*** it-1 p. 10 Aaron ***
Whywas Aaron not punished for making the golden calf?
Despite his privileged position, Aaron had his shortcomings. During Moses? first 40-day stay on Mount Sinai, "the people congregated themselves about Aaron and said to him: ?Get up, make for us a god who will go ahead of us, because as regards this Moses, the man who led us up out of the land of Egypt, we certainly do not know what has happened to him.?" (Ex 32:1) Aaron acceded and cooperated with these rebellious ones in making a golden calf statue. (Ex 32:2-6) When later confronted by Moses, he gave a weak excuse. (Ex 32:22-24) However, Jehovah did not single him out as the prime wrongdoer but told Moses: "So now let me be, that my anger may blaze against them and I may exterminate them." (Ex 32:10) Moses brought the matter to a showdown by crying: "Who is on Jehovah?s side? To me!" (Ex 32:26) All the sons of Levi responded, and this undoubtedly included Aaron. Three thousand idolaters, probably the prime movers of the rebellion, were slain by them. (Ex 32:28) Nevertheless, Moses later reminded the rest of the people that they, too, bore guilt. (Ex 32:30) Aaron, therefore, was not alone in receiving God?s mercy. His subsequent actions indicated that he was not in heart harmony with the idolatrous movement but simply gave in to the pressure of the rebels. (Ex 32:35) Jehovah showed that Aaron had received his forgiveness by maintaining as valid Aaron?s appointment to become high priest.?Ex 40:12,