Photo by Nimatallah/Art Resource, N.Y.

Brotherly love. Aaron embraces his brother Moses (holding his rod), when Moses, his wife and and their sons (far right) arrive in Egypt to save the Israelites, as depicted on this majolica (tin-glazed earthenware) plate, made in the mid-16th century by the Fontana family workshop in Urbino, Italy. When God instructs Moses to return to Egypt to lead the Israelites out, Moses begs God to select someone else: “Please, O Lord, I have never been a man of words…Make someone else Your agent” (Exodus 4:10–13). God recommends that Aaron serve as Moses’ representative.

As high priest and Moses’ public spokesman, Aaron constantly works for the people. His death is no different: Of the three siblings, Aaron alone dies with his community gathered around him. As a legacy, he bequeaths his priestly robes—the symbol of his public role—to his son Eleazar, to ensure that his responsibilities to his people will continue to be met.