And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons
Moses is bid to fetch or send for Aaron and his sons to him: or "cause" them to "draw near" F14 to him, and stand before him, that he might in the name of the Lord, and by his authority, distinguish and separate them
from among the children of Israel:
and before them all invest them with the office of priesthood, as it follows:
that they may minister unto me in the priest's
before this time every master of a family was a priest, and might and did offer sacrifice, and all the Israelites were a kingdom of priests; and Moses, as Aben Ezra calls him, was "a priest of priests"; but now it being enough for him to be the political ruler of the people, and the prophet of the Lord, the priestly office is bestowed on Aaron and his sons; nor might any afterwards officiate in it but such as were of his family; and a great honour this was that was conferred on him, and to which he was called of God, as in ( Hebrews 5:4 ) and it is greatly in the favour of Moses, and which shows him to be an upright and undesigning man, that sought not to aggrandize himself and his family; that though he had so much honour and power himself, he sought not to entail any upon his posterity. It is hinted in the latter part of the preceding chapter, that Aaron and his sons should minister in the sanctuary, and look after the candlestick, and its lamps; and here the design of God concerning them is more fully opened, which was, that they should be his peculiar ministers and servants in his house, to do all the business appertaining to it:
even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's
who were all the sons that Aaron had that we read of; though Aben Ezra thinks it probable that he might have other sons, and therefore the names of those are particularly mentioned, who were to be taken into the priest's office with him; the two first of these died very quickly after this, in a very awful manner, as the sacred story relates; and from the other two sprung all the priests that were in all successive generations.
F14 (brqh) "appropinquare fac", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus.