Τρίτη 12 Μαρτίου 2024

Prophet Aaron, March 12

Prophet Aaron, (Hebrew: אהֲרֹן) was the son of Amram and Jochaved and was the first High Priest of Israel. He came from the tribe of Levi and was the older brother of Moses and Maryam. He married Elizabeth, with whom he had 4 sons: Nadav, Avius, Eleazar and Ithamar..
He was born in Egypt. He was able to speak and this was the reason why Moses, who was slow of speech, when he received an order from God to appear before Pharaoh and ask him for the release of the people of Israel, he had Aaron with him. Of course, Moses was the leader of the Israelites. Aaron was his assistant. The Old Testament calls him the right hand and voice of Moses. Aaron tried to convince Pharaoh to let the Israelites go to their homeland. Pharaoh refused and made the tyranny even harder. Aaron presented himself again to Pharaoh. But he again refused. Then Aaron, with the power of God, let go of his staff and it became a snake, moving its tongues threateningly against Pharaoh. Aaron grabbed it by the tail and it turned back into a staff form.

The next day Aaron stretched out his staff over the Nile before Pharaoh. The waters of the river turned to blood, the fish died, the people had no water. But Pharaoh was unmoved. He considered these miracles acts of magic. Only when the ten plagues were inflicted did Pharaoh let the Israelites go.

When they reached Mount Sinai, Moses was absent for forty days to receive the Ten Commandments. The long absence of Moses on the top of the mountain became the occasion for causing a disturbance among the people, who demanded from Aaron to give them "gods" to lead them on the march in the desert. Then Aaron under the pressure of the impatient people yielded, made a golden calf (mushon cheunton) of gold jewels, and permitted his worship. Upon his return, Moses was enraged at this unfaithfulness and destroyed the idol. Later, however, order was restored, everyone repented of their moral decline and so Moses interceded for divine forgiveness. However, the high priestly position of Aaron and his descendants was questioned by the Levites and the need to invoke the Divine testimony arose. Aaron's rod was placed inside the Tabernacle and flourished. Aaron thus proved to be God's chosen one and was assigned priestly duties.

The journey then continued to the Promised Land, but Aaron never got there, punished for his faint-heartedness during the desert march. At God's command, he was led by Moses to Mount Hor together with his son Eleazar. There, Moses made Eleazar the new high priest. Aaron died on this mountain at the age of 123.

The Church celebrates the memory of Aaron on the Sunday of the Forefathers and on July 20. Aaron is also mentioned in the Koran with the name Harun.

Biblical narrative
Prophet Aaron is the first high priest of the Israelites, from the tribe of Levi, the elder brother of Prophet Moses, to whom he provided valuable assistance during the liberation of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. Eloquent and courageous, he was appointed by God as a helper to the Prophet Moses, when he hesitated to undertake the great task of bringing the Israeli people out of slavery, citing his dumbness among the others. Indeed, Aaron, when he was informed by Moses of the divine command, gathered the elders of the children of Israel and conveyed the words, which the Lord spoke to Moses. After the people believed his words, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and conveyed God's command to send the Jewish people to celebrate in the wilderness. In fact, in front of the king, Aaron changed his staff into a snake and then returned it to its original state.

Pharaoh, however, not only did not obey, but made the slavery even heavier. His heart hardened. The Jews then began to grumble and protest against the two men. But again Aaron appeared before Pharaoh as Moses' proxy and asked him to let the Israelite people leave Egypt. And when Pharaoh asked for miracles from the two messengers of God to be convinced, Aaron performed these miracles again. This was followed by the seven plagues of Pharaoh, who was finally forced to let the Hebrews leave Egypt.

Throughout the time of the people's exodus from Egyptian slavery and wandering in the desert, Aaron was a willing partner of Moses in the most difficult task of governing the people, who suffered many privations and hardships.

But the moment came when Aaron could not restrain the revolted people. Moses had gone up to Mount Sinai to receive God's commandments, but he was slow to come down. The people then abandoned God and sought their salvation in false gods. So he gathered around Aaron and asked him to make him images of gods. Then the golden calf was made.

Prophet Aaron slept peacefully, like Moses, before entering the promised land, at the age of 123. He was buried on Mount Hor or Hor, near Petra, capital of the Idumeans.

High priest
The books of Exodus, by Leviticus and Numbers maintain that Aaron received from God the monopoly of the priesthood for himself and his male descendants. Aaron's family had the exclusive right and responsibility to make offerings on the altar to Yahweh. The rest of his tribe, the Levites, were assigned secondary responsibilities within the sanctuary. Moses anointed and consecrated Aaron and his sons to the priesthood, and clothed them with the robes of office. He also told them God's detailed instructions for the performance of their duties while the rest of the Israelites listened. Aaron and his successors as high priest had control over the Urim and Thummim by which God's will could be determined. God assigned the Aaronic priests to distinguish the holy from the common and the clean from the unclean and to teach the divine laws (the Torah) to the Israelites. The priests were also assigned to bless the people. When Aaron first completed the offerings of the altar and, together with Moses, "blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people: And fire came out from before the Lord, and consumed the burnt offering upon the altar and the fat [which] when all the people saw, they cried out, and they fell on their faces." In this way the institution of the Aaronid priesthood was established.

In later books of the Hebrew Bible, Aaron and his relatives are not mentioned very often, except in literature dating from the Babylonian captivity and later. The books of Judges, Samuel and Kings mention priests and Levites, but do not specifically mention the Aaronites. The Book of Ezekiel, which devotes much attention to priestly matters, calls the upper priestly class Zadokites after one of King David's priests. It reflects a two-tiered priesthood with the Levites in a subordinate position. A two-tiered hierarchy of Aaronites and Levites appears in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles. As a result, many historians believe that the Aaronic families did not control the priesthood in pre-exilic Israel. What is clear is that the high priests who claimed Aaronic descent dominated the Second Temple period. Most scholars believe that the Torah reached its final form early in this period, which may account for Aaron's prominence in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers.

Conflicts
Aaron plays a leading role in many conflict stories during Israel's wilderness wanderings. During Moses' prolonged absence at Mount Sinai, the people challenged Aaron to make a golden calf. This incident almost provoked God to destroy the Israelites. Moses intervened successfully, but then led the faithful Levites in executing many of the culprits. a plague struck those who were left. Aaron, however, escaped punishment for his part in the affair, because of Moses' intercession according to Deuteronomy 9:20. Later retellings of this story almost always exonerate Aaron for his role. For example, in the rabbinic sources and in the Qur'an, Aaron was not the idolater and upon Moses' return he apologized because he felt mortally threatened by the Israelites.

On the day of Aaron's installation, his eldest sons, Nadab and Abihu, were burned by divine fire for offering "strange" incense. Most interpreters believe that this story reflects a conflict between priestly families at some point in Israel's past. Others argue that the story simply shows what can happen if the priests do not follow God's instructions given through Moses.

The Torah generally portrays the siblings, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, as the leaders of Israel after the Exodus, a view that is also reflected in the biblical Book of Micah. Numbers 12, however, states that on one occasion, Aaron and Miriam complained about Moses' exclusive claim to be the LORD's prophet. Their presumption was rejected by God who confirmed the uniqueness of Moses as the one with whom the LORD spoke face to face. Miriam was punished with a skin disease (jara'ath) that turned her skin white. Aaron begged Moses to intercede for her, and Miriam, after seven days of quarantine, was cured. Aaron once again escaped any retaliation.

According to Numbers 16–17, a Levite named Korah led many to question Aaron's exclusive claim to the priesthood. When the rebels were punished by being swallowed up by the earth, Eleazar, the son of Aaron, was assigned to take charge of the censers of the dead priests. And when a plague broke out among the people who had sympathized with the rebels, Aaron, at the command of Moses, took the censer his side and stood between the living and the dead until the plague subsided (Numbers 16:36, 17:1). atoning in the process.

To emphasize the validity of the Levites' claim over the offerings and tithes of the Israelites, Moses gathered a rod from the heads of each tribe in Israel and left the twelve rods overnight in the tent of meeting. The next morning, Aaron's rod was found to have sprouted and blossomed and produced ripe almonds. Then the next chapter details the distinction between Aaron's family and the rest of the Levites: while all the Levites (and only the Levites) were dedicated to the care of the sanctuary, the care of its interior and the altar was assigned to the Aaronites alone.

Death
Aaron, like Moses, was not allowed to enter Canaan with the Israelites when Moses drew water from a rock to quench the people's thirst. Even though they had been instructed to speak to the rock, Moses struck it with the staff twice, which was interpreted as a sign of disrespect to the LORD.

There are two accounts of Aaron's death in the Torah. Numbers says that shortly after the incident at Meribah, Aaron with his son Eleazar and Moses went up to Mount Hor. There Moses stripped Aaron of his priestly garments and carried them to Eleazar. Aaron died on the top of the mountain and the people mourned him for thirty days. The other account is found in Deuteronomy 10:6, where Aaron died at Mozerah and was buried. There is a considerable number of journeys between these two points, as the itinerary in Numbers 33:31–37 records seven stages between Moseroth (Mosera) and Mount Hor. Aaron died on the 1st of Av and was 123 years old at the time of his death.

Progeny
Aaron married Elizabeth, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Naason from the tribe of Judah. Aaron's sons were Nadab, Aviu, Eleazar, and Ithamar; only the last two had descendants. A descendant of Aaron is an Aaronite, or Cohen, meaning Priest. Any non-Aaronic Levite—that is, descended from Levi but not from Aaron—assisted the Levitical priests of Aaron's family in tending the tabernacle. later of the temple.

The Gospel of Luke states that both Zacharias and Elizabeth and thus their son John the Baptist were descendants of Aaron.

Christianity
In the Eastern Orthodox and Maronite churches, Aaron is honored as a saint whose feast day is shared with his brother Moses and is celebrated on September 4. . Aaron is also honored along with other Old Testament saints on Holy Fathers Sunday, the Sunday before Christmas.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, his memory is commemorated on July 20, March 12, Sunday of the Forefathers, Sunday of the Fathers and on April 14 with all the holy Sinai monks.

Aaron is honored as one of the Holy Forefathers in the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 30. He is commemorated on July 1 in the modern Latin calendar and in the Syriac calendar.

The Church of Moses and Aaron (Dutch: Mozes en Aäronkerk), in the Waterlooplein neighborhood of Amsterdam, is one of the city's best-known Catholic churches.

One version of the Bible has an encyclopedia that describes Aaron's role in Scripture as "the representative of Moses."
In art
Aaron often appears in conjunction with Moses in Jewish and Christian art, especially in the illustration of manuscripts and printed Bibles. He is usually distinguished by his priestly vestments, particularly his turban or miter and jeweller's. He often holds a censer or, sometimes, his flowering reed. Aaron also appears in scenes depicting the Desert Tabernacle and its altar, as early as the third-century frescoes in the synagogue at Dura-Europos in Syria. An 11th-century portable silver altar from Fulda, Germany depicts Aaron with his censor and is in the Musée de Cluny in Paris. Thus it also appears on the frontispieces of the early printed Passover Haggadot and occasionally on ecclesiastical carvings. Aaron has rarely been the subject of portraits, such as those by Anton Kern [1710–1747] and Pier Francesco Mola [ca. 1650]. Christian artists sometimes depict Aaron as a prophet holding a scroll, as in a twelfth-century sculpture from Noyon Cathedral in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and often in Eastern Orthodox iconography. Illustrations of the Golden Calf story usually include him as well – most notably in Nicolas Poussin's The Adoration of the Golden Calf (c. 1633–1634, National Gallery, London). Finally, some artists interested in validating later priesthoods have painted the ordination of Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 8). Harry Anderson's realistic portrayal is often reproduced in Latter-day Saint literature.

Aaron has been portrayed in Exodus-related drama such as The Ten Commandments (1956) and Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014).