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Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception

Aaron – Aniconism

Volume 1
Editor(s): Hans-Josef Klauck, Volker Leppin, Bernard McGinn, Choon-Leong Seow, Hermann Spieckermann, Barry Dov Walfish, Eric J. Ziolkowski
De Gruyter (Berlin, New York) 2009

Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Richard D. Nelson

In early texts, Aaron (ʾAhărôn ) appears in non-priestly roles as Moses’ brother, spokesperson, and assistant. In texts from the Second Temple period, he developed into the archetype for the office of high priest and the ancestor of all authentic priests. As different groups competed for priestly legitimacy, the ability to assert Aaronic ancestry eventually became the decisive…

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