1. Literal person Aaron.
Muslim apologists postulated there’s an elder man Aaron whose daughter is Elizabeth, and whose younger sister is Mary.
Thus, the postulate supports the assertion that “sister of Aaron” was literal.
Whenever “sister” is used in Qur’an or Hadith in relation to people, it relates to someone alive.
The term “sister of Aaron” is understood as literal by the people that heard it.
The NT Bible, the NT apocrypha, other Christian source materials, never use the idiom “sister of saint” when relating people to the ancestor.
Certain Medieval Moslems postulated that there is a licentious man among Jews who happens to be a biological brother of Mary. Hence, literally Mary is a sister of Aaron.
Son of Attia said: it was at that time a licentious man named Aaron.
Narrated by Ibn Jarir from some: that there is licentious man in them (Jews) that is said to him Aaron.
Kalbi said: Aaron was the brother of Mary from her father.
2. Idiom of Patronymic.
The evidence shows that Prophet Muhammad was familiar with the correct idiom used by the Tanach when he wanted to relate a living person to ancestors or saints before.
Q.19, v.28. 0, sister of Aaron, Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste.
According the Bible, Elisabeth is a “daughter of Aaron”, even though Aaron has no daughter at all.
If it were taken literally, it must have been anachronism of the Bible.
Luke.1:5. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
This patronymic case is similar with the Old Testament style of record on the life of Hodiah, who is called “sister of Naham”, a father of old city Keilah.
Hodiah (one of the two wives of Ezra, 480–440 BCE) lived in the time after the end of the 1st Temple, but yet she is called “sister of Naham”, a father of old city Keilah.
Naham is a dead ancestor. He lived long time before, even several centuries around 1050 BC (about 600 years before Hodiah), during the time of Judah.
1Chr 4:19. And the sons of his wife Hodiah the sister of Naham, the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maachathite.
Josh 15:44. And Keilah, and Achzib, and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages:
Additional information about Hodiah and Keilah:
Hodiah ; Also called Hodi-jah.
1. Wife of Ezra – 1Chr 4:19
2. A Levite – Neh. 8:7; 9:5; 10:10,13
3. An Israelitish chief – Neh. 10:18
Ke-i’-la (qe`ilah; Keeilam):
A city of the Shephelah mentioned (at Joshua 15:44) along with Nezib, Aehzib and Mareshah. Among those who repaired the walls of Jerusalem was “Hashabiah, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, for his district. After him repaired their brethren, Bavvai the son of Henadad, the ruler of half the district of Keilah” (Nehemiah 3:17,18). A gentilic name applied to Keilah is Garmite.
Qur’an claims that Mary was a Levite. She stayed in the chamber of the Jerusalem temple under teachings of the High Priest Zechariah.
Gregory Nazianzen in 3rd century also mentioned similar view:
Anna is supposed to have been a descendant of the priestly family of Aaron; thus Christ the Eternal King and Priest sprang from both a royal and priestly family .
Some have inferred from this that Mary herself was also a Levite descended from Aaron, and thus kingly and priestly lineages were united in Jesus. Gregory Nazianzen, Carmen 18.
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