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Aaron, Biblical Figure

The male name Aaron is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is “mountain of strength”. From the Hebrew “har-on” or it could be of Egyptian origin. The Biblical Timeline indicates that Aaron was born in 1574 B.C.

Aaron was the son of Jochebed and Amram of the tribe of Levi; older brother of Moses and younger brother of Miriam; predecessor and founder of the Israelite priesthood. He was married to Elisheva, daughter of Aminadav, sister of Nahshon, with whom he had four sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

Because Moses may have suffered from a nervous stuttering condition, God had Aaron accompany him to serve as his spokesman before both Pharaoh and the Hebrew nation. Many times the Bible indicates that Moses and Aaron are seen really as a pair of leaders. God had anointed Aaron to employ the staff given by Him, and it was he who cast the staff to the ground where it turned into a serpent before Pharaoh’s eyes. Quite a few of the ten plagues were brought about by Aaron brandishing the staff. Aaron’s role did a lesson, however, during the actual Exodus.

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Together with Hur, Aaron supported Moses’ arms during the battle with the Amalekites, on the journey to Sinai. While Moses’ hands were raised to God, the Israelites advanced into the battle, however when they dropped they began to lose. Israel eventually won the battle.

Worship of the Gold Calf

When Moses ascended Mount Sinai, it was Aaron and Hur together again who were left behind in charge of the people. The Hebrew people, becoming restless during Moses’ 40-day absence up on the mountain, beseeched Aaron to make them an observable God so they could worship it. Aaron, who should have known better, collected gold from the people, and melted it down to create a calf that the Israelites immediately began to dance lewdly around and worship as an idol. When Moses came down from the mountain, he was furious. Although the Hebrew people were punished,  Aaron was let off with an admonishment.

Later, Aaron participated with Miriam in questioning Moses’ authority, suggesting that they too had been granted divine revelation. Once again, it seems as though Aaron escaped punishment, whereas Miriam was stricken with leprosy; although she recovered after only a week.

Aaron’s station of importance was officially established when God ordered Moses to consecrate him and his sons as priests. They were anointed and consecrated by Moses, and thereafter, Aaron, assisted by his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, officiated at Moses’ side. However, Aaron’s other two sons, Nadab, and Abihu, who were also anointed as priests, were killed by divine fire for making an offering that had not been commanded:

“And Aaron held his peace.” Leviticus 10:3 KJV

Imagine that. Flames devoured two of his sons, and Aaron, believing it was God’s righteous judgment, spoke not a word. Faithful silence in the face of personal tragedy. God’s ways are not our ways. To obey is better than to sacrifice, and these two sons, who should have known better, as priests, were not sacrificing in an obedient manner.

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
1 Samuel 15:22

During the uprising of Korah and his followers, Aaron stood by Moses. When the mutineers had been divinely punished, the Israelites accused Moses and Aaron of murdering God‘s people. The virulent disease, brought about by God in retribution for these atrocious accusations, was only halted when Aaron offered incense to conciliate God.

Along with Moses and Miriam, Aaron was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. Aaron died up on Mount Hor, near the border of Edom, aged 123, which, according to Biblical timelines would have been 1451 B.C. His priestly robes were transferred to his son Eleazar as a sign of succession. He was buried on the mountain, and according to Bible timelines, the people mourned his passing for 30 days.

Important World Leaders and Events During This Time

    • Egypt is the undisputed world power during this time.
    • Egyptian bondage and oppression increase, especially towards the Hebrew people.
    • This period saw the beginning of the Hurrian conquests.
    • Hittite King Mursilis I fought the Hurrians on the upper Euphrates River.

Ÿ The Cretan palaces at Knossos and other centers flourish despite disasters.
Ÿ The city of Mycenae, located in the northeast Peloponnesus, comes to dominate the rest of Achaea, giving its name to Mycenaean civilization.
Ÿ Cecrops I builds or rebuilds Athens following the great flood of Deucalion and the end of the Golden age. He becomes the first of several Kings of Athens whose life account is considered part of Greek mythology.
Ÿ Cecrops I, legendary King of Athens, dies after a reign of 50 years. Having survived his son, he is succeeded by Cranaus.
Ÿ Egypt started to conquer Nubia and the Levant.
Ÿ The element Mercury has been discovered in Egyptian tombs dating from this period.
Ÿ Settlers from Crete, Greece move to Miletus, Turkey.
Ÿ There is evidence of the Mayan civilization developing in Belize.
Ÿ The Phoenicians develop an alphabet.
Ÿ King Cheng Tang of Shang of China, the first ruler of Shang Dynasty ruled China for 29 years beginning in 1600 B.C.
Ÿ The Edomites lived south of the Dead Sea and blocked the passage of the Israelites to travel through their territory on their way north.
Ÿ The rise of Assyrian power begins to be established.
Ÿ The Kassites rose to political power in Babylon.
Ÿ The Hyksos kingdom was centered in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt.
Ÿ In Greece, there was a group of people known as “The Pelasgi,” who lived in the region of the Aegean Sea before the coming of the Greeks.
Ÿ The historical, recognizable beginnings of Persia took place in this era.
Ÿ The ancient Chinese art of astronomy is recorded.
Ÿ China is recognized as implementing the first old-age pension plans.
Ÿ Lyrical poetry begins among the ancient Greeks, usually accompanied by a lyre or other stringed instrument.

Main Bible Characters

Ÿ Aaron, the older brother of Moses, was the first high priest of Israel.
Ÿ Moses, the younger brother of Aaron.
Ÿ Jochebed and Amram, the parents of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam.
Ÿ Miriam, the older sister of Aaron.
Ÿ Elisheba, wife of Aaron, mother of their four sons
Ÿ Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, the four sons of Aaron and Elisheba
Ÿ Hur was a leader of Israel during the wandering years in the desert. He, along with Aaron was left in charge of the people while Moses went up on Mount Sinai. Possible husband of Miriam.

Main Bible References

Exodus 4:14, 27-31; 5:1, 4, 20; 6:13, 20, 23, 25-27; 7:1-2, 6-10, 12, 19-20; 8:5-6, 8,12, 16-17, 25; 9:8, 27; 10:3,8, 16; 11:10; 12:1, 28, 31,43, 50; 15:20; 16:2, 6, 9-10,33-34; 17:10,12; 18:12; 19:24; 24:1, 9,14; 27:21; 28:1-4, 12, 29-30, 35, 38, 40-41, 43; 29:4-5,9-10, 15, 19-21, 24, 26-29,32, 35, 44; 30: 7-8, 10, 19,30; 31:10; 32:1-3, 5, 21-22, 25, 35; 34:30-31; 35:19; 38:21; 39:1, 27, 41; 40:12-13, 31

Leviticus 1:5, 7-8, 11; 2:2-3, 10; 3:2, 5, 8, 13; 6:9, 14, 16, 18, 20, 25; 7:10, 31, 33-35; 8:2, 6, 12-14, 18, 22-24,27, 30-31, 36; 9:1-2, 7-9, 12, 18, 21-23; 10:1, 3-4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 19; 11:1, 13:1-2; 14:33; 15:1; 16:1-3, 6, 8-9, 11, 21, 23; 17:2, 21:1, 17, 21, 24; 22:2,4, 18; 24:3, 9

Numbers 1:3, 17, 44; 2:1; 3:1-4, 6, 9-10, 32, 38-39, 48, 51; 4:1, 5, 15-17, 19, 27-28, 33-34, 37, 41, 45-46; 6:23; 7:8; 8:2-3, 11, 13, 19-22; 9:6; 10:8; 12:1, 4-5, 10-11; 13:26; 14:2, 5,26; 15:33; 16:3, 11, 16-18, 20, 37, 40-43, 46-47, 50; 17:3, 6, 8, 10; 18:1, 8, 20,28; 19:1; 20:2,6, 8, 10, 12,23-26, 28-29; 25:7, 11; 26:1,9, 59-60, 64; 27:13; 33:1,38-39.

Deuteronomy 9:20; 10:6; 32:50.

Joshua 21:4, 10, 13, 19; 24:5, 33

Micah 6:4

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