Aaron was the older brother of Moses, and a prophet of God.
Moses could be considered the greatest Hebrew leader, but much of his success came with the assistance of his brother, Aaron. He served as Moses’ spokesperson… and stood by him in every tough battle.
See Exodus 4:14-16… The first mention of Aaron, and is mentioned by God.
Aaron’s duties included being a speaker, and implied personal dealings with the Egyptian royal court. He, along with Moses, performed miracles before his people which impressed them with the fact God was with them.
See Exodus 4:28-31… Moses & Aaron Begin to Work Together.
See Exodus 5:1,2,4… Aaron before the Pharaoh for the First Time.
See Exodus 7:1,2,6,8-13… Aaron’s Rod Becomes a Snake.
See Exodus 7:19,20… Water is turned to blood.
See Exodus 8:5,6… Frogs everywhere!
See Exodus 8:16,17… Dust becomes gnats/lice.
At the command of Moses, Aaron stretched out his rod in order to bring on the 1st of 3 plagues. From here on, Moses does his own speaking and calling forth of plagues… seemingly no longer dependent on Aaron.
Older than Moses by 3yrs, Aaron was chosen by God to be Moses’ spokesman. Together they would lead the people from the Promised Land (though neither would get to enter it)… far away from Egyptian whips and chains. Aaron did not have Moses’ strength of will or visionary leadership, but he could speak with clarity and (usually) followed loyally. He stood at Moses’ side through many confrontations with Pharaoh and his magicians.
Capable #2s turn good leaders into great leaders! Teamwork is important… and a staff of trusted helpers is a leader’s greatest resource.
See Exodus 12:43a… Aaron is More Priest than Brother.
See Exodus 16:2,6,7… Leading as a Team.
See Exodus 24:1,9,10… The Covenant Ratified.
During the time in the wilderness, Aaron is not always prominent or active… but is always there.
See Exodus 28:1-3; 29:44… At the time when the tribe of Levi was set aside for priestly service, Aaron was anointed and consecrated to the priesthood, arrayed in the robes of his office, and instructed in its many duties.
But, on the very day of his consecration, his own sons, Nadab & Abihu, were consumed by fire from God for having offered incense in an unlawful manner (Lev. 10).
Aaron’s high priesthood was intended to be the prototype of the Jewish high priest.
Aaron offered the various sacrifices and performed the many ceremonies of the consecration of the new priests.
Most of Leviticus and much of the first part of Numbers would be given to Aaron to carry out.
See Exodus 32:1-5,21-24… The Golden Calf
Aaron was the spiritual leader of the congregation of almost a half-million people, but he still made mistakes… and this one was HUGE!
The people decided they wanted an idol – something physical & visible – they could rally around. And Aaron gave in. He supervised the construction of the golden calf; and we have no record he raised a single objection or suggested a single alternative.
When he was confronted by Moses, Aaron tried to play the part of an innocent bystander caught in something he had no power to stop. He claimed the people threw their gold into the fire and – abracadabra – out popped a golden calf.
Here is an example of what can happen when we let the winds of public opinion… or what might seem popular at the time… blow us away from God’s best for us. Aaron should have held on. He could have held on. God would have seen to the rebels…
See Numbers 12:1,2,9… Complaining against Moses, with Miriam
From the time of their stay at Mt. Sinai, where he became the anointed priest of Israel, Aaron ceased to be the under-leader with Moses… that place being taken by Joshua. But, Aaron is mentioned in this text jealously complaining against the executive claims of Moses as God’s prophet.
See Numbers 16:1-3,19-22,25-33… The Rebellion of Korah
The validity of the exclusive priesthood of Aaron’s family line was affirmed after the ill-fated rebellion of Korah, who was a first cousin of Aaron. When the earth opened up and swallowed the leaders of the rebellion, Eleazar, Aaron’s son, was commissioned to take charge of the censers of the dead priests. And, when the plague had broken out among the people who had sympathized with the rebels, Aaron, at Moses’ command, took the censer and stood between the living and the dead until the plague was stalled.
See Numbers 17:1-5,7-10… Aaron’s Rod Buds
Each of the tribal princes of Israel took a rod and wrote his name on it, and the 12 rods were laid overnight in the Tent of Meeting. The next morning, Aaron’s rod was found to have budded and blossomed and to have produced ripe almonds. The miracle further affirmed the priestly lineage of Aaron’s family, and also the priestly nature of the Levites.
See Numbers 20:23-29… Aaron’s Death, at the age of 123yrs.
Aaron, like Moses, was not permitted to enter Canaan with the others.