From Jacob's descendants the Lord raised up a godly man who won the favor of everyone, loved by God and people alike. This man was Moses, whose very memory is a blessing. 1
The Lord made him as glorious as the angels and made his enemies fear him.
There in Egypt at his command the disaster struck. The Lord made kings hold him in respect. The Lord gave him his commands for his people and showed him the dazzling light of his presence.
The Lord chose Moses out of the whole human race and consecrated him because of his loyalty and humility.
He let him hear his voice and led him into the dark cloud, where, face-to-face, he gave him the commandments, the Law that gives life and knowledge, so that Moses might teach the covenant regulations to the Israelites.
The Lord raised up Aaron, a holy man like his brother Moses, of the tribe of Levi. 2
He made an eternal covenant with him, giving him the privilege of serving as priest to the Lord's people. He honored him by clothing him with magnificent robes and fine ornaments, 3
perfect in their splendor. He granted him the symbols of authority: the linen shorts, the shirt, and the robe with the pomegranates around the hem.
Gold bells were also around its hem, so that when he walked, their ringing would be heard in the Temple, and the Lord would remember his people.
The Lord gave Aaron the sacred robe with the gold, blue, and purple embroidery; the breastpiece with the Urim and Thummim;
the red yarn, spun by an expert; the precious stones with names engraved on them, mounted in a gold setting by a jeweler, placed on the breastpiece to remind the Lord of the twelve tribes of Israel.
He gave him the turban with the gold ornament engraved with the words "Dedicated to the Lord." It was expertly crafted, a beautiful work of art, and it was a high honor to wear it.
Before Aaron's time such beautiful things were never seen. No one but Aaron and his descendants ever wore them, or ever will.
The grain offering is to be presented twice a day and burned completely.
Moses ordained Aaron to office by pouring the sacred anointing oil over his head. An eternal covenant was made with him and his descendants, that they would serve the Lord as his priests and bless the people in the Lord's name. 4
The Lord chose Aaron out of the whole human race to offer sacrifices, to burn fragrant incense to remind the Lord of his people, and to take away their sins.
He entrusted the commandments to Aaron's keeping and gave him the authority to make legal decisions and to teach Israel the Law.
Once, while the people were in the wilderness, an angry group of jealous outsiders conspired against Moses. These were Dathan, Abiram, and Korah with their supporters. 5
The Lord saw what they were doing and became angry, so furious that he performed a miracle and destroyed them in a blazing fire.
Then he rewarded Aaron again, giving him a special honor: the right to the offerings of the first produce, so that the priests should have enough to eat.
Their food is the sacrifices offered to the Lord; the Lord gave this to Aaron and his descendants.
But Aaron, unlike the rest of the people, was to inherit no land, no special portion of his own. The Lord himself would be all he needed. 6
Only Moses and Aaron were more famous for their intense devotion to the Lord than Phinehas son of Eleazar. He brought about forgiveness for Israel's sin by standing firm in brave determination when everyone else was in rebellion. 7
And so the Lord made a covenant with him, valid for all time to come, that he should be in charge of the sanctuary and of his people, that he and his descendants should hold the office of High Priest forever.
Unlike the covenant made with David son of Jesse, from the tribe of Judah, where the kingship passed only from father to son, the priesthood was to pass from Aaron to all his descendants.
Now praise the Lord, who is good, who has crowned you with glory! May he give you wisdom to judge his people fairly, so that their success and your authority may continue for all time to come.