Aaron: thoughts and scriptures

I am studying Aaron. The first High Priest. Melchizedek. Jesus the last High Priest. Lots of questions come up in my mind.

Aaron was Moses' brother, older by three years. Their sister was Miriam who was older than both. It was Aaron who spoke for Moses, (Exodus 4:15-16) and it was Aaron whom God used as the vehicle for several of the miracles before of Pharaoh.

It was Aaron who was the deputy in charge when Moses went up Mount Sinai to speak with God and receive the ten commandments. It was Aaron whose rod budded to signify once for all God had chosen Aaron and his tribe. (Numbers 17:8)

As I study, I wonder, when Moses went up the mountain and was gone so long, why did Aaron cave to the demands of the Israelites and build a Golden Calf? (Exodus 32:1-6). Why was he the one to actually collect the gold earrings and other items? Why was he proactive in inviting them to the feast? Most of all, though 3000 who participated in it were killed, why wasn't Aaron punished?

And then I was thinking about the Miriam incident. Despite being chosen to support her brother, and revered as a poet and a prophetess for her people, (Exodus 15:20, 21), Miriam got jealous- and so did Aaron. She AND Aaron grumbled, saying,

Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” (Numbers 12:2).

This happened after the Golden Calf incident so I'd have thought Aaron would be chastened for good, not having been killed with the other wrongdoers. But Miriam came to him complaining. Her name is listed first. And though Aaron's words are not recorded, there is the "we" aspect of it. "Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses" (Numbers 12:1).

So I'm thinking, was Aaron the kind of man that a person would feel comfortable complaining to? Why was Aaron so receptive? Yet again, God didn't punish Aaron but punished Miriam. If the disobedience in the Garden against God was held against Adam because he was the head of the house & knew better, why wasn't Aaron punished because he was high priest and presumably head of the house over Miriam as her brother? (I think Miriam is unmarried but I could be wrong on that). Yet Aaron escaped punishment, or even rebuke, for a second time.

He didn't make it into the Promised Land, but God said that was because of Aaron's and Moses' sin at Meribah with the waters.

So I'm going, "huh". Very interesting! My take-aways at this early stage are,

--God will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy
--Don't grumble against God
--Don't grumble against God-appointed leaders
--Don't be the kind of person people feel comfortable approaching to grumble to


Do you know why God spared Aaron's life at the Golden Calf incident? Deuteronomy 9:20 has the reason. Moses said,

And the Lord was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him. And I prayed for Aaron also at the same time.

PRAYER. The grace of God was delivered upon a rebellious man, whom a righteous man (Ez 14:14) prayed for. PRAYER! Do not neglect it! God's grace is incredible. He has mercy upon whom He will have mercy, but the prayers of a righteous man DO avail much. (James 5:16). Pray!


Further reading

All the men of the bible: Aaron

Miriam: Leading Lady of the Exodus


  1. I really liked this post. Good food for thought. I hope you will do a follow up in the future.

    1. Thanks Jennifer. God is so wonderful, I revere His power and majesty but I'm grateful for His grace and mercy too. I am always awed by prayer. Such a simple seeming thing: why wasn't Aaron killed? Someone prayed for him. Oh, mercies upon mercies, God is so good.

  2. Not sure if my comment posted! So I will just re-write it. I really appreciate your insight on so many topics. Your writing is always so thought provoking and I have been remiss in my failure to express it in the comments before now! Thank you for this post and keep it up! -Amy

  3. Exodus 32:21 And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?

    22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief.

    23 For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

    24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.

    In other words: Don't get upset with me, these people are themselves bent on sinning. All I did was collect some gold, threw it into the fire and this golden calf jumped out.

    One thing to take from all this is that God is sovereign. And Aaron may have been compelled to do something against his will. The enemy has power and dominion over the earth and without the intervention of the Almighty (the Blood of Christ and the power to choose), Because we are all set to mischief just as Aaron said.


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