Aaron: Spokesman and Priest

KEY VERSE: “He shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him Instead of God.” —Exodus 4:16

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Exodus 4:14-16, 27-30; 17:9-13; 28:1-3

THE first time Aaron is mentioned in the Scriptures is in Exodus 4:14, when the Lord spoke in anger to Moses because of his reluctance to accept the commission God had given him to deliver the nation of Israel from Egyptian oppression. Moses, in his youth, must have had considerable ability as a speaker, having been brought up in the house of Pharaoh as the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. (Acts 7:22) But after he fled from Egypt at the age of forty, he had lived an additional forty years as a herdsman in comparative isolation, a fact which Moses felt affected his fluency of speech. Finally the Lord said, “Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” (Exod. 4:11,12) But Moses still demurred, and the Lord then suggested that Aaron, the older brother of Moses, be a mouth-piece for him.

The Apostle Paul reminds us that Aaron and his sons and their activities as priests were shadows or pictures of the reality—Christ and his church during the Gospel Age. In Hebrews 8:4,5 we read, “There are priests that offer gifts according to the Law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” The construction of the Tabernacle was to be exactly as God had instructed Moses so that when completed its structure and appointments would illustrate certain features of God’s plan in dealing with the church.

Aaron and his sons were consecrated to the priesthood in an elaborate ceremony described in Leviticus the eighth chapter. The congregation was assembled as witnesses of the ceremony, to impress upon them the fact that Aaron and his sons were appointed to that office by the Lord, that they did not take that honor unto themselves. “Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.” (Lev. 8:6) In this instance, Moses represented the Lord, Aaron pictured Jesus, and the sons, the church of the Gospel Age. In the Scriptures, water often is used as an illustration of the Word of God—the truth. God washes away the filthiness of the flesh of the church through his Word; that is, he justifies them from Adamic sin, and all that is associated with that condemnation.—Titus 3:3-7

The next step in inaugurating Aaron and his sons as priests was to clothe Aaron in the robes of glory and beauty. (Lev. 8:7-9) This, we believe, pictured the position or office into which Aaron was inducted—the high priest of the nation of Israel. Then the Tabernacle and all of the utensils and the altar were cleansed and sanctified with the sacred holy anointing oil. (vss. 10,11) This illustrated the preparation and the acceptableness of the arrangements that were necessary to bring the priesthood into existence. Aaron was then anointed with this same sacred holy anointing oil. (vs. 12) The anointing of Aaron illustrated God’s acceptance of his appointment to the office. Then Aaron’s sons were brought before Moses who put coats upon them, and girded them with girdles, and put bonnets upon them. (vs. 13) The church as underpriests are pictured as receiving their authority and standing in the priestly arrangement only through the high priest—Jesus.

In the fulfillment of this type Jesus said of himself, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18,19; Acts 10:38; see also Ps. 110:1,4; Heb. 5:1-6) The relationship of the church to the head is expressed by the Apostle Paul saying, “Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”—II Cor. 1:21,22

Dawn Bible Students Association
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