John T. Willis

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Before leaving our journey through the book of Exodus, I do not feel good without attempting a sketch of a brief "survey" of the picture of Aaron, Moses' older brother (Exodus 7:7) and older sister Miriam (see Exodus 2:1-10; Numbers 12:1-16).

In the Book of Exodus, in my opinion, Aaron appears in SIX MAJOR sets of events. [YOU might see these in a different way. Help me on this analysis].

1. At the burning bush. Exodus 4:10-31. Moses' fourth and fifth "excuses" NOT to go back to Egypt from Midian were: (4) I am not a good speaker; and (5) Send someone else. In response to this, Yahweh declared that AARON "can speak fluently," SO Moses can speak to Aaron, then Aaron can speak to the Israelites--Exodus 4:14-16. As MOSES' "spokesman" and "mouth," in a previous blog, I tried to emphasize the Moses' then is Aaron's PROPHET--so says Exodus 7:1. As Aaron was Moses' prophet [spokesman, mouth], so a human prophet like Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc., is Yahweh's spokesman, mouth.

2. In the stories primarily having to do with the ten plagues in Exodus 5:1-15:21, Aaron plays an important role alongside Moses. Repeatedly, "Moses and Aaron" approach Pharaoh "together" with the request, Let the Israelites go into the wilderness three days to worship Yahweh.

3. In the stories primarily having to do with the four instances of the Israelite "complaining" or "murmuring" between the Red Sea and Mount Sinai in Exodus 15:22-18:27, "Moses and Aaron" work "together" in dealing with these complaints. (Note, for example Exodus 16:2, 9. When the Amalekites attack the Israelites, Aaron and Hur hold up the hands of Moses as Joshua and the Israelites defeat their enemies according to Exodus 17:8-16. Again, Aaron and the elders of Israel eat with Moses and Jethro in a great sacrificial meal according to Exodus 18:12.

4. When Yahweh appeared on Mount Sinai to give the Ten Commandments and the Book of the Covenant, Aaron played an important role, according to Exodus 19-24. Note, for example, Exodus 19:24; 24:1, 9, 14.

5. In the depiction of the tabernacle and the priestly vestments and ordination in Exodus 25-31; 35-40, Aaron plays an important role. Aaron and his four sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar are the HIGH PRIESTS, descendants of the tribe of Levi, initiate the high priesthood in Israel under the instructions of Moses originating from God. Especially, they are to wear the breastpiece, ephod, robe, Urim and Thummim, etc., all of which play a major role in the following stories about the Israelites.

6. Aaron leads the Israelites in sin at the golden calf as recorded in Exodus 32. Like Moses, Aaron did some great things in God's behalf, but both Moses and Aaron committed great sins, so that ultimately God did not allow either of them to enter into the promised land of Canaan. See especially Numbers 20:1-13, 22-29; Deuteronomy 34.

[I want to thank all of you who patiently followed along this journey through the Book of Exodus. Thanks for your comments. I need all the help I can get. NOW, I am leaving the Book of Exodus behind. I will turn next to a study through the Book of Job. I hope this will be invigorating, challenging, and encouraging].

Let me hear from YOU. Share your thoughts with your friends and those around YOU.

John Willis


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