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Religious Subjects > Aaron

1. Carved limewood figure of Aaron, Netherlandish c.1600. 

 Aaron, from the tribe of Levi, was the first High Priest of the Israelites while they were in the wilderness.  His special sacerdotal functions were conferred on him by his younger brother, Moses.

He is represented in this carving as the guardian of the faith, wearing on his chest the tefillin, boxes  containing verses of the Torah inscribed on parchment.  He supports on his left knee a censer, which he swung as he stood between the living and the dead until a plague afflicting the Israelites abated.

Moses and Aaron are illustrated on the frontispiece of the King James I Bible, but Aaron is a rare figure in woodcarving.