-Chosen by God to be Moses' Spokesman
Israel's First High Priest-
AARON (meaning mountain of strength) was born during the oppression of Israel in Egypt, before the Exodus to the Promised Land, in approximately 1500 B.C. He was Miriam's younger brother and Moses' elder brother. His parents were Jochebed and Amram who were from the tribe of Levi that became Israel's tribe of priests. Aaron had four sons.
Aaron kept contact with Israel's leaders and maintained the belief in The One God of his forefathers, and did not forget his brother during Moses' forty-year exile from Egypt. Being eloquent of speech, he served graciously as Moses' spokesman before Pharaoh to plead for the freedom of their nation as God instructed. More than once he stretched out his staff to bring God's plagues on the land. God performed a miracle by turning Aaron's rod into a serpent and when the Egyptian magicians were able to do the same using magical arts, the serpent from Aaron's rod swallowed the others whole, which proved the dominance of the supernatural powers at work.
Aaron was chosen by God to be the Nation of Israel's first high priest. He experienced the honour of heading Israel's official priesthood, being consecrated, set apart for God and set apart to the office, wearing the first priestly garments, and initiating the sacrificial system under God's command. He and his sons were anointed with oil under God's orders. Although Aaron took on the special rules of conduct, clothing, and ritual cleanness, he of course, could not live up to such high standards perfectly. Firstly he had to offer sacrifices for his own sins, then in his cleansed, holy office, he offered sacrifices for others.
At Mt. Sinai, Aaron and his two older sons, were called to go up the mountain with Moses and seventy elders. There they worshiped and ate and drank in heavenly fellowship. As Moses went farther up, he left Aaron in charge but as Moses delayed on the mountain, but the people became impatient and asked Aaron for action of worshiping a god. Aaron too easily obliged and made a calf and apparently led in its worship. Their sin was idolatry. Aaron was not specifically judged.
On another occasion, he and Miriam spoke against Moses' marriage to a foreign woman. Aaron and Miriam were jealous of their younger brother; really, their murmuring was against God's selection. Second place did not satisfy them. Aaron was not as harshly judged as his sister Miriam. Again he was not the instigator but the accomplice, a people pleaser, although he served God faithfully as High Priest. He confessed his sin and pleaded for mercy for Miriam.
At another time, God testified to Aaron's priestly leadership in the miraculous budding, blossoming and producing of almond fruit on his staff, all at the one time. Aaron again sinned when the people cried for water in the desert when he joined in Moses' presumptuous sin as they seized the action of the Lord' power for themselves by not trusting and honouring Him. They were instructed to speak to a rock to bring forth water but in temper it was struck twice with the staff. Both were in breach of God's holiness and both were refused entry into the Promised Land because of it.
In the wilderness Aaron and Hur of Judah helped Moses hold up the staff, the symbol of God's power, so that Israel would prevail in battle. He bore the burdens of his office as his sons were killed for their disobedience and he could not mourn for them. They had perished when they offered sacrifices with fire that God had not commanded them to make. Two priestly lines developed from the remaining younger sons.
Aaron, like Moses, did not enter the Promised Land. Nearby on the border of Edom after forty years of his priesthood, Moses took Aaron up mount Hor, transferred his high priestly garments to his son, Eleazar, and Aaron died there at the age of 123 years. Israel mourned for their first high priest thirty days.
In his imperfection, Aaron still served as a symbol or type of the perfect priest as seen in Christ when He was described as eternal priest. Aaron established an office full of symbolic meaning for Israel.
Aaron played an important role in God's plan. He and his sons
are a type of Christ and His church. With all his faults, Aaron was a man
chosen by God.
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