Friday, January 04, 2013

Genealogy of Moses and Aaron -- Exodus 6:14-30


Exodus 6:14-25: [The text in these verses (not reproduced here) are intended to connect for the reader, the sons of Jacob with the two men that God was using at this point in Israel’s history to free them of their bondage in Egypt.]
Exodus 6:26-30: It was the same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, “Bring out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts.”  They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt; it was the same Moses and Aaron.  Now it came about on the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, that the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “I am the Lord; speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I speak to you.”   But Moses said before the Lord, “Behold, I am unskilled in speech; how then will Pharaoh listen to me.”
In summary, the account tells of Reuben, Simeon and Levi’s sons and their descendants.  Of particular interest to us is the following genealogy of Levi. 
Jacob begot Levi (who lived 137 years).  Levi begot Kohath (who lived 133 years), among other sons.  Kohath begot Amram (who lived 137 years), among other sons.  Amram married his father Kohath’s sister, Jochebed, and together they had Aaron and Moses.  Here we are also told Aaron married Elisheba.  Elisheba’s family is mentioned but their names (here mentioned for the first time in Scripture) do not come into play again until later in the Old Testament.  Aaron and Elisheba had four children, some of whom we will hear about later.  One of the children is Eleazar, who marries a daughter of Putiel (whose name means “afflicted by God”) and she bore him Phinehas (whom we will meet later).
The passage itself ends by saying “these” (although it is not clear to whom that refers exactly or how inclusive it is) are the heads of the fathers’ households of the Levites.  Then it repeats somewhat what the author had already provided us with earlier in this chapter and even before that.  The question for the student of the Scriptures is “Why?”.
We can only offer the possible explanations that come to our mind.  First, by providing the genealogy, we are once again reminded that God cares about families and history.  He is sharing with us here how His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is linked via genealogy to Aaron and Moses.  It is this pair that is helping to carry out God’s promises to Abraham many years earlier.  As we saw, there are several generations between Abraham and Aaron and Moses.  What is important here for us to note is how each generation, beginning with Isaac, and Jacob right up to Aaron and Moses’ parents had an important role to play in “keeping the faith”.  They ran families and homes that talked about and taught their children about God, Who He was, and wanted He did for us, and what He wanted of us.  This is our job as parents representing various generations of our family tree and especially as participants in the implementation of God’s Plan for mankind.  Are you and I playing that role as best as we can?
Secondly, the text repeats itself, especially in verses 28-30, because it is important for us to be reminded that this was God’s plan, not theirs, and that He is the Lord.  And all our objections do not throw Him off at all.  He can and does overcome them.  So we find ourselves asking, “Do I realize that I am involved in God’s Plan?  And do I realize and fully accept that He is not just a business owner, or a politician, or a senior partner of a firm I work for, or a teacher at my university – but He is the Lord God Almighty?  And do I realize that while I can raise objections about His choosing me, my true happiness can only be found in obeying His instructions?”  That is the message for you and I from this passage.
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