Aaron was the brother of Moses and the first high priest of the Hebrew nation. “In very ancient narratives, he appears without specifically priestly features, as a leader with Hur, or as Miriam’s brother with no mention of their being related to Moses, to whom they even appear opposed.” (Oxford Guide to People & Places)
Very little is known about Aaron’s early life, other than his marriage to Elisheba, daughter of Amminadad, who bore him four sons. He was of the priestly tribe of Levi, and Elisheba was of the tribe of Judah. He was younger than his sister Miriam, but three years older than Moses. “His first two sons perished when they offered sacrifices with fire that God had not commanded them to make (Lev 10:1,2; 16:1,2).” (Holman Bible Dictionary)
When the Lord ordered Moses to go to Pharaoh and ask him to let the Israelites leave Egypt, Moses pleaded that he was not a good speaker. The Lord told him that Aaron, his brother, would serve as his spokesman because he was a good speaker.
Aaron went into the wilderness and met Moses. The two brothers embraced, and Moses repeated the Lord’s commandments. They then sent for the Israelite elders. Aaron informed them that the Lord was about to release them from their slavery, and convinced them by performing magic signs.
Moses and Aaron appeared before Pharaoh, and at first asked for permission for the Israelites to journey into the wilderness to hold a feast to their God. Pharaoh refused, and increased the burden of the Hebrew slaves, who then blamed the brothers for these new hardships. Once again they appeared before Pharaoh to urge their plea. To impress Pharaoh with a miracle, Aaron threw down his rod and it turned into a serpent. Pharaoh sent for his sorcerers who performed the same feat but Aaron’s “serpent” swallowed their rods. “After their dramatic crossing of the Red (or Reed) Sea, the Israelites were attacked in the desert by fierce Amalekite nomads. All day Moses sat on a hill-top while Aaron and Hur stood on either side of him and held up his hands grasping the sacred rod, until the attackers were repulsed.” (Who’s Who in the Old Testament)
Twenty years after this, when the children of Israel were encamped in the wilderness of Paran [NE Sinai], Korah, Dathan, and Abiram conspired against Aaron and his sons; a fearful judgment from God fell upon them, and they were destroyed, and the next day thousands of the people also perished by a fierce pestilence, the ravages of which were only stayed by the interposition of Aaron.
“Through anointing by Moses (Ex 29:7); Lev 8:5-12) Aaron became ‘the priest’ (Ex 31:10; 35:19; 38:21; Lev 13:2; Num 18:28). (Interpreter’s Dictionary) The special vestments he wore were those worn by pre-exilic monarchs (Ex 28:1-38); such seems certainly to be the case with the breastplate (Ex 28: 15-30) and the turban and its gold plate (Ex 28: 36-38). “The priest was an important figure in Israelite religion, a member of a specific family.” (Complete Bible Handbook) The special role of the priesthood, and the details of Temple worship, were elaborated in the P (priestly) Document in the post-exilic period, in about the 4th century BC. It is mainly from this late source that these themes were injected into the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Aaron’s importance as the founder of the priesthood and the first high priest was thereby magnified in retrospect.
Aaron was implicated in the sin of his brother at Meribah (Num 20:8-13), and on that account was not permitted to enter the Promised Land.
Before the Children of Israel entered the Promised Land, they reached Mount Hor. “Exactly where Mount Hor was is not definitely known,” (Peloubet’s Select Notes) but it was probably near the southern end of the Red Sea. The Lord told Moses to take Aaron up the mountain, together with his son Eleazar. Aaron’s vestments were placed upon Eleazar, who succeeded him as high priest. Aaron then died, at the age of one-hundred and twenty-three.
(The main part of the story of Aaron is told in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers.)
TIME LINE: 1529-1517 BC Thutmose
1517-1504 Thutmose II
1504-1453 Thutmose III
1504-1483 Queen Hatshepshut
1453-1426 Amenhotep II
@1446 First Passover
@1446 Exodus/Wilderness Wanderings
1426-1416 Thutmose IV
1416-1377 Amenhotep III
@1279-1212 Ramesses II
945- 925 Shishak I
@900 Osorkon I
690- 664 Tirhakah
609- 593 Neco
588- 566 Hophra
Pharaoh is the Hebrew word for the title held by the king of Egypt down to the time when the country was conquered by the Greeks. This word was used in the Bible either by itself or attached to the king’s name.
The king of Egypt was considered a god by his subjects. Theoretically, all of the land of Egypt and its products belonged to the pharaoh, and his word was the law of the land.
Six pharaohs are mentioned by name in the Old Testament; four others are identified. In all likelihood, one of the unnamed ones mentioned in the days of Moses was the “Pharaoh of the Exodus” often identified by biblical scholars as Ramesses II (1279-1212 B.C.) or, somewhat less likely, his son and successor Merenptah (1212-1202 B.C.). Ramesses II may also have been the “new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph,” who started to use the Isrealites as forced labor for building the store-cities of Pithom and Rameses.
The Pharaoh of Joseph's days was probably Apopi, or Apopis, the last of the Hyksos kings. To the old native Egyptians, who were an African race, shepherds were "an abomination;" but to the Hyksos kings these Asiatic shepherds who now appeared with Jacob at their head were congenial, and being akin to their own race, had a warm welcome. Some argue that Joseph came to Egypt in the reign of Thothmes III, long after the expulsion of the Hyksos, and that his influence is to be seen in the rise and progress of the religious revolution in the direction of monotheism which characterized the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty. The wife of Amenophis III., of that dynasty, was a Semite. Is this singular fact to be explained from the presence of some of Joseph's kindred at the Egyptian court? Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee: the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell.”
Eiseman, Gertrude W., “Aaron’s Rod,” Christian Science Journal (May 1960), p. 225.
--When the Hebrew nation was organized at Sinai, a national sanctuary and services for the people were planned.
• Under God’s guidance, Moses chose Aaron and his sons to serve as priests of the tabernacle.
---The priests were consecrated for this service by special ceremonies.
• The high priest was to be an especially holy man, with a spiritual charge to keep the children of Israel alert to their obligations to God.
--According to the account in the Book of Numbers in the Bible, certain of the Israelites rebelled against the selection of Aaron and his house, and Moses was told by God how the choice might be confirmed.
The direction which he received was that the chief of each of the twelve tribes should bring a rod with his name written upon it; Aaron’s name was to be inscribed on the rod for the tribe of Levi.
---These rods, or boughs, were to be placed in the tabernacle and God would send a sign which would indicate His approval of whoever was to hold the priestly office.
Gratke, Fredda R., “’Go unto Pharaoh’,” Christian Science Journal (February 1938), p. 617.
--Without the revelation to Moses of the omnipotence of God, his subsequently mighty works could not have been consummated.
--Not to a personal leader can the world turn today for deliverance from its bondage to the Pharaohs of ignorance and hate, sin, disease, and death.
The Christian Science textbook, in giving us the “key” to the Scriptures, has brought the understanding of the universality and power of Truth, and of the impersonal and unreal nature of evil.
---What threatens humanity today is erroneous material thinking.
--we…may have part in the great work of warfare against evil.
“Moses, or Aaron?,”Christian Science Journal (January 1891), p. 423.
--Error (Pharaoh) will not be moved by Science, until the very belief of life in error is touched; then, it cries out to Moses to take the people forth to serve God in their own way.
• Thousands of years have made no change in the demonstrations in Truth, or in the unbelief of error.
---These same scenes are being re-enacted to-day.
• When with the light of Science we see that all this depicts phases of mind, we have before us Moses, Aaron, Pharaoh and the magicians of Egypt; while as a result of demonstration, destruction of this error, we see one individual, who has triumphed over the fear of intelligent matter, lead three millions of people out from the bondage of sin.
Buskirk, Judge Clarence A. (CS and Lecturer), “Some Thoughts Concerning Miracles,” Christian Science Journal (July 1904), p. 207.
--In Science and Health we read, "The destruction of sin is the divine method of pardon; divine Life destroys death, Truth destroys error, and Love destroys hate. Being destroyed, sin needs no other form of forgiveness."
• "The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness, and so disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light, and sin to reformation" (pp. 339, Pref. xi.).
--The word miracle is defined in one of our recent standard dictionaries as "An act or effect sensibly deviating from the known laws of nature, wrought or supposed to be wrought by the direct interposition, aid, or permission of a supernatural being; a supernatural event or act."
• This definition is worded with extreme care.
---The current theological assertion is less cautious and justifies a definition as
follows: A supernatural event or act, sensibly deviating from the laws of nature, wrought by the direct interposition, aid, or permission of God.
• It is immaterial to our present thought, however, which of these definitions be adopted.
--The theologic concept of a miracle is chiefly indebted for its element of supernaturalism to post-apostolic ecclesiasticism.
“Needed: a New Moses,”Christian Science Monitor (21 May 1992), p. 21.
--When the children of Israel were oppressed in Egypt, God, divine Love, raised up Moses to free them from subjection and inequity.
• Moses’ declaration of God’s message has echoed down the centuries: “Let my people go.”
---Are you willing to let the Moses in you be called into action?
--Moses did not find God’s charge to him easy.
• But his innate spirituality made him conscious of God’s law.
---He felt the compelling power of divine law within.
---He came to know God as the great lawmaker.
• This made him incapable of ignoring injustice.
--Those seeking spiritual guidance…will find the history of Moses, as recorded in the book of Exodus in the Bible, a sound stating point.
“Christian Science vs. Mind Cure,”Christian Science Journal (December 1885), p. 159.
--Truth is manifest in unity of statement, quality and proof; error is found in multiplicity of statements, lack of basis, no lack of duplicity.
• Truth is born of Light; error is the story of a serpent.
---Truth declares that God made and governs the universe and man, and that all is
finished, complete, and good.
--In the words of "Science and Health," we welcome the increase of knowledge, because it must have its day.
• It is going out in the final frenzy of despair, "knowing it hath but a short time."
---Under the mask of "Mind Cure," it figures feasibly for a time, and until the
infinite of Truth spoils this masquerade, handles the serpent, destroys its poison, bruises and breaks its head.
SECTION V: Exorcism of the Demonized Boy (Mark 9: 17,18,21,22,24-27)
“son, which hath a dumb spirit” TIME LINE: The Year of Opposition and Development (Jesus’ 3rd year of ministry) @29 AD
PARALLEL GOSPELS: Matt 17: 14-20; Luke 9: 37-43
This story is abbreviated drastically in Mark and Luke, and loses some genuine and valuable material. It is referred to as the “healing of the lunatic,” “the epileptic healed,” or “an epileptic healed.” Matthew uses the word “lunatic” because epileptics were supposed to be affected by the changes of the moon (luna). “The first half of the…story focuses on the failure of the disciples, the second on the faith of the boy’s father.” (Oxford Commentary)
After the serene image of the transfiguration, Jesus descends from the mount to resume His works of benevolence. He who has communed with God and His prophets in the very atmosphere of heaven, now mingles in the common life of men, and concerns himself with their troubles. He was full of grace as well as truth.
The scribes had taken advantage of Jesus’ absence to undermine his influence with the multitude. The return of Jesus discomfited the scribes.
The reference to the “dumb spirit” in v.17 refers to “a demonically-induced inability to speak, a detail found only in Mark’s account.” (MacArthur’s Commentary) “The youth’s problem was more than his inability to speak (v.18). The indwelling demon persistently gave him convulsions.” (King James Commentary) “The exorcism of the demonized boy provides Jesus the opportunity to demonstrate a power far beyond that of his disciples, who had earlier received authority over demons (Mark 6:7).” (Eerdmans Commentary)
The epileptic was healed.
Barker, Mary Lucretia, “’Lord, I believe,’” Christian Science Sentinel (19 June 1948), p. 1068.
“Lord, I believe;
Help thou mine unbelief.”
The dawn-fresh streams of Love spring forth
From rocks of doubt and grief.
God, ever near,
Shines through the veil of fear,
Declares with tender mother-love,
“Life unafraid is here.”
Man walks in joy and light,
Reflecting all the Father’s grace
And brightness of His might.
Wright, Ralph (Technical Writer, Pompano Beach, FL), “A healing of epilepsy opened life’s doors,” PROTEST FOR HEALTH, Christian Science Sentinel (10 November 2003), p. 16.
--As a very young boy I was plagued with convulsions.
--Caring doctors from two hospitals had been unable to offer me any solution, and I wanted to have more of a future than they could promise.
--Mother made an appointment with a Christian Science practitioner
• she told me something I’d never heard before: that God had made me in His own image and likeness, as the Bible says.
---She said that because I was made in God’s image and likeness, my wholeness was unimpaired.
--Spiritual healing is waking up to the reality of who we are as God’s image and likeness—which is exactly the concept that the practitioner had offered to me in her healing treatment and prayer.
--That one visit to the practitioner, and her one-prayer treatment, was all that I needed.
• I was totally healed of epilepsy.
SECTION VI: Paul’s Greeting to Timothy (II Tim 1: 1,2)
TIME LINE: 63 AD in Rome
“Paul, now imprisoned…in Rome and expecting death by execution very soon, renews his exhortations to Timothy at Ephesus.” (Peake’s Commentary)
“Paul reminded Timothy that, despite their intimate spiritual relationship, the apostle wrote to him with spiritual authority given him by God. This established the necessity that not only Timothy, but also all others comply with the inspired mandates of the epistle.” (MacArthur Commnetary)