Aaron in the Bible
Aaron is one of the most popular Biblical names for boys yet Aaron himself is probably one of the most overlooked characters in the Hebrew Bible.
Aaron means tower of strength and if we explore his story we will see what a tower of strength he was.
Married to Elisheba with four sons, Aaron is three years older than Moses. We first hear of him in Exodus at the scene of the burning bush when Moses expresses reluctance to answer God’s call. ‘So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart’ (Exodus 4:14).
God’s plan for them is clear and while Moses is the one we remember, we only have to read these words to understand how vital Aaron’s role was in this epic Biblical story. ‘See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall tell Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land’ (Exodus 7:1-2)
Fearlessly taking up God’s call on his life, it is Aaron who plays an essential role as he faces an unmoveable Pharoah with Moses. On God’s command, Aaron’s rod is transformed into a serpent to demonstrate God’s power. It doesn’t end there; Aaron is closely involved in the plagues blighting Egypt until Pharoah, harangued into submission, releases the Israelites.
After the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea the Israelites eventually arrive at Mount Sinai. Here, Aaron’s significance to God is echoed again. Moses is commanded to construct and adorn the tabernacle for the Ark of the Covenant. Such is Aaron’s favor with God, he and his sons alone are appointed to the priesthood with exclusive access to the Ark of the Covenant. ‘Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons (Exodus 28:1).
Aaron’s elevated status in God’s eyes is later cemented following a rebellion led by the priest Koran. Twelve rods are taken from the leaders of the tribes and placed in the tabernacle. Aaron’s name is inscribed on the rod of Levi. ‘Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds’ (Numbers 17:8)
The message is clear. Aaron is the chosen one.
While, like Moses, Aaron did not pass into Canaan, he was undoubtedly a tower of strength to his brother Moses throughout one of the most important periods of Old Testament history.
If you choose Aaron for your baby’s name, rejoice in the strength and courage of his Hebrew namesake. Aaron’s story gives us proof that God will use all of us in the most unusual ways, based not on heritage or background but purely through His grace. What more of an inspiration do we need?
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