brother of Moses. Others may know that he had some sons and that two died before the Lord. Perhaps, you know him from his rod in the Ark of the Covenant. But, what many people remember him for and for what he is commonly known for throughout the religious world is a man who built a golden calf. But, consider if you will, the life of Aaron.

Aaron’s genealogy and his family are mentioned in Ex. 6:20, 23. Aaron was three years older than Moses (Exo. 7:7). But, Aaron was not just a brother to Moses. They were partners in work of the Lord. In the Pentateuch he is called the Levite of priest and he is Uirst mentioned when Yahweh appoints him as the spokesman for Moses in the mission to Pharaoh. In Exo. 4:10–‐17, after Moses complains that he doesn’t know how to talk to people, Aaron was chosen by God to be the prophet of Moses. Thus, Moses was to be to Aaron as God and Aaron was to speak the words that Moses spoke to him (vs. 16). And so, Aaron in vs. 27–‐31, spoke to the people as Moses had instructed.

Aaron was Moses’ right hand man who appeared together before the Egyptian king. The relationship between them furthered when Aaron along with Hur supported Moses during the battle with the Amalekites (Exo. 17:8–‐13). It was Aaron who held up one of the hands of Moses so that the will of God could be accomplished. Furthermore, when the covenant was made at Sinai, Aaron and his sons Nadab and Abihu, accompanied Moses to the base of the mountain in which Moses went up to gather the words of God.

Now, we know that as Moses was one the mountain, that Aaron made a golden calf, which also excused him self saying that the people made him do it (Exo. 32). Again, in Numb. 12, Aaron appears in an unfavorable light as he criticizes Moses and his wife. You see, Aaron had for a brief moment, forgotten his place thinking that just because God had also spoken to Aaron directly (Lev. 13:1; 14:33; 15:1; 19:1), that he felt the law could come through someone else besides Moses (Numb. 12:2). Of course, Aaron was mistaken. Now, there were still some great things that Aaron was a part of. The priesthood was instituted at Sinai and solemnly bestowed upon Aaron, his four sons and their descendants (Exo. 28). Aaron was to be given holy garments that were for glory as well as beauty (Exo. 28:2) and he was a type of high priest, by which, the priest descended down through his family with Nadab, Abihu, Ithamar and Eleazer (Lev. 10:1–‐7). And, he continued to stand for God and with his brother Moses even when hungry people murmured against them both (Exo. 16). It was he who spoke to the people about their murmuring.

Aaron and Moses, close brother to the very end. In Num. 20 we read of the people having no water in which they go against Moses and Aaron again. Aaron and Moses were told to take the rod (vs. 8) and speak to the rock before the congregation. Moses struck the rock and Aaron spoke words that were in rebellion to the Lord’s words (Num. 20:12, 24). As a result, both of them were forbidden to lead the children of Israel to the promise land and both died.

With Moses dying soon, Aaron died at Mosera (Deut. 10:6) on the mount of Hor (Numb. 20:22–‐29) at the age of 123 (Num. 20:29). This was during the 40th year of the wilderness wanderings (Num. 33:38–‐39). And, while Eleazar, his son took his place as priest (Deut. 10:6), all of Israel mourned Aaron for 30 days (Num. 20:29).

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