AARON, 5rfiln. A Jewish High Priest and elder brother of Moses. When Moses was sent on his mission of deliverance to Pharaoh, Aaron was appointed his spokesman and performed some miracles, even bringing on some of the plagues. He is always. however, the subordinate of Moses, front whom he receives his ordination as High Priest. (Ex. xxix: Lev. viii : 9.) Aaron was not so strong-minded as his brother. While Moses was absent receiving the Ten Command ments. Aaron acceded to the importunities of the people and fashioned for them the golden calf. Aaron was concerned in two rebellions. In the first, his authority, as well as the authority of Noses, was called into question by the Korahites (Num. xvi). The miraculous budding of the rod of Aaron settled that dispute. In the other, Aaron, perhaps inspired by Miriam, rebelled against the authority of Moses, but here Miriam was punished. Because of the incident at Meribalt (Num. xx : 8-13) Aaron was not allowed to enter Canaan, but died and was bur ied on Mount Hor, on the confines of Idumfea. Elertzar, his son, succeeded to the high priest hood. In later Hebrew literature Aaron appears as the ideal priest. "loving peace. pursuing
peace" (Ethics of the Fathers, 1 : 12). and as the great conciliator. Those who accept the modern Biblical criticism call attention to the fact that it is only in the Pentateuch, which, they assert, is post-exilic, that Aaron is re gar(led as the ancestor of all lawful priests, whereas in the earlier literature lie is merely a prominent figure by the side of Moses and Mir iam. The prophet Ezekiel does not trace the origin of the Jerusalem priesthood farther back than to Zadok, who lived in the days of Solomon, and when we come to the Elohistic history (see FLORIST AND YAIINVIST) we find Joshua, and not Aaron, assisting Noses in the exercise of religious rites. In the Yalivistic document Aaron is practically ignored, so that we conclude that the picture drawn of him in the Priestly Code and later portions of the Old Testament is part and parcel of the "theoeratic" theory which led Hebrew writers to reconstruct Hebrew history to so large an extent. See MOSES.