Deuteronomy 9:20
And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time.
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(20) I prayed for Aaron also.—Jewish commentators ascribe the loss of Aaron’s two sons (Leviticus 10:1-2) partly to God’s anger at this time.

9:7-29 That the Israelites might have no pretence to think that God brought them to Canaan for their righteousness, Moses shows what a miracle of mercy it was, that they had not been destroyed in the wilderness. It is good for us often to remember against ourselves, with sorrow and shame, our former sins; that we may see how much we are indebted to free grace, and may humbly own that we never merited any thing but wrath and the curse at God's hand. For so strong is our propensity to pride, that it will creep in under one pretence or another. We are ready to fancy that our righteousness has got for us the special favour of the Lord, though in reality our wickedness is more plain than our weakness. But when the secret history of every man's life shall be brought forth at the day of judgment, all the world will be proved guilty before God. At present, One pleads for us before the mercy-seat, who not only fasted, but died upon the cross for our sins; through whom we may approach, though self-condemned sinners, and beseech for undeserved mercy and for eternal life, as the gift of God in Him. Let us refer all the victory, all the glory, and all the praise, to Him who alone bringeth salvation.Israel could not even boast that its heads and representatives continued, faithful. Aaron had been already designated for the high priestly functions; but he fell away with the rest of the people. It was due therefore solely to the grace of God and the intercession of Moses that Aaron himself and his promised priesthood with him were not cut off; just as at a later time, when Aaron had actually to die for a new sin Israel owed it still to the same causes that Eleazar was substituted and the High Priesthood perpetuated (compare Deuteronomy 10:6; Numbers 20:24-26). 20. The Lord was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him—By allowing himself to be overborne by the tide of popular clamor, Aaron became a partaker in the guilt of idolatry and would have suffered the penalty of his sinful compliance, had not the earnest intercession of Moses on his behalf prevailed. The Lord was very angry with Aaron, though he was only accessory, as being persuaded, and in a manner compelled, to comply with your desire.

And the Lord was very angry with Aaron, to have destroyed him,.... For complying with the request of the people in making a calf for them, and for that miserable shift he made to excuse himself; which so provoked the Lord, that he threatened to destroy him, and he was in danger of being cut off, had it not been for the intercession of Moses:

and I prayed for Aaron also the same time: who either was included in the general prayer for the people, Exodus 32:31 or a particular prayer was made for him, though not recorded, and which also succeeded.

And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have {l} destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time.

(l) By which he shows the danger they are in who have authority and do not resist wickedness.

20. To this there is no reference in Exodus.

Deuteronomy 9:20It was not from the people only, but from Aaron also, that Moses averted the wrath of God through his intercession, when it was about to destroy him. In the historical account in Exodus 32, there is no special reference to this intercession, as it is included in the intercession for the whole nation. On the present occasion, however, Moses gave especial prominence to this particular feature, not only that he might make the people thoroughly aware that at that time Israel could not even boast of the righteousness of its eminent men (cf. Isaiah 43:27), but also to bring out the fact, which is described still more fully in Deuteronomy 10:6., that Aaron's investiture with the priesthood, and the maintenance of this institution, was purely a work of divine grace. It is true that at that time Aaron was not yet high priest; but he had been placed at the head of the nation in connection with Hur, as the representative of Moses (Exodus 24:14), and was already designated by God for the high-priesthood (Exodus 28:1). The fact, however, that Aaron had drawn upon himself the wrath of God in a very high degree, was intimated plainly enough in what Moses told him in Exodus 32:21. - In Deuteronomy 9:21, Moses mentions again how he destroyed that manifested sin of the nation, namely, the molten calf (see at Exodus 32:20).
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