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What You May Not Know about the “Other Brother,” Aaron

What You May Not Know about the “Other Brother,” Aaron

Moses is one of the most well-known characters of the Bible. A lot of times he was in the spotlight of the Scriptures. However, his brother Aaron was never far away. He sometimes was a help, stepped up to the plate in Moses’ fear of speaking, helped lead the people, and ultimately the line of priests came from him. Today we are going to dive deeper into discovering interesting facts about Aaron.

Who Was Aaron in the Bible?

Aaron was Moses’ older brother in the Old Testament. He became a mouthpiece and a high priest. He received the call from God. 1 Chronicles 23:13 tells us that Aaron and his descendants were set apart for ministry. His grandson was the head of the Levite family (Exodus 6:25). He was used by the Lord in mighty ways, but also made mistakes along the way.

Aaron first enters the pages of Scripture in Exodus 4. He stepped up to the plate in the midst of his brother’s fear. Moses was commanded to speak, but he opted out, so God used Aaron instead. I imagine that Aaron either was a humble man or became a humble man through following the leadership of his younger brother. Many times in the Bible, we see things appear upside down to the “normal way.” The younger leading the older was definitely not typical in these times. Moses had been set apart to be in charge, but Aaron had an equally valuable calling to stand by his side and support a ministry.

Aaron was consecrated with oil (Leviticus 8:12). His family line was established as the priesthood of Israel. Webster’s Dictionary defines a priest as, “One authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God.” Once Moses presented the ten commandments, priests helped mediate between the people and the Lord. Praise God that we do not have to use this method to approach our Father anymore. 1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

On another note, Aaron clearly had a downfall of people-pleasing. While Moses was getting the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai, the Israelites grew impatient. Aaron responded to the negative complaints by creating a golden calf to worship. Aaron allowed his pride and the impatience of others to take the easy way out instead of honoring God. The Lord was very angry at Aaron for his act. (Deuteronomy 9:20) Moses prayed over Aaron and the people, begging God not to destroy them and reminding the Lord of His promise to Israel. Then the Lord was gracious and gave the 10 Commandments to Moses again (Deuteronomy 9:20-Deuteronomy 10:2). Many times people believe that God did not act as graciously in the Old Testament times, but Aaron and the people were given great grace in their idolatry. They still had to live with consequences, but they were spared a harsher punishment.

Aaron also chose disobedience towards the end of his life with Moses, but God had grace on him. In Numbers 20:10-12, Aaron brought the people to Moses and Moses made water come from a rock. Because of their acts of distrust, the Lord did not allow them to enter the promised land.

I love how the Bible shows us the flaws of humanity, but the power of the Spirit of God working through our weaknesses. Aaron could have been disqualified so many times, but he was not. He had to pay the consequences of his actions, but he had the joy of serving and being set apart for the sake of a greater purpose than himself.

One of my favorite stories about Aaron was when he held up one of Moses’ arms and Hor held up the other at the battle against the Amalekites. Whenever Moses’ arms were up in a praise position, the victory was theirs (Exodus 17:8-16). This is a beautiful symbol that Aaron may have been helping hold up Israel from the side, but he played a significant role in the freedom and victory of God’s chosen people.

Why Did God Choose Aaron in the Bible?

Hebrews 5:4 says, “And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.”

There could be many reasons why God chose Aaron, but personally, I think a main cause was that Aaron said yes. His willing heart and acts of obedience led him to be used by the Lord. Moses passed on the opportunity in Exodus 4:8-13. He suggested his brother Aaron. Verse 14 says, “Then the LORDs anger burned against Moses and he said, 'What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you.” God then confirms that both would speak, but Aaron would be the mouthpiece to the people (Exodus 4:15-17).

It would seem as if God did not choose Aaron, but rather he was the second choice. However, God was all-knowing even though Moses did not need Aaron, the Lord allowed him. Maybe we are not the first choice for something in life, but it does not disqualify us from succeeding for the glory of our Maker. Moses and Aaron went to the Egyptians and brought great hope that they were one step closer to freedom (Exodus 4:27-31).

God is choosing us through Jesus today. Randy Robison from Crosswalk shares, “Peter explained how Jesus Christ expanded that blessing to every believer, calling us a 'royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). This change in the priesthood through Christ handed down many of the priestly functions to all Christians today.” What an honor that we too have the option of saying, “Yes” not only to accepting Jesus as our Savior but in living out the callings in which He has laid before us.

Do you feel as if you are second best? Look at the person of Aaron. Regain hope that you might not be the first choice, but you can still be set apart by the Lord. We each have something wonderful to bring to the table. May we humbly approach God and ask Him how He wants to use us for His glory. Whether we are front and center or helping from the side, we have a purpose in the kingdom of God. 

10 Facts You May Not Have Known about Aaron in the Bible

Aaron was the first high priest in Israel (Exodus 29).

Aaron’s budded staff was in the ark of the covenant (Hebrews 9:4).

John the Baptist was a descendent of Aaron (Luke 1:5). What an amazing connection that John prepared the way for Jesus just as Aaron helped prepare the way for Moses. They were “sidekicks” to the main leaders.

Aaron was married to Elisheba and they had four children, “Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar” (Exodus 4:14).

Eleazar was Aaron’s son who succeeded him (Deuteronomy 10:6).

Aaron was three years older than Moses (Exodus 7:7).

It was Aaron who used his staff to perform miracles (Exodus 7).

Aaron was 83 and Moses was 80 when they went to Pharaoh on behalf of Israel (Exodus 7:7).

Aaron also was not able to enter the promised land (Numbers 20:12).

Aaron died on Mount Hor (Deuteronomy 32:50).

Further Reading

6 Things to Know about Aaron in the Bible

Who Was Aaron in the Bible?

Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Gift Habeshaw

Emma DanzeyEmma Danzey’s mission in life is to inspire young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. Emma is a North Carolina resident and green tea enthusiast! She is married to her husband Drew and they serve international college students. She enjoys singing, dancing, trying new recipes, and watching home makeover shows. During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Currently, she is in the editing stages of her first two writing projects: a Bible study on womanhood and a non-fiction book on singleness. You can visit her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com


This article is part of our People from the Bible Series featuring the most well-known historical names and figures from Scripture. We have compiled these articles to help you study those whom God chose to set before us as examples in His Word. May their lives and walks with God strengthen your faith and encourage your soul.

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