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Sunday, May 20 2012

From Moses And Aaron To Joshua And Eleazar

Aaron was born in Egypt (see Why Did They Go To Goshen?) of Levite parents. He had two siblings; an older sister, Miriam, and a younger brother, Moses.

"26:58 These are the families of the Levites [see Are Levites 'Jews'?]: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Korathites. And Kohath begat Amram.

26:59 And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister." (Numbers 26:58-59 KJV)

Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab. They had four sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

Plagues In Egypt

"6:23 And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar." (Exodus 6:23 KJV)

Although Aaron has become most well-known as the high priest of Israel after the Exodus, that office had not yet been created, by the LORD, while the Israelites were still in Egypt. If Aaron's sons had been asked, at the time of the Exodus, what they would be if they continued their father's profession, they could have answered "prophet," because that is what Aaron was, to the LORD, through Moses, in Egypt i.e. "Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet."

"7:1 And the LORD [see Appearances Of The LORD God] said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. 7:2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land [see also Why Did They Go To Goshen?]." (Exodus 7:1-2 KJV)

"7:6 And Moses [see The River Of Moses and Moses Of Midian] and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they. 7:7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.

7:8 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 7:9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Show a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.

7:10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent." (Exodus 7:6-10 KJV)

While no human has seen the Father, many people saw "the LORD God," Who was later born as Jesus Christ (see Appearances Of The LORD God). Among them were Nadab and Abihu, the two eldest sons of Aaron. At first, they witnessed the LORD from a distance:

"24:1 And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel [see What Did The Elders Of Israel Do?]; and worship ye afar off. 24:2 And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.

24:3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD [see The Word Of God In The Tongues Of Man and What Does Word of God Mean To You?], and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel." (Exodus 24:1-4 KJV)

Mount Sinai

Then, they not only saw the LORD, they "did eat and drink" with Him - as a matter of sustenance after the strenuous climb. Moses then continued on, during which he fasted for forty days and nights (see The Forty Day Fasts), while receiving the Law.

"24:9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. 24:11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

24:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone [see The Stones Of Mount Sinai], and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

24:13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. 24:14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.

24:15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount." (Exodus 24:9-15 KJV)

It was thereafter that the LORD commanded for Moses to "take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office."

"28:1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons." (Exodus 28:1 KJV)

"Minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar"

Nadab was the firstborn son of Aaron. As such, he would have succeeded his father as high priest of the LORD. The priesthood was not a matter of their personal discretion. They were told what to do, and what not to do, in matters of their official responsibilities. When Nadab, and his brother Abihu, Aaron's second-born son, "offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not," there "went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD." The LORD God, Jesus Christ, killed those of His ministers who chose to ignore and defy what He commanded. It was and is a direct lesson and warning for those who claim to be Christ's ministers today: "10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." (1 Corinthians 10:1-12 KJV; see also Is Your Religion Your Religion? and What Do Leaders Do?).

Nadab and Abihu

"10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.

10:2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.

10:3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying,

I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.

And Aaron held his peace.

10:4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp. 10:5 So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said." (Exodus 10:1 KJV)

It is hardly a coincidence that immediately after the incident with Nadab and Abihu that the LORD reiterated His instructions to the priests that they were to be properly attired and sober when they performed their duties - strong clues about Nadab and Abihu's appearance and state of mind when they offered their "strange fire."

"10:6 And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled.

10:7 And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses.

10:8 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying,

10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: 10:10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; 10:11 And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses." (Leviticus 10:6-11 KJV)

After the deaths of Nadab and Abihu, Aaron's next two sons, by order of birth, Eleazar and Ithamar, then "ministered in the priest's office in the sight of Aaron their father." The LORD further reiterated at that time that the Levites were to be set apart in His service, taking over many of the responsibilities that up to that time had been done by the elders of each family (see What Did The Elders Of Israel Do?).

The Tabernacle

"3:4 And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the sight of Aaron their father." (Numbers 3:4 KJV)

"3:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 3:12 And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine; 3:13 Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the LORD." (Numbers 3:11-13 KJV)

The Levites were then organized into a structure of ministry (see also The Church In The Wilderness), according to the three major lines from their progenitor Levi i.e. "these were the sons of Levi by their names; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari."

"3:14 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai [see Paul's Geography Lesson], saying, 3:15 Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. 3:16 And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD, as he was commanded.

3:17 And these were the sons of Levi by their names; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari.

3:18 And these are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families; Libni, and Shimei.

3:19 And the sons of Kohath by their families; Amram, and Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel.

3:20 And the sons of Merari by their families; Mahli, and Mushi.

These are the families of the Levites according to the house of their fathers." (Numbers 3:14-20 KJV)

Of Gershon:

"3:21 Of Gershon was the family of the Libnites, and the family of the Shimites: these are the families of the Gershonites. 3:22 Those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, even those that were numbered of them were seven thousand and five hundred. 3:23 The families of the Gershonites shall pitch behind the tabernacle westward. 3:24 And the chief of the house of the father of the Gershonites shall be Eliasaph the son of Lael. 3:25 And the charge of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation shall be the tabernacle, and the tent, the covering thereof, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 3:26 And the hangings of the court, and the curtain for the door of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof." (Numbers 3:21-26 KJV)

The Tabernacle

Of Kohath:

"3:27 And of Kohath was the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izeharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites: these are the families of the Kohathites. 3:28 In the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were eight thousand and six hundred, keeping the charge of the sanctuary. 3:29 The families of the sons of Kohath shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle southward. 3:30 And the chief of the house of the father of the families of the Kohathites shall be Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. 3:31 And their charge shall be the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister, and the hanging, and all the service thereof. 3:32 And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be chief over the chief of the Levites, and have the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary." (Numbers 3:27-32 KJV)

Of Merari:

"3:33 Of Merari was the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites: these are the families of Merari. 3:34 And those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were six thousand and two hundred. 3:35 And the chief of the house of the father of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail: these shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle northward. 3:36 And under the custody and charge of the sons of Merari shall be the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and the sockets thereof, and all the vessels thereof, and all that serveth thereto, 3:37 And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords." (Numbers 3:33-37 KJV)

The order of camp around the Tabernacle was based upon the Levites at the heart. Moses, as a Levite, was among "those that encamp before the tabernacle toward the east, even before the tabernacle of the congregation eastward."

"3:38 But those that encamp before the tabernacle toward the east, even before the tabernacle of the congregation eastward, shall be Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the children of Israel; and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death." (Numbers 3:38 KJV)

When the prescribed time came for Aaron to die, Eleazar was officially consecrated to succeed his father Aaron, after which "Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount."

Eleazar

"20:22 And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh, and came unto mount Hor. 20:23 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying, 20:24 Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah. 20:25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor: 20:26 And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.

20:27 And Moses did as the LORD commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 20:28 And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount. 20:29 And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel." (Numbers 20:22-29 KJV)

While most modern-day "Levites" have become "pacifists," using their religious service and/or scholasticism as the justification, the original Levites were men who were just as capable with a sword and they were with a scroll - not as war-lusting fools, but to righteously defend and to save life (see Who Has A Spirit Of Confrontation?). Good shepherds don't hide or do nothing when the flock is under attack - a good shepherd will give his life for the sheep in fierce defense of them (see What Do Leaders Do?), unlike "hireling" shepherds (see Hireling Shepherds). An example was Eleazar's son Phinehas who did what was righteous, in order to stop the wrath that was coming upon Israel because of Israel's evil behavior. What did the LORD say about Phinehas? "Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel."

"25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 25:2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 25:3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

25:4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.

25:5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.

25:6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 25:7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 25:8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 25:9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.

25:10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 25:11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy." (Numbers 25:1-11 KJV)

Eleazar served the LORD with Moses, just as his father Aaron had done.

"26:1 And it came to pass after the plague, that the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying, 26:2 Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their fathers' house, all that are able to go to war in Israel. 26:3 And Moses and Eleazar the priest spake with them in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, 26:4 Take the sum of the people, from twenty years old and upward; as the LORD commanded Moses and the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt." (Numbers 26:1-4 KJV)

The Ark Crossing The Jordan

When the time came for the prescribed death of Moses, Eleazar conducted the official ceremony in which the authority of Moses was transferred to Joshua - he thereby witnessed the transfer of responsibility, and the death of his uncle Moses, just as he had done with his father Aaron. While Moses and Aaron had led the Israelites out of their slavery, it would be Joshua and Eleazar who would then lead the Israelites into their promised land (see Why Did Joshua Lead Israel Across The Jordan?, The Jordan Crossing and Milk and Honey).

"27:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. 27:13 And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. 27:14 For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.

27:15 And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying, 27:16 Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, 27:17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

27:18 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; 27:19 And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. 27:20 And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. 27:21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.

27:22 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: 27:23 And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses." (Numbers 27:12-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) How did the lines of Eleazar and his brother Ithamar continue in the priesthood? What happened to them in the time of Eli, and then King Solomon? (b) What happened to the Levitical priesthood after Israel divided into "Israel" and "Judah"? (c) What was the purpose of the "Holy Place"?
(a) See The Lines Of Eleazar and Ithamar
(b) See No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?
(c) See The Holy Place In History And Prophecy


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This Day In History, May 20

325: The First Council of Nicea was held by the Roman Empire/Church (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

363: The Roman emperor Julian had given Jews permission to begin construction of another Temple; he even provided funds and building materials. The day before construction was to begin, a powerful earthquake struck Jerusalem and destroyed the preparations site (it wasn't yet time for the last Temple to be rebuilt - see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad; also The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today).

526: An earthquake killed about 300,000 people in Antioch, Syria (see Earthquake!).

1217: The Second Battle of Lincoln was fought near Lincoln, England. It resulted in the defeat of Prince Louis of France by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke.

1303: The Treaty of Paris restored Gascony to the British in the Hundred Years War.

1347: In Rome, Cola di Rienza took the title of Tribune and assumed dictatorial powers in his drive to revive the city as the capital of Italy.

1498: Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrived at Calicut, India, after sailing from Europe.

1506: Christopher Columbus, Italian explorer, died in poverty at age 55. His four voyages of discovery led to European colonization of the "new world," but at the time of his death, he still believed that he had sailed to the coast of Asia (the reason that the native people of the continents of North and South America were erroneously called "Indians").

1536: King Henry VIII, 45, married Jane Seymour, 27.

1674: John Sobieski became the first king of Poland.

1690: England passed the Act of Grace, forgiving followers of James II.

1798: Admiral Alexander Ball saved Lord Nelson's flagship from running ashore after being dismasted in a storm.

1813: The Battle of Bautzen during the Napoleonic Wars (while Britain was fighting the U.S. during the War of 1812, most of the British military was in Europe fighting Napoleon). French troops under Napoleon defeated a Russo-Prussian army in east Germany.

1874: Levi Strauss began marketing "blue jeans" with copper rivets. 120 years later, millions of them are still being sold.

1927: Britain signed the Treaty of Jeddah with King Ibn Saud, granting independence to Saudi Arabia (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1932: Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland, Canada to begin the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot. She landed in Ireland the next day.

1939: Transatlantic airmail service began.

1941: First large-scale military paratrooper drop in history - Germans into Crete.

1956: The first hydrogen bomb to be dropped from the air was detonated by the U.S. over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

1980: A referendum by the people of Quebec rejected separation from Canada.

1983: The first published medical reports of the discovery of the HIV virus that causes AIDS.

1989: The Chinese government declared martial law during pro-democracy demonstrations, setting the stage for the Tiananmen Square massacre.





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