Aaron (2)

Aaron The following description of the ascent to his reputed tomb on Mount Hor is taken from Porter's Handbook for Syria (p. 91). See HOR.

"Ascending the ravine from the south-eastern angle of the valley, we reach in about half an hour the plain called Sutuh Harun, which skirts the base of Mount Hor. Crossing this towards the south-east side of the peak, we find a path winding up to the summit. The ascent from the plain must be made on foot, and occupies about an hour. It is neither difficult nor dangerous if the proper track be followed, for in the steeper portions rude steps aid the pilgrim. Not far from the summit is a little platform, from which the central and culminating peak rises in broken masses, giving a peculiar character to the mountain, like —

'Embattled towers raised by Nature's hands.'

Bible concordance for AARON.

A deep cleft in the rock opens a way to the top. A little way up are the openings to subterraneous vaults with rounded arches, nearly similar to those in front of the tomb in the eastern cliff of Petra. From hence a staircase leads to the narrow platform on which the tomb stands.

"The tomb, as it now stands, is comparatively modern; but it is composed of the ruins of a more ancient and imposing structure. Some small columns are built up in the walls, and fragments of marble and granite lie scattered around. The door is in the- outh-west corner. An ordinary cenotaph, such as met with in every part of the East — a patchwork of stone and marble — is the only thing in the interior. It is covered with a ragged pall, and garnished with the usual accompaniments — old shawls, ostrich-eggs, and a few heads;" Near the north-west angle a staircase leads down to a dark vault, partly hewn in the rock. Visitors desirous of exploring this grotto would do well to have lights in readiness. The real tomb of the high-priest is here shown at the far end of the vault. It was formerly guarded by an iron grating. The date of the building is at least prior to the time of the Crusades; for the author of the Gesta Prancorum mentions that in the time of Baldwin (A.D. 1100) an expedition was made in vallem Moysi, to Wady Musa;' and that there, on the summit of a mountain, was an oratory. Fulcher of Chartres, who also gives an account of the expedition, says he saw the chapel. It is highly probable that the spot was held sacred by the Christians before the Mohammedan Conquest.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Aaron is commemorated as a Christian saint in the Ethiopic calendar on March 27; and his deposition on Mount Hor is assigned in early Roman martyrologies to July 1.

 
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