Aaron (ârˈən) [key], in the Bible, the brother of Moses and his spokesman in Egypt, and the first high priest of the Hebrews. He is presented as the instrument of God in performing many signs, such as the turning of his rod into a serpent and causing the rod to bud, blossom, and bear almonds. Nevertheless, he made the golden calf and took part in the worship of it. His descendants were priests. The phrase "house of Aaron" became a collective term for the priestly caste in Israel. The prestige of descent from him was emphasized especially after the exile.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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