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moses israelites staff flowering

Aaron was the older brother of *Moses and the first appointed in the dominant line of Jewish priests. He assisted Moses during the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt and in their battles with the Amalekites (e.g., in holding up Moses’ arm to ensure victory, Exodus 17:8-13, interpreted by Christian theologians as a prefiguration of the *Crucifixion), but later angered *God and Moses by constructing a golden calf for the Israelites to worship, as per their request. Several challenges to his authority took place (Numbers 16, 17); those disputing his right to offer incense were swallowed up by the ground; on another occasion Aaron’s staff flowered and produced ripe almonds, signifying the leadership of his tribe (Levi). In medieval Christian interpretation, this sign prefigured the flowering staff of *Joseph, when he was chosen to wed the Virgin *Mary. An elaborate description of Aaron’s priestly robes is found in Exodus 28. He often accompanies Moses in art or appears in the narratives mentioned above. His attributes are a censer and/or flowering rod.

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