In the Exodus 32 golden calf event, why was the leader Aaron not killed?

Author: BibleAsk Team

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Speaker 1

So Sean is asking an Exodus 32 golden calf event. Why is the leader Aaron not killed while 3000 were killed? It seemed unfair to me.

Speaker 2

That’s a great question.

Speaker 3

It really is. And when you look at this story, I hear what you’re saying because it’s like, well, usually the leader who’s responsible should pay. The captain should go down with his ship kind of idea. If he’s a leader, he should have been punished as well. However, I think there was a reason basically the punishment should fit the crime. And I think that God was still fair in what happened. Because if you go to Exodus 32 in this event so in the beginning of the chapter of Exodus, chapter 32, you see that basically the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, and they got to Aaron and they said, make us gods that shall go before us. Because this Moses who brought us out of Know, we don’t know what became of him. And so know, just know, take off your earrings, know, bring them to me and they put them in a fire. They made a golden calf, basically, or they heated up to make a golden calf and they started worshiping it and started doing all sorts of craziness. And they were just completely given to Debauchery at this point.

Speaker 3

But it says later on in the chapter, in verse 25, after Moses comes down, he’s like, what do we do? In verse 25 it says, now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained, and this is the new King James version. In the King James version, actually said the people were naked. But this word, it does mean basically to let go, to be completely unrestrained. And if you’re naked and unrestrained, obviously there is definitely sexual immorality going on here. So it says for Aaron had not restrained them to their shame among the enemies. So basically Aaron should have said, hey guys, you need to restrain yourselves. But he didn’t. Was aaron unrestrained. No. So Aaron didn’t partake in the same level of sin as these specific people who were just naked and unrestrained were participating in. And then it says Moses stood at the camp and said, who’s on the Lord’s side? The Levites come forward and says, okay, you got to be basically God’s army and wipe out these who are unrestrained, these who are going about being sexually immoral. So that’s when 3000 fall that day. So I would say that it was fair because even though, yeah, Aaron made a big mistake, he should have restrained the people.

Speaker 3

He should have said, hey guys, what you’re doing is wrong and you need to stop it. But he didn’t. However, did Aaron do the same level of sin? No, aaron was not naked and unrestrained like those specific 3000 who were punished basically for their sin. So I hear what you’re saying, but is God just? Yes, he is. And did Aaron still become rebuked for so and you see definitely the effects of Aaron’s sin in what happened with his sons later. And I think what he experienced later in the loss of his oldest sons, in them not being restrained was probably the worst punishment that he could have ever experienced, much more than death, which would be the loss of a child. So that would be my answer to that. I don’t know. Jay, Wendy, if you have any other thoughts on that one?

Speaker 2

Yeah, those are the good points. And also he wasn’t permitted to go into the promised Land. Like he died just before Moses. So I wouldn’t say this was necessarily the sin that caused him not to go in, but he just kept failing at multiple times. And Aaron strikes me as that pastor who means well, who’d be happy to do good. But if the congregation says, pastor, we really want you to affirm our beliefs. Tell us it’s okay to sin, okay to do these things. Otherwise, we’ll get rid of you. Then he would be type like, okay, fine. Yeah, I won’t rock the boat. I’ll do what you guys want. So he was kind of a leader who’s not a leader who’s in a position, but not taking a firm stand at times and then later there’s times where Miriam is talking bad about Moses’wife and Aaron’s just sort of standing there. Yeah, you’re right, not doing the bad speaking, but also, again, not correcting the sin. It’s just a trait he had. Good lesson for us all not to be like, definitely.

Speaker 3

And that’s another thing in the Bible is just know. I believe that God was still working with Aaron and still wanted him to overcome know, he wanted Aaron to grow in this area, which is probably why he know, wipe him out during this event because he wanted Aaron to learn from it. I can’t say that Aaron did or not because only God knows. But I hope that Aaron will be in the kingdom one day and I hope that eventually he did repent and learn from his mistake. But I believe that if, you know, your probation is over and somebody was put to death, it was because that person has gone beyond the point of repentance. And only God knows our hearts. And so I do believe that God knew what he was doing in this situation and he wouldn’t have had those 3000 removed from the camp unless it was absolutely necessary to show we have to put an end to sin. And if you pass this point where you’re not going to repent, then you’re going to face serious consequences.

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