Aaron

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In the Hebrew Bible, Aaron אַהֲרֹן ′ahărōn, Greek (Septuagint): Ἀαρών; often called Aaron the priest (אֵהֲרֹן הֵכֹּהֵן) and once Aaron the Levite (אַהֲרֹן הַלֵּוִי) (Exodus 4:14) was the older brother of Moses (Exodus 6:16-20, 7:7; and a prophet of God. Unlike Moses, who grew up in the Egyptian royal court, Aaron and his elder sister Miriam remained with their kinsmen in the eastern border-land of Egypt (Goshen). When Moses first confronted the Egyptian king about the Israelites, Aaron served as his brother's spokesman ("prophet") to Pharaoh. (Exodus 7:1-9) Part of the Law (Torah) that Moses received from God at Sinai granted Aaron the priesthood for himself and his male descendants, and he became the first High Priest of the Israelites. Aaron died before the Israelites crossed the Jordan river and he was buried on Mount Hor (Numbers 33:39; Numbers 20:22-29, Numbers 33:38-39. Deuteronomy 10:6 says he died and was buried at Moserah). Aaron is also mentioned in the New Testament of the Bible in Luke 1:5, Acts 7:40, Hebrews 5:4, 7:11, and 9:4.

Account in the Hebrew Bible

Traditional genealogy

Descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Great-grandfather: Levi

Grandfather: Kohath

Father: Amram

Mother: Jochebed

Older Sister: Miriam

Younger Brother: Moses

Uncles: Izhar, Hebron, Uzziel

Wife: Elisheba

Sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, Ithamar

Grandson: Phinehas

According to the Book of Exodus, Aaron first functioned as Moses' assistant. Because Moses complained that he could not speak well, God appointed Aaron as Moses' "prophet" (Exodus 4:10-17; 7:1).

He spoke and acted on behalf of Moses with the Egyptian royal court, including performing miraculous "signs" to validate Moses' mission. Exodus 4:10 At the command of Moses, he let his rod turn into a snake (Exodus 7:9-12). Then he stretched out his rod in order to bring on the first three plagues (Exodus 7:19, 8:1,12).After that, Moses tended to act and speak for himself (Exodus 9:23, 10:13,22).

During the journey in the wilderness, Aaron was not always prominent or active. At the battle with Amalek, he was chosen with Hur to support the hand of Moses that held the "rod of God" (Exodus 17:9). When the revelation was given to Moses at Mount Sinai, he headed the elders of Israel who accompanied Moses on the way to the summit. While Joshua went with Moses to the top, however, Aaron and Hur remained below to look after the people (Exodus 24:9-14). From here on in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, Joshua appears in the role of Moses' assistant while Aaron functions instead as the first high priest.

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