Exodus 6:23
And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
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(23) Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon.—Amminadab and Naashon were among the ancestors of David (Ruth 4:19-20; 1Chronicles 2:10-15), and their names are consequently found in the genealogies of our Lord (Matthew 1:4; Luke 3:32-33). Naashon was “prince of Judah” at the time of the Exodus (Numbers 1:7; Numbers 1:16).

6:14-30 Moses and Aaron were Israelites; raised up unto them of their brethren, as Christ also should be, who was to be the Prophet and Priest, the Redeemer and Lawgiver of the people of Israel. Moses returns to his narrative, and repeats the charge God had given him to deliver his message to Pharaoh, and his objection against it. Those who have spoken unadvisedly with their lips ought to reflect upon it with regret, as Moses seems to do here.Uncircumcised, is used in Scripture to note the unsuitableness there may be in any thing to answer its proper purpose; as the carnal heart and depraved nature of fallen man are wholly unsuited to the services of God, and to the purposes of his glory. It is profitable to place no confidence in ourselves, all our sufficiency must be in the Lord. We never can trust ourselves too little, or our God too much. I can do nothing by myself, said the apostle, but I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.Amram - This can scarcely be the same person who is mentioned in Exodus 6:18; but his descendant and representative in the generation immediately preceding that of Moses. The intervening links are omitted, as is the rule where they are not needed for some special purpose, and do not bear upon the history.

Jochebed - The name means "the glory of Jehovah (Yahweh)," one clear instance of the use of the sacred name before the Exodus.

Father's sister - This was within the prohibited degrees after the law was given Leviticus 18:12 but not previously.

23. Elisheba—that is, Elizabethan. These minute particulars recorded of the family of Aaron, while he has passed over his own, indicate the real modesty of Moses. An ambitious man or an impostor would have acted in a different manner. Amminadab a prince of the tribe of Judah, Numbers 1:7 Numbers 2:3. Marriages were not yet confined to their own tribes; and when they were, the Levites seem to have had this privilege, that they might marry a daughter of any other tribe, because indeed the reason of that law did not concern them, there being no danger of confusion or loss of inheritance on their part. And especially there were many marriages made between the tribes of Judah and Levi, to signify that both were united in Christ, who was to be both king and priest. It is observable, that Moses is here silent in his own progeny, but gives a particular account of his brother’s, not only from his great humility and modesty, which shines forth in many other passages, but because it was of more concernment; and the honour of priesthood given to Aaron was to be hereditary, and peculiar to his seed, and therefore it was necessary they should be exactly known; whereas Moses’s honour and government was only personal, and did not pass to his children.

And Aaron took him Elisheba,.... The same name we pronounce Elizabeth; and of this name was the wife of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, Luke 1:5, this woman Aaron took was

the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Naashon; a prince of the tribe of Judah, Numbers 7:12, her he took to wife; or married; for though intermarriages with the several tribes were not allowed, nor used in after times, that they might be kept distinct, and the inheritances also, yet the tribe of Levi often took wives of other tribes, because they had no inheritance, and were to have none in the land of Canaan, so that confusion in tribes and inheritance was not made hereby; and it is observable, that these marriages were frequently with the tribe of Judah, as signifying the union of the kingly and priestly offices in Christ, who sprung from the tribe of Judah:

and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar; the two first of these died by fire from heaven in their father's lifetime, for offering strange fire to the Lord, Leviticus 10:1. Eleazar succeeded his father in the priesthood, Numbers 20:26 and of the sons of Ithamar executing the priest's office, see 1 Chronicles 24:2.

And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of {i} Naashon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

(i) Who was a prince of Judah, Nu 1:7.

23. Aaron’s family. Aaron marries a wife of the tribe of Judah, viz. the daughter of Amminadab, and sister of Naḥshon, a descendant in the fifth generation from Judah (1 Chronicles 2:4-5; 1 Chronicles 2:9-10; Matthew 1:3-4), who according to P was leader of the tribe of Judah in the wilderness (Numbers 1:7; Numbers 2:3; Numbers 7:11). Elisheba (LXX. Ἐλισαβεθ) is not mentioned elsewhere.

Nadab and Abihu] See Exodus 24:1; Exodus 24:9, in J: mentioned in P as priests (with their two brethren), Exodus 28:1; and as being killed for offering ‘strange’ fire, Leviticus 10:1 f. (cf. Numbers 3:4; Numbers 26:61), and leaving no issue (Numbers 3:4).

Eleazar and Ithamar] Exodus 28:1, Leviticus 10:6; Leviticus 10:12; Leviticus 10:16; Eleazar afterwards succeeded Aaron as chief priest (Deuteronomy 10:6; and in P, Numbers 20:26), and is often mentioned by P in the latter part of Numbers (e.g. Exodus 26:1, Exodus 31:6) and in Joshua (as Joshua 14:1, Joshua 19:51). For Ithamar, see Exodus 38:21, Numbers 4:28; Numbers 4:33; 1 Chronicles 6:3; 1 Chronicles 24:1-6, Ezra 8:2.

23–25. Of two of Kohath’s grandchildren, Aaron and Koraḥ, some further descendants are enumerated,—no doubt, on account of their later prominence in the history.

Verse 23. - Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab. Amminadah had not been previously mentioned. He was a descendant of Judah, through Pharez and Hezron, and held a place in the line of our Lord's ancestry.Exodus 6:23The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron. - "These are their (Moses' and Aaron's) father's-houses." בּית־אבות father's-houses (not fathers' house) is a composite noun, so formed that the two words not only denote one idea, but are treated grammatically as one word, like בּית־עצבּים idol-houses (1 Samuel 31:9), and בּית־בּמות high-place-houses (cf. Ges. 108, 3; Ewald, 270c). Father's house was a technical term applied to a collection of families, called by the name of a common ancestor. The father's-houses were the larger divisions into which the families (mishpachoth), the largest subdivisions of the tribes of Israel, were grouped. To show clearly the genealogical position of Levi, the tribe-father of Moses and Aaron, among the sons of Jacob, the genealogy commences with Reuben, the first-born of Jacob, and gives the names of such of his sons and those of Simeon as were the founders of families (Genesis 46:9-10). Then follows Levi; and not only are the names of his three sons given, but the length of his life is mentioned (Exodus 6:16), also that of his son Kohath and his descendant Amram, because they were the tribe-fathers of Moses and Aaron. But the Amram mentioned in Exodus 6:20 as the father of Moses, cannot be the same person as the Amram who was the son of Kohath (Exodus 6:18), but must be a later descendant. For, however the sameness of names may seem to favour the identity of the persons, if we simply look at the genealogy before us, a comparison of this passage with Numbers 3:27-28 will show the impossibility of such an assumption. "According to Numbers 3:27-28, the Kohathites were divided (in Moses' time) into the four branches, Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites, and Uzzielites, who consisted together of 8600 men and boys (women and girls not being included). Of these, about a fourth, or 2150 men, would belong to the Amramites. Now, according to Exodus 18:3-4, Moses himself had only two sons. Consequently, if Amram the son of Kohath, and tribe-father of the Amramites, was the same person as Amram the father of Moses, Moses must have had 2147 brothers and brothers' sons (the brothers' daughters, the sisters, and their daughters, not being reckoned at all). But as this is absolutely impossible, it must be granted that Amram the son of Kohath was not the father of Moses, and that an indefinitely long list of generations has been omitted between the former and his descendant of the same name" (Tiele, Chr. des A. T. p. 36).

(Note: The objections of M. Baumgarten to these correct remarks have been conclusively met by Kurtz (Hist. of O. C. vol. ii. p. 144). We find a similar case in the genealogy of Ezra in Ezra 7:3, which passes over from Azariah the son of Meraioth to Azariah the son of Johanan, and omits five links between the two, as we may see from 1 Chronicles 6:7-11. In the same way the genealogy before us skips over from Amram the son of Kohath to Amram the father of Moses without mentioning the generations between.)

The enumeration of only four generations, viz., Levi, Iohath, Amram, Moses, is unmistakeably related to Genesis 15:16, where it is stated that the fourth generation would return to Canaan. Amram's wife Jochebed, who is merely spoken of in general terms as a daughter of Levi (a Levitess) in Exodus 2:1 and Numbers 26:59, is called here the דּודה "aunt" (father's sister) of Amram, a marriage which was prohibited in the Mosaic law (Leviticus 18:12), but was allowed before the giving of the law; so that there is no reason for following the lxx and Vulgate, and rendering the word, in direct opposition to the usage of the language, patruelis, the father's brother's daughter. Amram's sons are placed according to their age: Aaron, then Moses, as Aaron was three years older than his brother. Their sister Miriam was older still (vid., Exodus 2:4). In the lxx, Vulg., and one Hebrew MS, she is mentioned here; but this is a later interpolation. In Exodus 6:21. not only are the sons of Aaron mentioned (Exodus 6:23), but those of two of Amram's brothers, Izhar and Uzziel (Exodus 6:21, Exodus 6:22), and also Phinehas, the son of Aaron's son Eleazar (Exodus 6:25); as the genealogy was intended to trace the descent of the principal priestly families, among which again special prominence is given to Aaron and Eleazar by the introduction of their wives. On the other hand, none of the sons of Moses are mentioned, because his dignity was limited to his own person, and his descendants fell behind those of Aaron, and were simply reckoned among the non-priestly families of Levi. The Korahites and Uzzielites are mentioned, but a superior rank was assigned to them in the subsequent history to that of other Levitical families (cf. Numbers 16-17; Numbers 26:11, and Numbers 3:30 with Leviticus 10:4). Aaron's wife Elisheba was of the princely tribe of Judah, and her brother Naashon was a tribe-prince of Judah (cf. Numbers 2:3). אבות ראשׁי (Exodus 6:25), a frequent abbreviation for בית־אבות ראשׁי, heads of the father's-houses of the Levites. In Exodus 6:26 and Exodus 6:27, with which the genealogy closes, the object of introducing it is very clearly shown in the expression, "These are that Aaron and Moses," at the beginning of Exodus 6:26; and again, "These are that Moses and Aaron," at the close of Exodus 6:27. The reversal of the order of the names is also to be noticed. In the genealogy itself Aaron stands first, as the elder of the two; in the conclusion, which leads over to the historical narrative that follows, Moses takes precedence of his elder brother, as being the divinely appointed redeemer of Israel. On the expression, "according to their armies," see Exodus 7:4.

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