The Priests

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
"Take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with Mm, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons."-Ex. 28:11And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons. (Exodus 28:1)
IN this direction given to Moses, we may observe how the priestly family is kept distinct from Moses and his descendants: so that neither he himself, nor his sons, have any office of priesthood. This points out a contrast between the priesthood under the law, and that of which Christ is the head. The leadership or kingship of Moses as well as the office of mediator, were in him kept apart from the priesthood, which was confined to Aaron and his sons: and these dignities, were thus lodged in different persons. Whereas one object of the Epistle to the Hebrews is to point out the Lord Jesus in resurrection, combining in Himself the various offices and dignities of King, Mediator, Apostle, Surety, Captain, and Shepherd.
The names of Aaron and his sons are significant. Aaron means " very high." He stood supreme, as the high priest; very high above his own house, as well as exalted above the people: a type thus of the Lord Jesus, whom God has exalted with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Savior. Acts 5:3131Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:31). And as it still further to exalt the high priesthood of Jesus above that of Aaron, we have the word " great " added; so that the Lord is called a great high priest. Heb. 4:1414Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (Hebrews 4:14).
Aaron's sons have each appropriate names; Nadab, " willing;" Abihu, " my Father is He," (that is, God,) Eleazar, " help of God;" Ithamar, " land of palm." These four words afford a little prophetic intimation of characteristics attaching to the house, of which the Son of God is the Head; deriving its life from God the Father, and all its power and help from Him; following in the footsteps also of its blessed Master, in yielding willing and not constrained service to God; and like the palm-trees, lofty in righteousness, and ever bringing forth fruit. Psa. 92:12-1412The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; (Psalm 92:12‑14). The palm-tree is one of the ornaments of the future temple described by Ezekiel, and was also one of the embellishments of Solomon's temple. It is peculiarly the tree of the desert flourishing where no other could exist; ever marking out to the weary traveler the spot, amidst surrounding desolation, where a grateful shade, and spring of living water, are to be found; and remarkable for longevity and ceaseless fruitfulness. Thus it was an apt emblem of the heavenly priesthood.
The wording of the first verse is remarkable: "Take unto thee Aaron, and his sons with him, that he may minister." Aaron and his sons formed but one ministry in the priest's office: and Aaron could not exercise his service, unless his sons were taken with him. Is there not in this, an intimation of the union in priesthood of Christ and his house; and that one great object of his priesthood is, that He may minister to God respecting his house?