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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.
Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab. They had four sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
"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)
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.
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.
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?).
"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.
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.
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?).
"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.
"3:21 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)
"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)
"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."
"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.
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.
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)
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.
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"?
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.