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AARONITES (âr'ŭn-īts). Descendants of Aaron who fought with David against Saul (1Chr.12.27; niv “family of Aaron”). They were distinguished from the Levites (1Chr.27.17).

AARONITES. According to the Mosaic law, the priesthood in Israel was limited to the “sons of Aaron” (Exod 28:1; Lev 1:3; Num 3:10). Aaron had four sons, two of whom were cut off for sacrilege (Lev 10). All the legitimate priests were the descendants of his two younger sons, Eleazar and Ithamar. David divided the priests into two courses (1 Chron 24:1-6), sixteen men of the line of Eleazar and eight of Ithamar. Among the exiles who returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel there were 4089 priests, or about one tenth of the total. They belonged to four of the twenty-four courses. At that time the claim of certain men to priestly rank was rejected (Ezra 2:61ff.) because of inadequate evidence, which shows that the records were carefully kept. No one of the sons of Aaron who had a deformity or blemish could perform the duties of the priest (Lev 21:16-24). See Priests and Levites.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

A word used in the King James Version, but not in the revised versions, to translate the proper name Aaron in two instances where it. denotes a family and not merely a person (1Ch 12:27; 27:17). It is equivalent to the phrases "sons of Aaron," "house of Aaron," frequently used in the Old Testament. According to the books of Jos and Chronicles the "sons of Aaron," were distinguished from the other Levites from the time of Joshua (e.g. Jos 21:4,10,13; 1Ch 6:54).

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